Track and field is normally a sport reserved for the larger schools in the state, not the smaller Class AA programs such as Riverside. Not any more. As a matter of fact, you can probably start calling Riverside the "Running Rebels."
Riverside Lady Rebels participated in the school's first ever track and field event when they traveled to West Memphis May 11 to participate in the District meet.
Riverside entered the meet not knowing what to expect, but surprised even themselves as they captured several events and qualified seven athletes for the Class AA State Championships in Jessieville.
The Lady Rebels picked up three individual first place performances in the District Championships with Kailey Holt winning the 800 meters, Natasha Coffey capturing the 1600 meters, while Christy Ward picked up a first place finish winning the 3200 meter run.
Riverside also won the 3200 meter relay event with the team of Briana Driver, Katey Campbell, Kailey Holt and Christy Ward combining for the victory.
Coffey also placed second in both the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes while Emilee Hook took home a fourth place finish in the shot put. Katey Campbell picked up a fourth place finish in the 400 meters.
The Lady Rebels got a pair of third place finishes from both their 400 meter and 1600 meter relay teams. Morgan Emery, Natasha Coffey, Holly Dudley, and Briana Driver composed the quartet that finished third in the 400 meters while Emery teamed with Katey Campbell, Holly Dudley, and Kailey Holt on the 1600 meter relay team.
Riverside traveled to Jessieville May 18 to compete in the Class AA State Championships. Riverside's 3200 meter relay team of Driver, Campbell, Holt and Ward placed eighth out of 24 teams.
Natasha Coffey also picked up an eighth place finish in the 1600 meters despite being hampered by a pulled quadriceps muscle. Coffey qualified for both the 100 and 200 meter dashes, but was unable to run because of the injury.
Christy Ward came home with an 11th place finish in the 3200 meter run while Kailey Holt also qualified and ran in the 800 meters.
"The kids had a lot of fun," said Riverside Coach Greg Rainwater. "Next year, we will try to have both boys and girls compete and participate in all the events. This was our first time to ever participate in track at Riverside. I thought the kids did a great job. We really trained hard and seemed to really enjoy it."
"Track is a good sport that can involve a lot of kids," continued Rainwater. "We learned that you have to train hard, especially for the State Championships. I am really proud of the way our kids competed at state, especially Natasha Coffey, who ran hurt. Track is a sport that all schools should take part in. We are really looking forward to next year."