By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Stillwater Pioneers and Lady Pioneers cross country teams may not have faced a large amount of competition or ran against top-notch teams at Oklahoma State University’s cross country course. Tuesday’s meet did give the Stillwater squads a good feeling about regionals as both teams finished first.
“The competition wasn’t that tough but we ran very well, no matter what,” Stillwater coach Dan Zeroski said. “Just gives them motivation going into regionals. They are going to see these teams at regionals.”
The Pioneers had five runners finish in the top seven and easily took first with 19 points to Enid’s 54. Ponca City finished third with 63. Senior Zach Porterfield won the three-mile race with a time of 17:36. Jay Ogle finished second with a time of 18:11 and Bo Frohock followed with a time of 18:52. John Saunder and Brett Zachary finished the scoring by finishing sixth and seventh. Porterfield said the team ran a good race.
“I ran by myself for the last two miles,” Porterfield said. “The first mile, Stillwater went out in a pack and ran together.”
The Lady Pioneers produced similar results as five runners finished in the top eight with Elise Rackley leading the way with a second-place finish at 13:35. Catherine Petty wasn’t far behind at 13:56 and in fourth, Angela Fitch finished fifth (14:05), Abby Evans took sixth (14:06) and Jordan Lebeaux finished eighth (14:46). Rackley said she tried catching the first-place runner, who was from Enid.
“I did my best, it was kind of a hard day for me,” Rackley said. “It’s so cold.”
Stillwater finished with 25 points edging out Enid’s 36. Ponca City finished third with 94 points. The next meet up for the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers is regionals at Oral Roberts University on Oct. 26. Both Rackley and Porterfield are confident that their teams are ready.
“I think the team is ready if we keep working hard and pushing each other, which is what we did today,” Rackley said.
“The main competition we are looking it is Broken Arrow and Jenks, who is on a different planet,” Porterfield said. “Other than that we are looking pretty good.”
The most important thing about Tuesday’s meet for Zeroski was that his teams ran good times.
“The varsity boys top five all ran together then separated after that,” Zeroski said. “I’m trying to pull those guys out faster and get faster times. It worked out well for us. ... “I don’t care what we place, just that we ran with good effort.”
Zeroski said he feels good about how they ran and thinks they will be ready after 10 more days of training.
“There’s a good chance that both of our teams will get in (state),” Zeroski said. “That’s our goal. The boys are favorite to get in and the girls are on the bubble right now.”