By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
Bart Frank began to calculate the possible points for the boys teams in today’s Class 5A regional meet at Tahlequah High School. The numbers impressed him
“On paper, Booker T. Washington is loaded and I’ve got them scoring 135 points as a team, we should score 130 and Wagoner is going to be strong and get over 100,” the Tahlequah boys coach and meet director said. “It really should be competitive.”
The meet, which also includes Muskogee boys and girls in the 6A fields, begins with the field events at 9:30 a.m. and the 3,200-meter girls relay at 10:05 a.m.
Frank sees competition being strong in other events.
“The state’s top four 3,200 relay teams in the state will be here,” he said. “We’ll also have toughest region for the discus as six of throwers in the state who have thrown more than 145 feet are going to be here and seven of the top 10 800 runners are coming. This is going to be a tough regional.”
Wagoner’s boys come in as a three-time regional champion.
But the Bulldogs have had their share of injuries this season. For example, Kerwin Thomas, Lawrence Evitt and Byron Adams are back from last year’s 400 relay state champion, but this meet will be th e first time for them to run together this spring.
“I don’t know how good of shape we’re in but I’m excited about seeing them run,” Wagoner coach Jeff Williams said. “I’m proud of how they’ve battled back to run again.”
The Class 5A girls meet also looks to be competitive.
Elzy Miller, the Tahlequah girls coach, points to the Lady Tigers’ Jessica Hembree and Grove’s Michaela Werner as an example. Werner has the state’s fastest in the 1,600 at 5:34 and Hembree is second at 5:35.
“That race is going to be a dogfight,” Miller said.
Hembree, an University of Oklahoma signee, will also be in the 3,200 and 3,200 relay today.
“In our last meet (the Metro Lakes Conference), she showed a spark of her old self on the relay,” Miller said. “She went out slow, but she had to run like crazy and pulled away and ran away from the second-place girl. She’s been our leader for almost four years now and we hope she can end up with a good regional.”
Muskogee’s girls have a chance to contend in the relays. The 400 relay is the third fastest in the region at 50.46 seconds, the 800 relay is fourth (1:46.3) and 1,600 relay is also fourth (4:12.5). Dexter McGriff is the top Rougher, with a eighth-best discus throw at 144-1.