By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
YUKON – Xandrea Maxwell ran her season-best at the right time – at least thus far.
She’d like to top that in her next time out.
Maxwell finished the 200-meter dash in 25.13 seconds at the Class 6A state meet here Friday, qualifying second behind Norman North’s Haley Woodard (24.35) for today’s finals.
“It’s my passion, this event, I know I have a gift from God and I believe I can win this,” she said. “I slowed up the last 5-10 feet and that’s not going to happen (today). I’m going to give it everything I have.”
Her coach, Angie Hillmon, isn’t doubting that.
“This was just about qualifying and I didn’t want her pulling a muscle or anything because it wasn’t necessary. She did what she needed,” she said. “Getting her to this point in the 200 is something we’ve talked about for a couple of years. She’s always been in a bunch of relays trying to get us there and being a senior, this was her time and this is her event.”
Maxwell’s teammate LaShai Nunley qualified fifth in the event in 25.73.
“Putting her and LaShai in this event, it just magnifies their abilities,” Hillmon said.
The two also qualified in the 800 relay, finishing seventh in qualifying with a 1:45.88 running with Myangel Thomas and Zamoree McNac. Jenks has the top time, a 1:43.93
The 400 relay didn’t qualify, finishing 12th at 51.53.
Nor did the boys 400 relay, coming in 14th at 44.98. Also Dexter McGriff wound up 12th in the discus at 132 feet, 3 inches.. Bo Farrow of Broken Arrow threw 185-7 to win it.
Tahlequah had a solid first day in the Class 5A meet albeit with some heartbreak. The boys 3,200 relay was leading when 50 yards from the exchange on the third leg, Ara Poteete went down with what appeared to be leg cramps. The Tigers wound up sixth. It’s the second time in as many years Tahlequah has had this happen to a runner in the event.
“Relays mean more to these guys than individual events and they just go too hard,” Tahlequah coach Bart Frank said. “To use an auto racing illustration, too many RPMs will break down an engine. We ran an 8:09 at regional and an 8:10 won this.”
The Tigers had an 8:24.18 and Edmond Deer Creek ran 8:10.64.
Also in the girls 3,200, Jessica Hembree finished second to the girl who beat her at regionals last week. Michaela Werner of Grove ran an 11:16.75 to Hembree’s 11:52.61. The two will run against one another in the 1,600 today.
It’s been a bittersweet senior year for the three-time cross country champion whose only loss came from a broken leg her sophomore year, 50 yards from the finish line while leading.
“I’m kind of disappointed how my senior year has gone in track but I’m glad I’ll be running next year,” the future Oklahoma Sooner runner said. “I’ve still got some hiccups in that leg from the break that’s hurt me some and that’s been a little disappointing.”
Also in the 3,200, her freshman teammate, Gracie Medellin, was fourth in 12:15.99. Amy Hembree was eighth at 12:38.50. On the boys side, Tahlequah’s Mohamed Basime just missed the medal stand in the 3,200, finishing in 10:25.27. Deer Creek’s Bryce Balensefen won in 9:59.76.
The Lady Tigers 3,200 relay was eighth at 4:10.99. Shawnee won in 4:02.71. Their 800 relay qualified seventh for today’s finals and the 1,600 relay qualified eighth.
Tahlequah also got a couple of seconds in the high jump. Brandon Conrad cleared 6-6 but lost on more misses than Zach Skimbo of McAlester, who also cleared 6-6. Jordan Roach’s 5-2 was second in the girls event behind Emilee Iverson of Grove (5-6).
Also in 5A, Wagoner’s Decarius Clark qualified fourth in the 300 hurdles, finishing in 40.97. Landon Huslig of Deer Creek was the top qualifier in 39.30.