The Norman Transcript


April 19, 2014

North’s Barrett on track for great stuff

NORMAN — It was after the guy working the PA at John Jacobs Field Friday afternoon understood The Norman Transcript was in the house when he began singing the praises of Norman North’s Ben Barrett.

The guy with the microphone was going on about the mile Barrett had just won. 

The North junior figuratively lapped the field, finishing in 4:19.63, almost 151⁄2 seconds faster than Duncan’s Matt Bivens. 

The kid looked like Secretariat out there, only it didn’t take him half the race to separate himself.

“I wanted to make sure that the pace wasn’t too slow,” Barrett said later.

The problem with the PA guy’s take, though, was that he really had no idea what Barrett accomplished Friday.

Probably, nobody could.

The PA guy needed enlightening, and maybe everybody else should pay attention, too, because what this kid’s doing is approaching stranger-than-fiction status.

The mile is the 1600. 

Or, put another way, it’s 3400 meters shorter than the race Barrett won last fall, when he became Class 6A’s cross country champ.

Pretty impressive. 

The guy blows everybody away in a much longer race across natural terrain — by 10 seconds — in the fall and then blows them away in a much shorter race on the track, in a time that would have won last year’s state meet by 41⁄2 seconds, in the spring.

But that’s not all.

The first thing Barrett ran Friday was the 3,200 relay. He ran the first leg of it, which just happens to be 800 meters, which just happens to be 800 meters less than a mile and 4200 meters less than he ran to claim the cross country crown.

And while his split, exactly, isn’t known, and while, if he’d been running the straight up 800, he would have pushed to the finish rather than slowed slightly to hand the baton off to a teammate, North track coach Mike Riley knows about what Barrett’s split was.

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