Gracie Carter wins three events as Van Buren nabs second Quad City track meet

George "Clay" Mitchell
Press Argus-Courier

The Van Buren girls team picked up its second straight James Lemley Quad City Meet at the Van Buren Track & Field Complex. 

The Lady Pointers finished with 128 points in the girls division on March 12, followed by Southside (75), Greenwood (49), Alma (41) and Northside (27).

Gracie Carter won three events - the 100-meter dash, the 100-meter hurdles and the triple jump - and was second in both the 200 and long jump.

Chole Cazzell won the long jump and the 300-meter hurdles and was third in the triple jump, and Aubree Wille placed first in the 800.

Elizabeth Yancy won the discus and took second in the shot put, as well.

"Our coaches are great," Cazzell said. "Coach Lemley and coach (Rod) Ray have really pushed us to be the best we possibly can. They continually encourage us. That is what helps me even though it's a small thing, it does make me want to get better at every meet."

It was also the second consecutive win for the Lady Pointers this season.

"I think it's the teamwork that we have, and always being on time for practice so we can give it our all in practice every day, every week," Carter said. 

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"We're in a different conference and classification this year, so we're not sure exactly where we stand," Van Buren coach Hays Lemley said. "We hope to have some improvement, and we have some point-getters like Gracie, Chloe, and Aubree."

Van Buren is in the Class 5A West for this next cycle and in the same conference as powerhouse Vilonia.

"The biggest difference between the old and new conferences is the depth," Lemley said. "There are going to be some quality performances in the 5A West."

Another big difference for Van Buren this season is that only the top 4 performances at the 5A West meet go on to state. The top 8 performances at the 6A conference meet got to move on to the state meet in the past.

Activity around the track facility has been busy this season as Van Buren hosted its fourth meet Monday in 11 days. Van Buren will host two more meets in April, with eighth grade on April 13 and the Pointer Relays on April. 16.

"It's been good and hectic," Lemley said. "We didn't make it to this week last year. We're happy to keep going this year and hope to have a full track season."

Van Buren is back to full swing in hosting meets this season after about a four-year absence because of reconstruction issues. The school has refurbished or added to every part of the field and still plans to do some additional work for the shotput areas.

"We've been really grateful that the school district and (Van Buren superintendent Harold) Jeffcoat  has provided for us," Lemley said. "We're looking forward to having as many meets as we can."