NORMAN — Ben Barrett is already a state champion in Oklahoma. The Norman North senior won the state meet this year and was a cross country champion as well while watching the girls’ team at North take the team title to give state titles to both programs in coach Mike Ramsey’s last year at the helm.
Soon Barrett may have a state record to go along with his title.
Since winning the state meet, Barrett has competed in a series of national races available to some of the top talent in the country. That included the Festival of Miles race in St. Louis on Thursday, a mile-long race that pitted Barrett against some of the top runners in the nation.
The result was a personal best for Barrett, a time of 4:12.89, a full second better than the previous state record held by Chance Rush. It was a time good enough to place Barrett into 10th place at the event.
The time won’t count as a state record for Barrett because it was run outside of Oklahoma. But it’s a full four seconds better than his previous best of 4:16.87 that he won the state meet with, and it’s a time that will give him the state record if he can duplicate it in his senior year.
Copeland steps down at NHS: There will now be two new coaches at the first girls’ basketball Crosstown Clash a few months from now.
North’s Jeff Blough stepped down at the end of the season. Rory Hamilton, who previously coached the Mount St. Mary girls to back-to-back state tournaments, will fill that position. And filling his position at St. Mary will be Nichole Copeland, who stepped down as head coach at Norman High to take the job.
NHS officials are still looking for candidates to fill the position. Whoever they hire will take over a team that has struggled in recent years but seemed to turn a corner last season with wins over several ranked opponents. The Tigers also return several starters from a young squad, including sophomore Bethany Franks, the team’s second-leading scorer a year ago.