HEBER SPRINGS — Even after Dollarway finished second to Heber Springs in the 2-4A District meet team standings, Darrin Kidd still felt this was the Cardinals’ year to win it all in track and field.
In fact, Dollarway waited 24 years to experience another state championship.
“I’ve seen it done,” said Kidd, who was a member of Dollarway’s only other track and field state title team of 1990. “We may not have a track where we can practice certain events on, but we can do it because it’s been done before.”
A year after finishing third in 4A, the Cardinals returned to Heber Springs and swept the sprints on their way to claiming the state championship with 82 points Tuesday. Highland was second with 68, followed by Heber Springs with 61.
Heber Springs beat Dollarway 217.5-168 last week in the 2-4A meet on its home course.
“To come back to my school and be able to win state in track and field” is big, Kidd said. “We just had to get these kids to buy into it.”
Dollarway won on the strength of its numbers in the sprints. Henri Murphy led the Cardinals’ charge with victories in the 100 and 200 meters, turning in respective times of 11.10 and 23.17 seconds. Murphy was second in the 100 last year.
Dollarway had at least two athletes place in each of the sprints. James Smith finished just .21 second behind Murphy for second in the 100, while Joshua Liddell took sixth.
Keshawn Williams added points with his sixth-place run in the 200 (23.87), while Liddell took eighth.
But Liddell, the Arkansas football signee and Cardinals’ quarterback-slash-safety-slash-basketball guard, broke through for the sprints sweep with a decisive win in the 400, turning in a time of 50.43 seconds. Nick Ingram of Maumelle (51.35) nearly finished a full second behind him, while Kabion Ento came in third (51.51).
“Liddell had been bothered by a hamstring injury,” Kidd said. “He didn’t even compete in the triple jump because he had already qualified for state in that event.”
Liddell was second in the 400 and triple jump last year. He was eighth in the triple jump this year.
Dollarway was second in the 4x100-meter relay, following Hamburg by .21 second. Kabion Ento settled for runner-up for the second straight year in the high jump, his 6-foot-6 jump just 1 inch behind Kahmron Hymes of Crossett.
Ento also placed fifth in the triple jump.
Dollarway’s Jaravion Bouse came in second in the discus at 134-3. Zach Ellis of Gentry had a 136-11 toss.
The team title also caps a highly successful season — one of many — for Dollarway boys athletics. The football team had an unbeaten regular season and reached the 4A semifinals, the basketball team won the 2-4A Conference and District titles. Many of the track and field athletes were a part of all the athletic successes this season.
“We were so close last year, we were knocking on the door,” Kidd said. “They just wanted it.”
Other notable Southeast Arkansas results: Star City’s Darian Washington was sixth in the shot put, and Dumas’ Deondrick Mixon was eighth in the 400.