As of three weeks ago, the Edmond Wolf Run wasn't even on the Heritage Hall cross country schedule.
But the late addition of one of the metro area's most competitive meets — known throughout the cross country community as the Dog Pack — didn't slow down coach David Crynes' runners.
Heritage Hall swept both the boys and girls titles in the small-school division of the meet for Class 4A and below last Saturday at Edmond Santa Fe High School.
“A lot of kids ran really well,” said Crynes, who coaches both teams. “From a scoring perspective, cross country is a team sport, and we had seven kids on each team run really good races.
“It gave us a lot of confidence coming out of that, because that's the state course for Class 4A.”
The Heritage Hall girls scored 44 points, with Hennessey second at 73. The Chargers were led by Lauren Roberts in fifth place at 13:06.82, Meredith Zerby in sixth at 13:14.35 and Renie Dolese in ninth at 13:48.40.
The boys showed strong depth as well, with four runners finishing in the top 12. T.J. Davies, Kyle McKinley, Ben White and Sam Corley all ran between 17:32 and 18:06 as the Chargers totaled 52 points. Anadarko was second with 68.
Initially, Heritage Hall was scheduled to run at Oklahoma Baptist University's meet on Saturday, which was held at the Class 3A state course at Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee.
When that race was put on the schedule, the Chargers thought they'd be competing in 3A this fall. But three weeks into the season, they got a call from the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association that the Chargers had been misclassified and were being moved up to 4A because of the private-school success rules implemented a few years ago.
Heritage Hall had been running in 4A the last few years, because that's where it belonged based on attendance. But the school's average daily attendance dropped the Charger cross country teams to 3A this year. Yet because the girls team finished in the top eight at state in 2008, 2011 and 2012, both teams were to be moved up in classification. But that was overlooked at the beginning of the year when classes were set.
Amy Cassell of the OSSAA said that as soon as they realized their error, they contacted Heritage Hall administration to make them aware of the change. They immediately apologized for the mistake and the apology was accepted.
The school agrees that 4A is where the teams belong, by rule, but wishes the mistake had been caught sooner.
“We had to change our schedule and add a couple meets, because the 4A season is a week longer. Our kids are missing more class than we usually do,” Crynes said. “Our girls and boys had a period of mental adjustment. Class 4A is so competitive with teams like Plainview, Metro Christian, Anadarko. But we've adjusted and reset our goals.
“We've got our work cut out for us, but our attitudes are in the right place.”