NORMAN — Two years ago, at long last, the Norman High boys claimed a state cross country championship, their first since 1977.
The Tigers are still plenty good and proved it with a fifth-place finish in their own OK Runner Classic, one of the largest meets in the state, held Friday at the NHS cross country course behind Irving Middle School.
Yet, while the Tigers prepare to earn another trip to the state meet, it was the Norman North boys who proved they might be ready to finish in front of their crosstown rivals when the postseason arrives, and it was the Norman North girls who proved they’ll be looking to win it all when the times comes in late October.
Though Edmond North’s Jaci Smith ran the shorter girls course in 11:50 and will be an individual state-title contender when the time comes, it was still the Timberwolves who posted second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes, not to mention eighth- and 12th-place finishes to absolutely run away with the crown, making a loud statewide announcement along the way.
After Smith finished, Abbey Mace was next only 2 seconds behind. Then came Isabella Rose in 11:55 and Belle Wallace in 12:00. Sheridan Spellman (12:17) and Rachel Christman (12:38) also counted for the T-Wolves.
In prep cross country, a team’s finish is determined by the sum of the places of its top five runners. By finishing second, third, fourth, eighth and 12th, North posted an amazing score of 29.
Edmond North was next at 98, with the NHS girls third at 102. For comparison purposes, the boys team title was claimed by Deer Creek with a score of 104.
“It’s confirmation that what we’re doing in practice is working,” Mace said.
The T-Wolves have a feeling this could be their year and still, proving it is an entirely different feeling.