Several Oklahoma cross country squads will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday for the 24th annual Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival.
Among the Oklahoma schools that are entered include Bishop McGuinness, Deer Creek, Edmond Memorial, Edmond Santa Fe, Heritage Hall, Mustang, Santa Fe South and Stillwater.
More than 4,800 runners are expected to compete.
STATE MEET CARRIES PRESSURE
Mustang's girls captured the 6A pre-state meet on Friday at Edmond Santa Fe High School, the site of the state cross country meet on Oct. 27.
However, Mustang coach Mike McGarry said the pre-state meet is not a good indicator of how teams and individuals will run at the state cross country meet.
Runners have so much pressure and so much adrenaline at the state meet that you can't accurately predict how kids will perform, he said.
“The state race is just completely different,” he said. “You never know.”
There are seven girls in Class 6A that have posted times would be good enough to win the individual state championship, he said.
“There is not one clear-cut favorite going into state,” McGarry said.
Spectators at the Chili Pepper Cross Country Festival might do a double take when Heritage Hall runs by.
Among the Lady Chargers' top eight runners are two sets of twins: Liesl and Renie Dolese and Madison and Morgan Garrett.
“I'm getting a little better keeping them all separate,” Heritage Hall coach David Crynes said.
OKLAHOMA MIGHT COPY TEXAS
It is possible Oklahoma might do like Texas where the larger schools run a 5K in girls cross country and the smaller schools keep the shorter distance of two miles, said Ron Etheridge of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.