MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

May 6, 2012

Rougher girls win three regional relays

SKIATOOK – When it comes to running the relays this season, it might be hard to find better quartets than the Muskogee girls.

The Lady Roughers won the 400-, 800- and 1,600-meter relays at the Class 6A-5A regional track and field meet under a bright, sunny sky and windy conditions at Skiatook High School on Saturday.

Coach Angie Hillmon’s squad had first-place times of 49.31, 1:44.45 and 4:05.41.

“I knew we would be this strong, but we’re trying to get a little bit stronger,” she said. “We’ve been running consistently, but there’s always room for improvement. The hunger is different with these girls. When practice is about over, they ask if they can do more.”

In order, sophomore Lillian Thompson, senior Clarissa McJunkins and juniors Lashai Nunley and Xandrea Maxwell run the 400- and 800- relays. Thompson, Maxwell, senior Chelsie Keys and Nunley are the foursome for  the 1,600 relay.

Thompson said communication between the girls has been the reason for the Lady Roughers’ success.

“Being close gets you stronger and better together,” she said. “When we run a relay, we know we’re there for each other. We’re also coming to practice and trying harder every day. We’ve also prepared mentally.”

The top three finishers in each event automatically qualify for the May 11-12 state meet at Yukon High Schools. Athletes who finish in fourth through sixth place have to wait until Monday and results from the other three regional meets to see if they qualify for state.

Individually, Maxwell won the 200 (25.53) and McJunkins was second (27.06). Nunley took third in the 400 (60.37).

Muskogee’s boys also have some state qualifiers.

Victor Williams finished third in the long jump with a personal best leap of 22 feet and 1/2 inch. It took a little off the sting of not being able to run in the hurdles for most of this season because of a strained hip tendon.

“I felt good. I felt like I was going to jump 22 and I did,” he said. “After not running the hurdles for a while, I got used to that. I was more worried about helping our team getting to state in whatever (event) we could. It wasn’t about me.”

Meanwhile, Mikel Smith finished third in the high jump at 6 feet, 4 inches. He had cleared 6-8 at the Rougher Invitational last month, but the senior missed on all three of attempts at 6-6 Saturday.

“I had horrible form on my first jump,” he said. “I thought I had it on my second jump and I think I hit it with my leg. I guess I nicked it on my third jump.

“I’m excited about going to state, but I’m going to work on my form next week in practice by getting my rear end up and legs over the bar.”

Bradley McGee was third in the discus (125-8) and D.J. McGriff was third and had his personal best in the shot put (50-3 1/2) and Darnell Walker was fourth in the long jump (21-10 1/2).

The Roughers’ 3,200-relay of Luke Leatherman, Logan Miller, Larry Sanders and Gunner Heath finished fifth at 9:06.48.

Muskogee girls finished fourth in the team standings with 84 points, while the boys placed fifth with 36 points.

Jenks boys and girls won the 6A team titles.

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