A month ago running together for the very first time Farmington's 4x100 boys relay team served notice they are for real.
The Cardinals placed fourth among a field laden with 7A and 6A schools during Springdale Har-Ber's Invitational on March 8, with Danny Valenzuela, Caleb Williams, Tony Mayo, and Derrick Ebers turning in a time of 44.652 behind 7A schools Bentonville West, Har-Ber, and Bentonville; and ahead of 7A Fayetteville (fifth); Rogers (seventh); and Rogers Heritage (eighth), plus 6A Siloam Springs (sixth).
"Track season is pretty exciting for the relay I'm in," Williams said. "The very first time we ran it we were .3 seconds off the school record. It was cold outside, not supposed to be a good day for running at all."
Williams should know. He and older brother Josh, a 2016 Farmington graduate, were part of the record-holding 4x100 quartet that included Xavier State and Justice Hobbs two years ago.
"We overcame all that opposition and surprised pretty much everybody because we had never ran yet," Williams said. "Nobody knew how fast we were."
A week later on March 15 at the Lion Invitational hosted by Gravette, Farmington again placed fourth with a time of 44.78 behind 7A Bentonville (Colby Ried, Jadyn Loudermilk, Patrick Bell, Devin Dougherty), 43.08; Bentonville West, 43.64; and 4A Pea Ridge, 44.64.
The Cardinals beat No. 5. Rogers Heritage, 44.97; No. 6 Siloam Springs, 45.09; No. 7 Van Buren, 45.18; and No. 8 Har-Ber, 46.77.
On March 29 Farmington competed at the Panther Relays hosted by Siloam Springs again nailing down fourth place behind 4A schools Gravette and Gentry and third place 7A Fort Smith Northside. The Cardinals beat Siloam Springs, 7A Fort Smith Southside, 4A Shiloh Christian and Har-Ber.
Thursday the 4x100 Farmington relay team placed second at the Blackhawk Relays hosted by Pea Ridge with a time of 45.38.
Williams is elated, as of last week, he said the Cardinal 4x100 relay team is ranked first in the 5A West Conference and seventh in the state among all classifications. Coaches Spencer Adams and Mike Adams have juggled the lineup with Ebers, Mayo, and Valenzuela running the first three legs with Williams anchoring the squad.
"I've never really been afraid of getting more responsibility," Williams said. "I'm always looking for more things to do, if anything, to take more responsibility off other people to help them do the best that they can."
Williams isn't sure why he seems predisposed to asserting himself, but others are taking notice. He recently signed a national letter of intent to run track and play football for Hendrix College, of Conway.
"I've always been good with keeping up with a lot of things at one time to take the weight off other people and any stress that they have," Williams said. "I'm ready to do it because I know I can handle it. I've been conditioned to do that."
MARK HUMPHREY IS A SPORTS WRITER FOR THE ENTERPRISE-LEADER.Sports on 04/11/2018
Print Headline: Cardinal 4x100 Relay Ranked High