By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The track season kicks into high gear Friday with the Gregg Byram Track Classic at Norman High. The 26-team event is described as a “mini state tournament” due to how many high-quality teams participate.
For NHS and Norman North, it’s the largest meet yet of the young season and both squads have high hopes. At North, where coach Mike Ramsey’s boys squad won last week’s meet at Putnam City West, the Timberwolves are looking for a repeat performance.
“We’re not in midseason form by any means, but we were extremely strong last week,” he said. “We were on top of our game. On Friday I’m looking for them to compete like they did then.”
For a team with its eyes on a state title at the end of the season, the large meet will be an opportunity for the T-Wolves to measure themselves against the rest of the state.
“I haven’t seen all the teams yet, but from what I’ve seen on paper we’ve got a really good chance,” Ramsey said. “We didn’t lose many from last year and this meet should show us exactly where we’re at.”
The Tigers won 10 events last week. Hayley Redwine, who set personal bests while winning both the 1600- and 3200-meter races, said the meet will be a good gauge for the Tigers.
“Last weekend the weather was perfect, and that helped me run the races I did,” she said. “I just want to continually get a little better every week, that way when state comes along I’ll be the best I can be.”
Pasque eyes record: Colin Pasque already has a state title to his name in the high jump, but the Norman High senior has his sights set on more than just a repeat this year.
“I’d love to win another state title if I can,” he said. “My goal this year is to jump 16’2”, which is the school record.”
To accomplish that, Pasque said he’s working on his approach to the jump. If he can add some speed he’ll be better able to add some height to his jump. But he’s not in a rush to do so. After wrestling in the state tournament, Pasque is using Friday’s meet more to get back into track shape than to chase records.
“Wrestling is hard on your body, so I’m just letting myself heal up a little right now,” he said. “This meet I just want a solid performance; something to build on for the rest of the year.”
Gridiron to track: North track coach Mike Ramsey can’t remember the last time he had so many football players on the track team. But with almost a dozen on this year’s squad — one he believes can win a state title — Ramsey is adjusting quickly.
“It’s an interesting year for me having all of them out,” he said. “I haven’t had this many football players contribute in a long time, but I can’t say enough good about them. They’re all really good kids who work hard. My job is to just keep them from getting hurt and keep them running fast and turning left.”
Wahpepah-Harris out: Norman High’s Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris is out six to eight weeks with a stress fracture in his foot. Wahpepah-Harris won the 1600 and 3200 at last week’s meet at Putnam City West, but will not race Friday and will spend the next two months rehabbing instead.
Clash meeting moved up: There are several changes to the prep baseball schedule for the next week. Tuesday’s Crosstown Clash at Norman North has been moved up to 3:30 p.m. so players and fans will have time to make it to the Clash soccer game that follows.
The two teams will meet at 4:30 p.m. game Monday at NHS as originally scheduled.
The Tigers’ Thursday game against Noble has also been canceled due to the Bears’ state tournament basketball game the same night.
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