The Norman North girls cross country team dominated at the Class 6A championship last season.
The Timberwolves had four girls place in the top 12 and finished with 51 points, 67 better than second-place Norman High.
While three of the team’s top four runners have graduated, Norman North isn’t expecting to take a big step backward.
“The girls lost some huge team leaders,” said coach Jonathan Koscinski. “We’re hoping that our set of seniors this year can step it up and carry this group. We’ve got three freshmen that are going to be really good. I see them all having the capability of being top 20 or so contenders at state.”
Isabella Rose is the top returnee after finishing sixth in the state last season. Madeline Brown, who was 26th in the state in 2013, is also expected to lead the way this season.
MUSTANG GIRLS TAKING ‘TOGETHER’ APPRAOCH
Mustang’s Kyra Fuller is expected to be among the top runners in Class 6A once again this season.
In her quest to improve from fourth last season to state champion as a senior, Fuller believe the Broncos’ close-knit team is one of her most important assets.
“Our team has been running in a group this year,” Fuller said. “I think that helps you bring your pack closer together and makes you faster.”
Mustang coach Vickie Bailey says Fuller gives the younger girls on the team someone to look up to as a leader, but Fuller doesn’t see herself as more important than the rest of the team.
“Everyone on the team sort of works as a leader,” Fuller said. “I don’t like the people who are bossy and have to tell others what to do, but we don’t have to do that when we’re all doing things together like we are and we all enjoy it.”
NUMBERS STAY STRONG AT WESTMOORE
The cross country program at Westmoore continues to remain popular under Laura Clay, who is in her 24th season as the school’s coach.
“We’re really lucky because I have kids that continually come out year after year,” said Clay, who is a member of the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame. “I was a little concerned this year with the girls moving to a 5K that my numbers would drop off, but I’m still right at 25 or 30 on both the boys and girls. We’ve also got 30 or 40 in junior high, so being up around 90 kids for our whole program is something I feel really good about.”
Last week, the Westmoore boys and girls took the team title in the 5A/6A varsity 5K at Carl Albert. The girls had all of the top-five placers, led by sophomore Elizabeth Redlinger’s 20:18.79 in first, and the boys were led by junior Garrett Elmore’s fourth-place finish.