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Cabot’s Weeks vaults ahead of everyone, clears 14-0

By Robert Yates

This article was published May 18, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/BENJAMIN KRAIN --05/17/14-- Heber Springs Malachi Cannon, left, takes a handoff from Patrick Hill in the 4x800 meter relay while setting a school record and winning the event with a time of 8 minutes 5.6 seconds during the Meet of Champs held Saturday.

HEBER SPRINGS — Lexi Weeks continues to take girls’ pole vaulting in Arkansas to new heights.

Weeks, a junior from Cabot, became the first fe- male in Arkansas high school history to clear 14-0 during the 57th annual Meet of Champs on a chilly, rainy Sat- urday at Heber Springs High School’s Panther Stadium.

Weeks scaled 14-0 on her third and final attempt to break the previous overall and Meet of Champs record (13 feet, 7 inches) she had set moments earlier.

Weeks had cleared an all- time state-best 13-10 at the Hornet Relays on March 20 at Bryant, but overall records can be set only in state meets or the Meet of Champs.

Weeks set an overall re- cord (13-6.50) at the Class 7A state meet May 8 at Cabot and shattered the previous Meet of Champs record (13-6.25), set by Stephanie Foreman of Lake Hamilton in 2008.

“I thought today was the day,” Weeks said. “I was really, really shooting for 14-0.”

Weeks missed three at- tempts at 14-3.50, which would have broken the na-

tional high school record by a quarter-inch.

Weeks entered the com- petition at 12-0 and cleared 12-0, 12-6, 13-0 and 13-7 on her first attempts. Her twin sister, Tori, finished second at 12-6. “This was not a great day

to jump,” said Lake Hamilton Coach Morry Sanders, who tutors the sisters at his Ar- kansas Vault Club in Black Springs (Montgomery Coun- ty). “We had cross wind, a head wind and it was chilly. The conditions weren’t there to jump high, but Lexi is tough. So is her sister.”

Springdale Har-Ber senior Payton Stumbaugh contin- ued her assault on the record book, setting an overall mark in the 200 (24.49) and a Meet of Champs mark in the 100 hurdles (14.04).

Stumbaugh, an Oklaho- ma signee, also won the 100 (12.04) and ran the second leg on Har-Ber’s winning 1,600 relay (3:56) that just missed Bentonville’s overall record (3:55.40).

Stumbaugh won her indi- vidual events with light rain falling.

“I felt pretty good, all and all,” Stumbaugh said. “I wish the weather could have been a little better. I probably would have hit better times.”

Stumbaugh set a Class 7A record in the 100 (11.93) on May 8 and, at the same meet, an overall record in the 100 hurdles (13.92). She ran an all-time state-best 13.91 at the Kansas Relays on April 19 in Lawrence, Kan.

The previous Meet of Champs record (14.30) was set by Tiffany Gunn of Little Rock McClellan in 2001.

Stumbaugh ran the fastest 200 by a female in Arkansas high school history (24.20) at the Springdale Schools Invita- tional on March 13 at Har-Ber.

Stumbaugh decided to skip the 300 hurdles Saturday — she set a Meet of Champs record as a junior (43.37) — to push for an overall mark in the 200. The late Inetta Lee of Pine Bluff set the previous overall record (24.54) in 1984.

“I wanted to run a faster time, but weather, it’s hard,” Stumbaugh said.

Stumbaugh is expected to battle Crossett senior Kelsey Herman for this week’s Ar- kansas High School Heptath- lon title.

Herman won the long jump (19-2.75) and high jump (5-7) Saturday. Herman, an Arkansas signee, won last year’s heptathlon title over Stumbaugh, the 2012 champion.


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