NORMAN — As the track season progresses, it’s become clear that both Norman High and Norman North have a number of athletes capable of competing for state titles.
At the top of that list is North’s Haley Woodard. The sophomore recorded the state’s best time this year in the 400 on Friday, running a 56.31 to best the previous time by almost a full second.
“She also ran the relays for us and we got points in both of those,” coach Mike Ramsey said. “It was her third meet of the year, and she’s just getting better and better. There’s nothing more to say about her than has already been said. She’s fabulous.”
But Woodard isn’t the only one who will threaten for a state title. Norman High’s Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris and North’s Ben Barrett are at the top of the list in the 1600- and 3200-meter races, and NHS’ Colin Pasque is the favorite to win the pole vault.
In addition, the Tigers also have a number of throwers who expect to be in the mix come the state tournament, and they took a step toward that goal in an impressive performance at the Yukon meet on Friday.
“We had a couple of kids throw 50 feet, which is a milestone we try to achieve,” coach Sonny Feexico said. “We still have a lot of young kids improving and that’s what we want. We’re excited about that heading into regionals in a couple of weeks and state after that.”
Tennis Tigers improving: The Norman High boys took second at the Mid-State conference tennis tournament on Saturday in an event that was originally scheduled for two weeks ago.
The Tigers took second overall with 25 points, finishing behind Edmond Memorial, which took first with 34. NHS’ Jeff McKnight took second in 2 singles, while the 2 doubles team also finished second. North finished sixth at the event with the one doubles team advancing to the finals.
On the girls’ side, Gabby Schreiner finished highest, taking second for the Tigers.
Chance to shine: When the Tigers head to Oklahoma Baptist University for a meet on Tuesday, Feexico knows it can be about more than just one meet.
“We get to go there and showcase our kids a little bit for the OBU coaches,” he said. “It gives them a chance to see what we have and maybe one of our kids might get lucky and get noticed.”
With a number of his athletes setting personal bests on Friday, Feexico hopes that they’ll continue to improve at the meet, and possibly turn in a performance that could turn into a scholarship.
Ahearn still going: NHS’ Patrick Ahearn made his emotional return to the track a week ago, receiving a prosthetic limb made for running after losing part of his leg in a boating accident last summer, and the NHS senior hasn’t stopped.
He competed in the 800 on Friday, turning in a time just over three minutes in a race that was more difficult physically than the one he competed in last week.
“I know it can be tough for him to run those longer distances, but he’s a go-getter and wanted to do the 800,” Feexico said. “He did a great job and ran really well. We’re looking to see if he can break that three-minute mark in the 800.”
Regional on tap: Regional track assignments will be announced on Tuesday on the OSSAA’s website, and T-Wolves and Tigers will be watching closely from their meets.
“It’s an exciting part of the season, figuring out how you stack up against the other teams in your region,” Feexico said. “We’ll be at the meet and probably checking the website over and over. Then once we find out, we’ll come up with a gameplan to qualify as many kids as you can for state.”