HOT SPRINGS -- Mike Power summed up the Class 6A boys state cross country championship as "a different day and a different course."
But the final results remained the same. Power's Bentonville team, led by individual champion Lukas Pabst, edged Fayetteville to win its third consecutive state title and eighth overall during Saturday's races on the Oaklawn Park infield.
Bentonville compiled 30 points to 36 for Fayetteville, which was a 13-point turnaround from last week when the Bulldogs claimed the 6A-West Conference by a 37-44 margin at Rogers. Bentonville has edged Fayetteville in the past three state meets by a combined 22 points.
"When you have a leader like Lukas Pabst out there and those other guys are hungry to perform, it came down to doing it on the day," Power said. "We knew this was the biggest day on our calendar, and they performed great.
"They really wanted it, and it showed in their performance. These guys were focused on the state meet, and if there's one meet you want to win, it's state. I think this course suited our athletes and the type of athletes they are, so it felt pretty good."
All five Bentonville runners ran personal-bests over the 5,000-meter course, and four Tigers finished among the top-five runners. That included Pabst, who ran with the early leaders for the first half-mile and made his move before he reached the 1-mile marker.
Pabst finished his race in 15 minutes, 21.9 seconds, almost 13 seconds faster than Fayetteville's Carter Betts. A trio of Tigers -- twin brothers Dawson and Dylan Mayberry, and Daniel Graham -- were the next three to cross the finish line within 14 seconds of each other.
"We were looking forward to the team win," Lukas said. "We were focused on team runs and everything. I just went out with the pack. When the pace started slowing down, I took it. I knew I did it last week and it worked, so I decided to do it again."
Fayetteville and Bentonville each had four runners among the top eight, but Bentonville had 13 points at that point to Fayetteville's 23. Fayetteville had the first No. 5 runner as Gabe Craig finished 13th, but it wasn't enough as Bentonville's fifth runner, Colin Conway, was 17th.
Springdale Har-Ber was a distant third with 89 points, while Conway and Bryant closed out the top five with 138 and 149 points, respectively....