The No. 2 ranked Guthrie LadyJays did it again. For the first time since 2003, the girls cross country team won the Suburban Conference meet in back to back seasons. The LadyJays edged out Piedmont by six points, winning with a team score of 34 points.
The LadyJays have now won half of the meets they have competed in this year, winning four out of eight.
“We had a pretty good day,” Guthrie Head Coach James Strahorn said. “It was a really tight race. Piedmont is a good team and we had a really good showing by Josie Throckmorton who helped us close it out. This is back to back conference championships for us. It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that.”
Mercy Dement led the way for Guthrie, winning the race with a time of 19:35.7, edging out Piedmont’s Delanie Crawford. It was Dement’s third win in row.
“Mercy is on a roll right now,” Strahorn said. “She’s running well and she will have a chance to win the next two meets, as well.”
Allie Guggisberg and Tori Wells finished in fourth and fifth place, edging out Piedmont’s next two finishers, helping Guthrie to distance themselves with the Lady Wildcats in the team score.
Sierra Warner finished in the top 10, edging out Piedmont’s Lexi Meier for ninth place with a time of 21:30.2.
With four of the five runners in for both Guthrie and Piedmont, the LadyJays held a 19-26 point advantage. Piedmont’s Naia Shepherd was the first to cross the finish line, bringing their point total to 40. Freshman Josie Throckmorton was the next to cross, doing so in 22:09.3, giving Guthrie the victory with 34 points.
Abby Chalk and Lauryn Downs finished in 18th and 22nd place, respectively.
“The third, fourth, and fifth runners are the ones that are going to win the meets for you,” Strahorn said. “Mercy can go out and finish first every time, but it takes a strong five girls to win and we feel like we have five or six and it showed.”
The cross country teams will now look towards regionals next weekend in Norman. The No. 2 LadyJays will be favored to win it, but they’ll have to beat Piedmont again to claim their first regional championship since 2003.
“We’re focused on the regional meet,” Strahorn said. “We’ll probably be the one expected to win it going in. We’ve been ranked number two all year, but that doesn’t mean anything. There are a ton of teams out there that want to beat us. Just because we’ve had success this year doesn’t mean they are just going to hand it to us. We will have to go out there and earn it.”
Guthrie will be traveling back to the Norman regional again this season. Last year, the LadyJays finished in second place. Now with more experience and riding a hot streak, they’ll look to finish a spot higher.
“Norman isn’t a fast course and it’s not a slow course, it’s somewhere in between,” Strahorn said. “It’s a two loop course, which is okay. We finished second last year and it was great. The girls before every meet always ask what their time needs to be, but at the end of the day, this comes down to placement. It doesn’t matter what time you run, it’s all about where you finish. We feel like we have as good as shot as anyone. We just have to go out and do our best.”
Guthrie will travel to the Norman regional Saturday, Oct. 20th. Time TBD.