By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
EDMOND — Hayley Redwine started the race near the middle of the pack. She stayed there for the half of the meet, passing the mile mark in 10th place.
But she didn’t finish there.
The Norman High runner made a second-half push to make up ground, and she was rewarded with a third-place finish at the Class 6A state cross country meet at Edmond Santa Fe on Saturday.
Redwine headlined a successful day for both Norman schools, clocking in at 11:35 to finish on the podium, while the Norman North girls put three in the top 20 to finish in third place.
“I’m really happy with my performance today,” she said after the meet. “I ran the race I wanted to today and finished in the time I wanted.”
Redwine wasn’t the only Norman runner to place highly on Saturday. Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris came in third for NHS on the boys’ side, finishing in 15:40 to lead a NHS squad that was running its seven fastest runners for the first time this season. The NHS boys finished in fourth place a year after winning the state title, while the girls took fifth. It was the highest combined finish for both NHS teams.
“Mackenzie did well today and ran a great race,” coach Scott Monnard said. “I think the fourth and fifth-place finishes say a lot about our program and how far it’s come.”
North’s girls came into the event with hopes of winning the title, but luck wasn’t with them. Elise Base lost her shoe less than a mile into the event and had to finish without it, while Rachel Chrisman developed a stitch in her side near the final stretch, falling from the top 15 into 36th place. It was an unfortunate turn of events for North, which finished just 20 places short of winner Jenks, while Mustang took second place.
“Obviously our goal was to win it all, but it’s hard to say you haven’t had a good year when you finish in the top three,” coach Mike Ramsey said. “It shows how much of a team sport this really is. The good news is we will have everyone back next year, with a year more of experience under their belts. They knocked on the door this year, and next year I feel like they’ll be ready to kick it down.”
A pleasant surprise at the meet came from North’s Ben Barrett, who finished in 13th place.
The sophomore has steadily improved all season and finished Saturday with a time of 16:15.
“Ben ran a really good race today,” Ramsey said. “To finish in 13th is great for him.”
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