After finishing second last year to Edmond Santa Fe's Arya Bahreini in the Class 6A state cross country championship, Noah Gade of Stillwater was determined that 2012 would be his year.
“Last year, I was chasing Arya and Tanner (Satterwhaite of Norman) most of the year,” Gade said.
“I saw Arya win it last year and Tanner my sophomore year. That was definitely something I wanted to do as well. I knew that was the next step and if I were to keep improving, that's where I could potentially be this year.”
Gade accomplished his goal, winning the 6A state cross country championship and is The Oklahoman's All-City Cross Country Boys' Runner of the Year.
Gade's personal best in the 5K is 15:30. Last week, he gave a verbal commitment to Oklahoma State University, which just won its third cross country national championship in four years on Saturday.
Gade chose OSU over Oklahoma, Florida, Tulsa and the University of Portland.
“I felt really comfortable with the coaching staff at Oklahoma State and especially felt they could get me to where I want to go with my college career, because they have done it with so many other runners,” Gade said.
But before OSU, Gade will turn his attention to the spring track season, where he hopes to win his first state track championship.
Gade will be the favorite to win the 3,200-meter run after capturing the state cross country title. He finished fifth in 3,200-meter run last year in the state track meet.
“Last year I was expected to do better than fifth and I let the pressure get to me a little bit,” Gade said. “I think that experience helped me this fall and hopefully will this spring at well.”