By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
It wasn’t looking good for the Warner Lady Eagles after four runners at the Class 2A state cross country championships in Shawnee on Saturday.
The Lady Eagles had 52 points to Boise City’s 29 with one runner left on the course for each school. When Warner’s Ally Davis crossed the line in 34th place, adding 25 points to the Lady Eagles’ total to give them 77 for the meet, all Boise City’s Kaylie Crawford had to do was finish 60th or higher to spoil Warner’s dream of a state title.
That didn’t happen as Crawford crossed the line in 62nd place, adding 49 points to Lady Wildcats’ total to put them at 78 points for the meet and giving the Lady Eagles the team title by one point.
“It was very exciting today,” said Warner girls coach Mindi Peters. “I knew that we were neck and neck and that we were really close. And that their last runner would be the difference.”
The meet started off as expected for Warner when freshman Kailey Kilpatrick, who won the 2A regional individual title last weekend, crossed the line in a time of 12:22 pver the 2-mile circuit to win the individual state title, 25 seconds ahead of Boise City’s Autumn Mizer. By the time Warner’s Britney Hammons finished in 17th with a time of 13:20, adding 12 points to the one earned by Kilpatrick, Boise City only had two runners left on the course and only had 14 points on its side of the ledger.
“I was nervous, never having run in a state meet,” Kilpatrick said. “I was just trying to run my hardest and do the best for my teammates. I knew it was going to be very close between us and Boise City.”
After Tristian Williams finished in 21st for the Lady Wildcats, adding 15 points to Boise City’s total, only Crawford was left on the course. Becky Kauffman added 17 points to Warner’s total, finishing in 24th with a time of 13:40, and Becky’s twin sister Jessica hit the tape in 29th at 13:44, setting up the finish between Davis and Crawford. Lessley Davis (14:30) and Baylie Short (15:08.50) finished in 54th and 79th, respectively, for Warner as only the top five runners for each school count towards the team’s total.
“We talked about having their best times and placement and working hard to pass as many girls as we could, “ Peters said. “Because that’s what it was going to come down to, those two things, and we did it.”
Sequoyah boys, girls place third in 3A
In the Class 3A meet, also in Shawnee, the Sequoyah boy and girls teams came in third in the team standings. Kansas won the boys title with Riverside coming in second while Marietta claimed the girls’ trophy with Marlow placing second.
The Indians were led by Terrance Nofire who finished eighth with a time of 16:53 over the 5,000-meter layout. Cayden Salazar came in at 17:29 for 15th, Cody Christie was 22nd at 17:50, Jordan Glavin was 39th at 18:21 and Bill Buffalomeat was 43rd at 18:34.40 to close out the team scoring. Rudy Bolin (19:24) was 67th and Snow Eagle (19:59) was 77th.
Eufaula was 13th as a team in the boys division. Cole Montgomery led the way for the Ironheads with a fifth-place finish and a time of 16:48. Austin Weeks was 84th at 20:41, Bailey Lynn was 93rd at 21:11, Logan Day 95th at 21:21 and C.W. Burns was 103rd at 22:15. Caleb Newton (106th, 22:57) and Colby Burns (112th, 24:24) did not figure in the scoring.
The Lady Indians were led by Kyla Holmes who crossed the line at 12:26 to finish third and adding three points to Sequoyah’s total. Kayla Davis came in 10th at 12:38 while Taylor Henry placed 16th (13:01.70), Julia Spottedbird crossed with a time of 13:36 (31st) and Sierra Polk finished in 68th at 14:24. Makayla Pritchett finished with a time of 14:52 (82nd) and Diana Garay (85th) crossed at 14:57.
Locally, Keys came in 12th in the team standings with 281 points. McKenzie Garner led the Lady Cougars, finishing in 13:46 (36th) with Shauna Rucker (14:28) coming in 71st, Sierra Cox (14:29.50) placing 72nd and Jaylee Duffield (14:31) finishing 75th. Harley Smith rounded out Keys’ scoring, placing 84th (70 points) with Peggy Ross placing 90th at 15:12.
Running as individuals, Eufaula’s Madison Newton finished 10th with a time of 12:39 while Vian’s Mykala Rich came in 19th at 13:09.9.
At Oral Roberts University on Saturday, Tahlequah swept the Class 5A team titles. The Tigers were led by regional champion Zechariah Van Fleet, who ran a 17:07. Mohamed Bassime was 10th in 17:49. Tahlequah’s Gracie Medellin was third in 13:03.57 and Amy Hembree fourth in 13:05.57 to lead the Lady Tigers to a team championship.
In 6A, Muskogee’s Jachai Maxwell was the top Rougher in 50th place of 109 runners, finishing in 18:40.69. The boys were 11th of 16 schools. Muskogee’s Morgan Springborn finished in 14:48.59 and was 70th of 108 female runners, best of the MHS girls, who were 14th of 16 schools. Jenks won both team titles.