BYRD'S SPENCER FRIERSON HEADS FOR THE FINISH LINE AT THE BORDER DASH!
Add cross country to the list of sports at The City of Byrd where a student-athlete with the last name Frierson has led the Yellow Jackets to victory. Spencer Frierson was just carrying on a family tradition Saturday morning at South Bossier Park where her fourth-place finish (20:29) at the Border Dash led the Lady Jackets to the girls' team title.
Frierson's father, Bratton, was an offensive lineman for C.E.Byrd on district 1-5A championship teams in the late 1990's. Frierson had one uncle to play football and baseball for the Yellow Jackets. Another played football and lacrosse. An aunt starred in the Lady Jacket soccer program.
Frierson has come a long way since her freshman year when she was the team's No. 8 runner and finished 47th in her first high school race at the Airline XC Festival in Plain Dealing. Her 5K time was 26:37.
That was then. This is now.
"It felt really good," Frierson said said after the race. "The weather is a lot cooler than it usually is. The course changes weren't too bad. It was a great start to the season. There is a lot to look forward to this season. I'm really excited."
There have been many miles and early morning training sessions over the last three years to put herself in a position to win a race and lead her team to a win. Part of that process involved attending an elite running camp in Colorado this summer and then joining her C.E. Byrd teammates the week after for the team's annual Colorado "traincation."
"It was a lot of fun," Frierson said of the running camp in Colorado. "It was a great experience. It put me in a great running mindset and it was very encouraging."
The Lady Jackets were missing two of their top runners in Jenna Key and Hudson Roberts. Key took the ACT Saturday morning and Roberts, who showed up to support her teammates, is working to get healthy.
"We did miss Hudson and Jenna, but I think we still did really well," Frierson said. "I will get to run with them next week."
Seeing Frierson lead the team to a season opening win put a big smile on Byrd head coach Juan Plaza's face.
"It warms my heart," Plaza said. "Going back to her freshman year, we had ten girls on the team and she was No. 10. Today, she led our girls to a fantastic finish against a very competitive field. There are some good teams out there. I'm very proud of our seniors."
Other Byrd girls with notable performances included freshman Anna Lake Watts (No. 5, 20:33), Laila Wells (No. 6, 20:37), Mallory Swint (No. 21, 22:34), Aubree Lacroix (No. 24, 22:53), and Lilian Blaylock (No. 25, 22:54).
Byrd's score of 57 points was 19 points better than runner-up Benton.
Some of Plaza's top runners will head to Alabama to compete at the Southern Showcase in Huntsville, Alabama. Other runners in the program will compete at the Huntington Raider Cross Country Invitational.