By John Balch
Despite attending a school with no track to speak of and having never thrown the discus or shot put, Murfreesboro High School sophomore Elizabeth Evans held her own at the 21st Arkansas Heptathlon track and field event held at Cabot High School.
Evans, 16, finished 42 out of 81 athletes – from all classifications statewide – with 2,954 points. According to the school, she was the highest scoring Class 2A competitor who outpaced 29 others from larger classifications.
The two-day event opened with the 100 meter low hurdles, long jump, discus and 200 meter dash. The next day included the high jump, shot put and 800 meter run.
Evans’ mother, Candi Allmon said her daughter, a runner and a jumper by trade, had never competed in either the shot or discuss, but after “shaking off the nervousness, she got out there and did her best” – a shot put of almost 38 feet and the discus throw just shy of 63 feet. The meet was also only the second time Evans had competed in the hurdle event.
Evans’ other marks for the event included hurdles, 18.93; long jump, 13-10.25; 200 meter, 28.98; high jump, 4-11; and 800 meter, 3:03.59. Evans, who is also an award-winning cheerleader, is currently coached by Andrew Henderson and Nicole Martin.
Last track season, Evans competed for the junior high team and earned honors by placing first in the district long jump and then moving up to senior high where she again won district and later competed in the Meet of Champs. At that time, she was working under Jeff Jones and Martin, who Allmon said sometimes refers to her daughter’s athletic ability as a “freak of nature.”
Evans’ trains five days a week on the old dirt track that circles the Rattlers’ practice field as well as the smooth course around the city park. Her mom said she picked up her love for running and work ethic from her older brother, Scott, a 2017 MHS graduate and a runner in his own right.
“They worked out daily, even the summer months, until Scott left for the Army National Guard and then off to college,” Allmon said.
At Monday night’s sports banquet, Evans received the Outstanding Field Event award as well as being noted as all-district and all-state in track.