NORMAN — Norman North stood atop the cross country world a year ago. The girls’ team won the state title going away while Ben Barrett walked away an individual champion on the boys’ side. It was a fitting end to the career of longtime coach Mike Ramsey, who coached both teams as they continually improved before taking down the titles.
Ramsey stepped down at the end of the academic year, but not much else as changed around the program.
Jonathan Koscinski has been coaching at North for five years and was tabbed to take over the program heading into next season. His goal so far has been simple: Keep things familiar for the athletes.
“I’m just trying to have the kids not miss a beat,” Koscinski said. “I want to continue what coach Ramsey did and have that continuity. We had so much success with him, why change it if it’s not broken?”
It’s an approach that could pay off for the T-Wolves again next season.
While several of the girls from the state title group graduated, more return and Koscinski is excited about the talent he has in the program.
On the boys’ side he said North would be loaded, led by returning champion Barrett.
And one athlete who hasn’t missed a single step is Barrett.
The senior has been competing in off-season events around the country and has acquitted himself well, setting new personal bests along the way including a mile time on at a race on Thursday that would give Barrett the state record had it been run in Oklahoma.
“He has basically continued on the same exact training program we had him on all spring,” Koscinski said. “He hasn’t missed a beat.
“He’s got the New Balance nationals in North Carolina in two weeks, then he gets to take a little bit of a break.”