Suns Still Hunt for Top Spot

Golden Suns Cross Country Team 2021

Golden Suns Cross Country Team | Bates Yoakum

SEARCY—The Golden Suns packed the van and headed to Searcy, home of the rival Harding Bisons, this past Saturday to compete for the Great American Conference title.

“I told the team when we got back to the camp and everyone was sitting down, there were some tears and a lot of pain [but] I was as proud on Sat. then I have ever been on any team I have coached,” Brock Hime said. “It’s weird because you expect to be upset but I just wasn’t and I just wanted the team to know that. I didn’t want them to hear me say ‘good job’ I wanted them to watch me show them they did a good job.”

The Golden Suns fell just 12-points short of winner Oklahoma Baptist, aided by a 18:09 performance from Freshman Sophia Strange who in the previous week ran 19:08 at the Chilli Pepper Festival in Fayetteville. This almost minute time jump pushed the Bisons past the Suns with the final total 44 for the Bisons with the Suns right behind them with 56.

First across the line for the Suns was freshman Calli Beshore who finished 7th overall in 18:27. Following right behind Beshore in 18:28 was freshman Ashlynn Mays in 8th. Following behind was sophomore Karina Maravillas who finished 10th in 18:39, freshman Marcie Cudworth who ran 18;50 and finished 13 and freshman Morganne Browning who finished 18 in 19:01.5.

Rounding out the top seven was freshman Mandy Sykora who finished right alongside Browning in 19:01.9 and freshman Mary Beth Bailey who finished 23rd in 19:19.

“We felt like if we ran our race, we had the best chance to come out on top,” Hime said. “Gun goes off and we run phenomenal. We were waiting and waiting and finally [the result came in] and I had a surreal moment where you go ‘I’m okay with it’, we ran lights out. I remember looking at our tent, our massive flags were at a stand, and I just felt good.”