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October 27, 2012

Training time is over for North girls

NORMAN — The state cross country meet will be run today, with Class 6A starting at 2 p.m., and for the second straight year, there could be a Norman team walking away with a state championship.

Last year, it was the Norman High boys who took home a title behind senior Tanner Satterthwaite. And while the Tiger boys are expected to finish highly again this season, it is the Norman North girls that are a threat to challenge for a title.

The third-ranked Timberwolves, who won the regional meet by 25 spots after putting four runners into the top 10, are a young squad without a senior in the bunch, an oddity for a state-title contender. What makes this squad even more unique is there is no clearly defined pecking order. Several of the girls have finished with the team lead, and that depth is a big part of the team’s strength.

For instance, at regionals, North girls finished 4-5-6, with Abbey Mace, Isabella Rose and Rachel Chrisman taking those spots. The same three placed in the top seven at the Mid-State conference meet, but not in the same order.

“Out of the seven girls running, you never know who’s going to win,” coach Mike Ramsey said. “Any of those girls can be the best on any given day.”

Not having a clear top spot hasn’t hurt the T-Wolves. In fact, it’s driven their team to be even better, Belle Wallace said.

“It’s a mystery on who’s going to kick it up one day and run the best race,” she said. “It motivates us to push each other harder.”

That extra motivation has led to a big improvement this season, taking North from a top-five team to a squad with a chance to win it all.

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