By John Martin
Cross country runners from Eastern Oklahoma County schools raced through regional qualifying meets last Saturday to qualify for the OSSAA State Championships. The state meet was originally scheduled for Saturday but was postponed until Wednesday due damage to storm damage at the Edmond Santa Fe course.
To qualify for the State meet, the top 7 teams in each class plus the next 7 runners whose team did not qualify advance to the State competition.
Both boys and girls squads from Choctaw and Carl Albert qualified for State and the Harrah girls also nabbed a spot in the championship. In addition, there were several who made it individuals entries.
CHOCTAW: The Choctaw Yellowjackets finished fifth in the 6A competition with a couple of their regulars missing. Leading the way and gaining a top 15 medal was Aiden Hoover in a time of 16:39.34 for fifth place. Next was Jordan Crawley in No. 24 in 17:22.57 followed by Cole Green in No. 31 in 17:39.05, Brennan Kirk, No. 34 in 17:44.24 and No. 36 Nathan Dillinger. Displacers were Logan Hoover and Jacob Hojnacki.
The Lady Jackets finished in 6th place with Kristen Kirk leading the way in No. 17 with a time of 20:36.71. Next was Elizabeth DeGaston in No. 21 in 20:41.38 followed by No. 26 Kate Brown in 21:02.07.
Rounding out the qualifiers were No.27 Kylee Hall in 21:03.43 and No. 37 Lauren Kirk in 21:33.5. Displacers were Hannah DeGaston and Alyssa Baldwin.
CARL ALBERT: The Lady Titans finished third in the 5A Regional at Norman behind Noble and Piedmont with three runners cracking the top 15 medal round. Leading the way for the CA ladies were No. 7 Ashlee Davidson in 20:30.27, No. 10 McKenna Barnard in 20:45.71 and No. 14 Riley Schoelen in 21:00.50.
“We were trying to get in there and knock off Piedmont but couldn’t quite get there,” said Carl Albert coach Bill Case. “Our top four girls were right in there and we just need to get our fifth runner up there too.”
Going to State with CA and barely missing the medal round was No. 16 Elizabeth Allen in 21:04.066 and No. 26 Kaley Plouff in 21:54.39. Displacers were Hailee Plouff and Avery Hurst.
JUNIOR ALLEN finished No. 11 for the Carl Albert boys who finished a suprising fifth place at Norman. Allen’s time was 17:11.96. Joining the Titans enroute to the State Meet in Edmond are No. 19 Will Plouff in 17:29.30, No. 35 Caleb Nolen in 18:34.93, No. 51 Josh Robinson in 19:04.71 and No. 54 Ben Satterwhite in 19:1.46. Displacers for CA are Alex Satterwhite and Karsten Geiger.
“I am so proud of our boys,” Case said. “We were ranked No. 11 in this regional and those other teams had already beaten us this year. I told our guys they needed to run the best race they have all year. And Junior (Allen) and Will (Plouff) stepped up. If you can get two kids in the top 20 like them, it makes a huge difference.”
The Carl Albert boys have qualified for state all 10 years that Case has been coaching.
“I’ve never had a group of boys not make it to state and this was the year we were a little nervous,” Case said.
HARRAH GIRLS. Senior Katie Klimkowski continued her parade of medal-winning performances as she claimed a berth at State with a No. 13 finish for the seventh-place Lady Panthers in a time of 13:04.4.
Joining Katie at state will be No. 26 Lilly Killgore in 14:08.68, No. 32 Taylor Otoe in 14:08.68, No. 38 Cadence Lawson in 14:42.86 and No. 44 Taylor Middendorf in 15:09.84. The displacer was Madison Jones.
HARRAH PANTHERS were No. 8 in the team standings but had three runners qualify for at-large berths. Luis Beller-Gardner in 18:24.72, Anthony Austain in 19:10.65 and Garrett Kennedy in 19:14.21 qualified for State. Joining them at Norman were John Hogue in 19:57.31 and Kayleb Gable in 20:58.40.
DEL CITY: Gordon Cordero led the Eagles with an 18:16.82 for 53rd. Also participating for the Eagles were Lamon Miles, Omari West, Leroy Moseley, Elijah Mohammad and Riddick Nash.
The Lady Eagles were represented by Amayah Hudson.
MIDWEST CITY: Darryn Jefferson led the Bombers with a time of 19:00.40 for the No. 68 spot. He was joined by Landon Parker and Uriel Perez.
The Lady Bombers were represented by Sanai West, Mariah Thompson and Addison Cothren.