After a pair of top three finishes at the Norman regional Saturday, the Guthrie cross country teams qualified for the state meet this weekend at Edmond Santa Fe.
Entering the regional as one of the heavy favorites, he LadyJays finished second overall, coming just behind Piedmont High School. It may have not been the finish the LadyJays might have wanted, but Guthrie Head Coach James Strahorn says it could be a blessing in disguise as the team enters their final week of the season.
“It was a good meet for us in a different way,” Strahorn said. “We didn’t win but that might be a good thing for us going into state this week. We came in a little too over confident and now it is going to be all about how we respond. You never want to run your best at regionals and we didn’t. That probably could’ve been the best thing to happen. I think this will help us come in a little bit more focused and locked in.”
Guthrie came in 36 points behind Piedmont in Norman. Mercy Dement was the only LadyJay to finish in the top 15, as she finished in second place with a time of 21:09.7. She finished behind Delani Crawford from Piedmont, the same girl Dement beat the week prior.
Allie Guggisberg finished in 17th place, Sierra Warner finished in 19th, Tori Wells in 20th, Josie Throckmorton in 31st, Abby Chalk in 40th, and Lauryn Downs in 62nd. Upset with their times, the LadyJays eventually took their finish in stride, finding ways to improve immediately after the race.
“Let’s just say the girls didn’t come around me for 30 minutes after it was over,” Strahorn said. “They were upset, but I told them that I was still proud of them. They can’t wait to get back out there, which is encouraging. Before I could even say anything to them, they were already thinking of ways they could’ve done better, like doing a better job of warming up. This week will be a big stage for them and I think they’ll be motivated to get back out there.”
The LadyJays have been one of the top teams in the state for the entire year. They will be one of the teams with a legitimate shot at winning it all this weekend. Strahorn says how his team responds from this performance will determine how good they really are.
“The sign of a good team is how they respond after a loss,” Strahorn said. “I told them that one week from this moment we could be standing around with these same sad faces or we could come back this week, put the work in and come back motivated and be as happy as we’ve been all season. We’ll find out how good of a team we are this weekend.”
The boys cross county team continues to make strides this season, as they finished in third place and look to be gelling at the right time.
Trevor Sallee led the way with a 12th place finish. Loren Huskey finished in 22nd, Mason Barney and JD Coonfield finished in 27th and 28th, respectively, and Grant Mayer finished in 34th.
“The boys are coming along at the right time,” Strahorn said. “They are putting it together going into the final week and I’m just really proud of them. I think they have a shot to do some really good things at state. I’m excited that I get all of them coming back next year, too.”
The state meet will take place at Edmond Santa Fe with the girls starting at 10 a.m. and the boys following at 10:45 a.m. Strahorn says it doesn’t matter where the two teams finish, as long as they run to the level that they are capable of.
“As long as they come out and try their hardest and give it their all, that’s all I can really ask for. This same team wasn’t even on anyone’s radar two years ago and now they have a chance to do really well at state. I really like the direction that our program is heading.”