By CHRIS EDENS
Tristan Owens left the field in his dust on his way to a 4A cross country regional championship last weekend and the Mustangs qualified as a team for state.
The Oologah junior beat the second place finisher at ORU by 45 seconds in the 5k race. Owens posted a time of 16:39 for the win. Zach Black from Sallisaw finished second in 17:24 and Chase Brock from Jay took third at 17:27.
“Tristan’s time at the regional was amazing. He finished well ahead of the second place runner,” Oologah head coach Kyndall Chronister said.
Senior Kyle Dunse took fifth at regionals with a time of 17:51. Billy O’Dell finished 21st and Justin Morgan, Cole Reeves and Randy Greeves helped the Mustangs qualify for state as a team for the first time in twenty years. Oologah took seventh at the regional with 189 points.
“We told the boys what they needed to do to place at the regional and they went out there and got it done,” coach Chronister said. “As a team we’ll need to run a little better at state than we did at regionals, but we definitely have a chance to place.”
Junior Maddie Brooks made state on the girl’s team with a 14th place finish at regionals. Brooks had a time of 13:57 on the two mile course. This is Brooks’ first year running cross country.
“She’s been dropping minutes off her race time all season,” coach Chronister said. “She’s working on pacing herself but her competiveness is what got her a medal and got her to state.”
Owens won the conference championship Oct. 17 at Vinita and Dunse finished second.
“Kyle has been running well and he has several colleges recruiting him. His motivation has been trying to keep up with Tristan and match his times,” coach Chronister said.
The Oologah runners will compete at the state tournament Saturday atEdmondSanta FeHigh School. Owens won the pre-state 4A and 5A race on the same course atEdmond.
“Tristan should win state. His biggest competition is trying to beat his own time,” Chronister said.