With her two first-place finishes in the 100 and 200 meters in last week’s district track meet, Academics Plus senior Rhianna Mooney qualified for the Class A state meet Wednesday, May 1 at Genoa Central.
The three-time defending district champion in both events, Mooney ran a time of 13 seconds in the 100 meters and 27 seconds in the 200. Her jump of 4-10 in the high jump was good enough for second place and also qualified her for the state meet.
"If she runs those (times) at the state meet, she’ll be state champion," Academics Plus Coach John Harrison said. "She ran picture perfect and look more relaxed. Last year, it looked like she was fighting."
Mooney also placed fourth in the long jump. Joining her at the state meet is the boys 4x100 relay team comprised of freshman Tyler Griffin, junior Chabala Musonda, senior Chris Fields and freshman Austin Griffin. Also at the district meet, the 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams finished third with Austin Griffin also placing fifth in the high jump with a leap of 4-10. He was also eighth in the 100 meters. Probably making an impact but not able to attend the meet was freshman Logan Bowen who claimed high point honors at the junior high meet by winning the 100 (11.6), the 200 (23.0) and anchoring the first-place 4x100 relay.
Though they haven’t won a match yet, the Falcon soccer team is holding its own. Because not enough players exist for separate girls and boys teams, Academics Plus is playing co-ed. In the Falcons’ last match, they suffered a 3-1 setback to Jonesboro Westside. This week, they host Riverview on Wednesday and travel to Valley View and Conway St. Joseph on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
"I’ve never seen a soccer game where we had so many opportunities to score," Harrison said. "We just couldn’t punch it in. Their goalie did a great job, and they scored on all three of their opportunities."
Harrison had high praise for Mary Katherine Harris, Ashley Rogers and Devyn Cotnoir as well as Tatum Murray. He is impressed at how aggressive they play and that they are not intimidated by the guys. He has also been pleased by the play of Zach Nails and realizes the contribution of Chuck Musonda.
"Zach was a big surprise," Harrison said. "This is his first year playing soccer, and he looks like he has been playing his whole life. Chuck is my center mid and is one of the best players in the conference. He’s a playmaker and has good dribbling skills."