NORMAN — Hayley Redwine rounded the final corner and picked up the pace for the final stretch of the race, pushing herself through the pain.
“I kept telling myself, ‘I’ve got to keep pushing it, got to keep pushing,’” she said after the race. “I told myself that they were close.”
But they weren’t. No one was, and the Norman High junior cruised to a 12-second victory at the Mid-State Conference cross country meet on Tuesday. Redwine finished with a time of 11:46 to lead NHS to a second-place finish.
“I ran the race I wanted to run, and I came in the place I wanted to be,” she said. “As a team, we’re improving and running faster every week.”
It was a strong performance from the Tigers, but it couldn’t match the one turned in by their cross-town competitors from Norman North.
All seven of North’s runners finished in the top 21 spots, and, led by Abbey Mace’s second-place finish, the Timberwolves finished 16 places ahead of NHS to claim the victory. It marked the first conference title in program history for the Timberwolves.
“The girls did awesome today,“ coach Mike Ramsey said. “Every superlative you can say, that’s how good they were.”
Westmoore, Edmond Memorial and Southmoore rounded out the top five in that order, while Moore came in sixth.
One of the strengths of North’s squad is its depth. Ramsey said he didn’t know from week to week which of his runners would finish the fastest, which is a good sign. The coach is pleased with where his team is heading into regionals next weekend and state the week after that.
“We don’t know the regional assignments yet, but I think we can be a top 3-4 team at state,” he said.