By Ben Johnson
CNHI News Service
TAHLEQUAH — Tahlequah’s 3,200-meter relay team set the tone for a banner day for the Tigers’ track team on Friday afternoon.
The quartet of Aaron Eversole, Will Carlile, Ara Poteete and Zech VanFleet recorded a time of 8:07.42 to edge past Jenks (8:08.26) and Union (8:08.27) for the two-mile relay crown — the first title handed out during the day at the Reasors Track Classic at Tahlequah High School.
“This is a date we’ve pointing toward for a long time with those kids,” Tahlequah coach Bart Frank said of his two-mile relay team. “We’re very, very pleased with the results.”
The relay championship was one of two first-place finishes for Tahlequah on the day. Junior high jumper Brandon Conrad eclipsed the 6-foot, 2-inch barrier to win the field event.
“This is the first time I’ve ever won a medal here,” Conrad said. “I was real proud of that.”
At the end of the day, Tahlequah wrangled up 51 points, good enough for fourth place behind Broken Arrow (151.75), Jenks (149.75) and Union (140).
“It’s not very often we can get a medal at this meet,” Frank said. “We feel good about the way things went.”
Tahlequah also had a pair of top-three finishes between the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. In the 800, Eversole (1:57.92) finished two-hundredths of a second behind Jenks’ Dallas Elmore (1:57.90) for first place. Poteete also picked up a bronze medal in the 1,600-meter run, clocking a time of 4:33 and finishing four seconds behind the winner, Union’s Mark Middleton.
The Tahlequah girls tallied 41 points and came sixth place. Broken Arrow (142), Jenks (138), Union (106), Booker T. Washington (73) and Owasso (55) rounded out the top five.
Emily Basks turned in Tahlequah’s best performance with a silver medal in the high jump. Basks finished at 5 feet even, which was two inches off the winning pace set by Union’s Imani Davis.
The Lady Tigers had a third-place finish in the 1,600-meter relay with a time of 4:14.62. Tahlequah also finished fifth in the 800- and 3,200-meter relays.
Jessica Hembree finished third (3,200-meter run) and sixth (1,600-meter run) for Tahlequah.
For Muskogee, Savanna Bumpus came in fifth place in the pole vault (7 feet) and sixth place in the long jump (15 feet, 6 1/2 inches). Muskogee also had a fifth-place showing in the 400-meter relay and a sixth-place finish in the 800-meter relay.
The Muskogee girls came in 11th place with 7 1/2 points, and the Muskogee boys finished 12th with four points, courtesy of two sixth-place performances in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays.