By Michael Kinney
The COAC proved once again that it is the toughest cross-country conference in the state last week. At the annual conference championship, four teams were within 17 points of each other as they battled for the boys title.
However, even though they were without their top runner, it was nationally ranked Deer Creek who was crowned the champion with 64 points. Mustang was only 14 points behind in third place.
“We’re kind of just using this race a little bit,” Mustang coach Mike McGarry said. “It’s just kind of feeling everything out and see if we can do better at regionals and state this year than we did last year.”
Joining Deer Creek and Mustang in the top five were Edmond North (71), Piedmont (81) and Edmond Santa Fe (171).
The Antlers Brody Woodcock claimed the individual championship after running a 15:22. That was good enough to hold off Edmond North’s Colby Moore, who was two seconds behind.
The Broncos were paced by Carsen Patten. He ran a 15:43 over the 5K course, which was good enough for sixth place.
“Carson Patten ran, well,” McGarry said. “Good job there.”
Mustang had five runners placed inside the top 25. Along with Patten, they include Noah Thayer (12th), Cameron Langdon (17th), Teagan Nelson (20th) and Luke Balliew (23rd).
“Tegan Nelson, he ran great. He was our fourth guy today and he was like our sixth at the chili peppers,” McGarry said. “So he moved up and he ran a good race.”
Mustang will now prepare for the regional meet, which they are hosting Saturday at Wildhorse Park. The field will include Deer Creek, Piedmont, Edmond Santa Fe and Norman High.
McGarry hopes his squad can learn from their COAC meet in order to prepare them for a tough regional meet.
“Today was kind of a learning race and that’s kind of the way we went into it a little bit,” McGarry said. “You try to learn everything you can about everybody, all the runners and different things and placing and how to go out and just try to learn and grow from that and see if we can do better at regionals and state.”