The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 11, 2013

EHS’ Lofton nearly a champ at state track

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

YUKON, Okla. — Alex Lofton had a day of almosts Saturday at the Class 6A state track championships.

The Enid senior came within six-hundredths of a second of being the first Plainsman state champion since 2001 and the school record holder in the 400 meters.

Lofton (49.06) and teammate Seth Handley (49.71) were second and third in the 400 meters behind Broken Arrow’s Cre Moore (49.01).

“He (Moore) just out-leaned us at the tape,’’ said EHS coach Joe Miranov. “Alex ran a great race. He came from behind. Usually in the sprints, it just comes down to who out-leans who.

“Those three just out ran the rest of the field. Seth ran a great race. I don’t think we have ever had two in the top three in the 400 meters before. That’s a great accomplishment.’’

Lofton just missed Travis Richardson’s school record of 49 seconds, which has held up since 1992.

Lofton’s second-place finish gives him an automatic berth for the Meet of Champions Tuesday at Yukon. Four at-large entrants will be added. Miranov said Handley’s time should be good enough to get a bid.

The 1,600-meter relay team of Handley, Raheem Mitchell, Alex McCoy and Lofton was fourth in 3:25.65, finishing behind Broken Arrow (3:24.17), Yukon (3:24.56) and Jenks (3:25.01). EHS had the fastest qualifying time with a 3:23.24.

A Broken Arrow runner cut in front of McCoy on the third leg exchange “which hampered our exit,’’ Miranov said. The Plainsmen dropped to sixth at the time.

“It’s hard to come back when you have a standing start,’’ Miranov said.”McCoy did a great job getting us back in and Lofton had a strong finish to give us fourth.

“I know it’s a bit disappointing to the guys. This isn’t any sour grapes — getting cut off like that is part of the competition — but it is hard to take. The guys did run a super race and I’m glad to see them at the podium.’’

The EHS boys have not won an event at the state meet since taking the gold in the 400-meter relay with DeAundrae Dority, Wayne Morris, James Baldwin and Ryan Few, who had a school record 41.93 in 2001.

Enid sophomore Macy Adams tied for third in the girls high jump with a season-best leap of 5-2. Adams had gone 5-0 in seven of the Pacers’ previous nine meets.