Oklahoma City Public Schools athletic director Keith Sinor dug deep to find the best ways for coaches and administrators to protect the district's student-athletes against the heat. On Monday night, he was to share that information with the Oklahoma City Board of Education.
The guidelines Sinor laid out in a four-page document addressing how high school and junior high coaches should monitor heat, water breaks and practice length were passed down to the schools in the summer. But Sinor took Monday's opportunity to inform the board.
“We're presenting it to the Board of Education just to let them know what we're doing to address heat concerns, and if they're asked what Oklahoma City is doing, they'll know these guidelines are in place,” Sinor said before the meeting Monday.
Sinor's research for the guidelines included calling multiple schools in Texas, the Korey Stringer Institute and medical personnel at the University of Oklahoma. All of them pointed Sinor toward monitoring heat index.
The guidelines involve various stages of practice limitations based on the heat index, including no padded football practices if the heat index is above 110 degrees, and no outdoor practice or game of any kind if the heat index is above 115.
It also addresses practice lengths, regularity of breaks and availability of water.
The document offers a separate set of guidelines for junior high athletics with lower heat index levels.
U.S. GRANT SNAPS SKID
It took an extra night to get the game in, but it was worth the wait for U.S. Grant.
The Generals snapped a 29-game losing streak with a 12-6 win over Capitol Hill on Saturday night.
Wind snapped power lines near Speegle Stadium on Friday, so the game had to be moved back one night.
The Generals (1-1) used a strong rushing attack that included Lawrence Pullen racking up 131 yards on 18 carries and Wesley Sanchez adding 78 yards rushing along with a 37-yard reception.
Sanchez also intercepted two passes, and Kimako Thompson picked off one, returning it for a touchdown. Charles Clawson helped the cause with a pair of quarterback sacks.
U.S. Grant will go for its second straight win at Centennial on Friday. The Generals' last multiple-win season came in 2003, when they went 4-6, their last season in Class 5A.
WESTMOORE, EDMOND MEMORIAL WIN OK RUNNER CLASSIC
It was an impressive performance for Westmoore's girls and Edmond Memorial's boys in the OK Runner Classic in Norman.
Westmoore coach Laura Clay admitted she was surprised that her girls' cross country squad won Friday's meet, led by Alex Scott's fourth-place finish.
The Jaguars' Shelby Miller, Savanna Waddell and Amber Durrett finished 11, 12 and 14 in the race as Westmoore edged preseason favorite Mustang for the team title.
“They are a bunch of pretty tough ole' girls, that is what I learned,” Clay said. “It was pretty hot.”
The temperature reached 105 for Friday's race. Had the heat index risen another degree, the meet would have been canceled, she said.
“It's a good indicator of where you stand,” Clay said of Friday's races, which were held on the site of the west regional. “This is awfully early in the season and everybody is going to keep improving. I wouldn't go as far to say we are the best team out there or the best team on this side of the state, but we sure ran good Friday.”
In the individual competition, Edmond North sophomore Jaci Smith defeated defending 6A state champ Emily Helms of Mustang by seven seconds.
On the boys' side, Edmond Memorial runners (Alex Shook, Seth Hammond, Chris Ebert and Gabe Thompson) finished second through fifth to lead the Bulldogs to the team crown. Norman's MacKenzie Wahpepah won the boys' 5K.
DOGPACK TO FEATURE 5K RUN FOR TOP FEMALE RUNNERS
Edmond Santa Fe High School is hosting the 19th annual Dogpack cross country meet Friday, and for the first time, the girls will be running a 5K just like the boys.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association is considering changing the distance of girls' cross country races from 2 miles to 3.1 miles next year. That would make the girls' course slightly more than a mile longer and the same distance as the boys.
Santa Fe coach Kurt Thomas said Friday's 5K for girls is sort of a test run.
“They (OSSAA) are trying to implement it a couple of times this year to prepare for next year,” Thomas said. “I think we are the only state that hasn't gone to a 5K or a 4K for girls.”
Thomas said most cross country coaches support the change, although a few at smaller schools object because some of their cross country runners also play other fall sports.
“They are concerned it will make it tougher on them,” he said.
Going to a 5K for girls also will make it easier for college coaches to evaluate high school runners, Thomas said.
Teams in Friday's Dogpack are expected to enter only their best runners in the girls 5K. Another girls race at the normal cross country distance of 2 miles also is scheduled.
The Dogpack usually has about 1,000 runners, Thomas said.
BY SCOTT WRIGHT AND ED GODFREY