On the boys side, Deer Creek has a different kind of hunger in its drive to defend last year's title.
The boys team is balanced throughout, but strong in the sprints, led by senior Otugo Ananaba, who won gold and silver in the 100 and 200, respectively, at state last year.
The team has been driving since the winter to repeat on the 5A medal stand.
“Otugo has been out there working just about every day since December,” Riden said. “He's encouraging other guys and talking to the new guys about what it takes to get back there. And I've seen the same with the girls as well, Lillie and Kirsten, pushing the others.
“Even when the workouts are hard, you can see there is a resolve with these kids to get through it and get the job done.”
Key dates for the high school track and field season
March 14: Edmond Santa Fe Wolves Invitational
March 22: OU John Jacobs Invitational
April 12: Yukon Invitational
April 16: OBU Bison Invitational
April 18: Edmond North Track Classic
April 27: Regionals, Class A-4A
May 3-4: State, Class A-4A
May 4: Regionals, Class 5A-6A
May 10-11: State, Class 5A-6A
May 14: OTCA Meet of Champions