The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

October 13, 2012

Trojan harriers eye regional title

ENID, Okla. — No. 2-ranked Oklahoma Bible Academy will get a major test today at the Class 3A regional cross country meet at Crosslin Park.

The 3A girls will run at 10 a.m., followed by the 3A boys at 10:45, the 2A girls at noon and the 2A boys at 12:45.

The top five teams and top five individuals from non-qualifying teams will advance to next week’s state championships in Shawnee.

OBA’s boys will be chased by No. 4 Jones and No. 5 Chandler in the 3A meet.

“There will probably be about six points separating the top three teams,’’ said OBA coach Clellie Richards. “It’s going to be extremely close.’’

The Trojans have finished ahead of every team in 3A in meets this season, except for No. 1 Plainview.

OBA has a strong 1-2 punch in Merritt Suenram and Blaine Whitson, who were 1-2 at the Chisholm Invitational last week at Crosslin. They will be joined by Logan Jantz, Carson Combest, Chase Wehrenberg, Issac Harris and Josh Barnthouse.

Chandler’s Chris Lowery, the defending state champion, is the individual favorite. Richards calls him one of the top three runners in the state, regardless of class.

“If our No. 3 can beat the other two teams’ No. 3, I think we have a good shot at it,’’ Richards said.

The OBA girls will go with a lineup of Ryan Turpin, Kelsey Glazier, Molly Payne, Katie Irwin, Hope Shreve, Callie Watkins and Madison Camp.

Richards said the Lady Trojans should be in a battle with four or five other teams for the No. 4 and No. 5 spots. No. 3 Hennessey, No. 4 Jones and No. 9 Perry are the team favorites. Hennessey is the defending Class 2A state champion. The Lady Eagles’ Cheyenne Choate won the 2A individual state crown last fall.

OBA received a boost when Shreve and Watkins came out after softball was over. The two have “worked really hard’’ to get into shape, Richards said.

Turpin, Glazier and Payne, OBA’s top three runners, have recorded personal best times the last two meets.

“If we run well, I’m pretty confident,’’ Richards said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily an advantage for us to be running at Crosslin. Sometimes, you like to have the kids on a bus before a meet so you know what they are doing.’’

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