Beggs' Regan Ward named All-Metro Girls Cross Runner of Year
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
12/21/11 at 3:23 AM
BEGGS - Regan Ward finds ways to separate herself from the pack even when the cross country season is over.
"I think offseason is the most important time because that's when the other girls maybe aren't running," Ward said. "It's like you're getting even more ahead."
A junior at Beggs, Ward trained all summer in preparation for this season, and it paid off with six gold medals.
Despite battling sickness in the end of the season, she placed third at state behind a 2-mile time of 12:13.00 in Class 3A and earned the honor of Tulsa World All-Metro Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year.
"When I first started running in my high school career, I thought it would be so awesome to go undefeated," she said. "But after you start running and get in these races, you can't win every race.
"But I think the losses made me stronger and I learned something from every loss."
Ward has been running for six years and won the 3A title in 2009. She also is a two-time state track champion in the 800 and 1,600.
"It never gets old because there's always something to look forward to," she said. "You can always get better."
Part of what pushes Ward is the amount of area talent.
"Just knowing that you're not going to get a break from them ... you have to push yourself every day because you know they're out there," she said.
Whereas most other schools have a full team of runners, Beggs has only a couple.
"It really does make a difference not to have a team," Ward said. "There's not as many girls to train with and you don't have that 'let's make it as a team' (attitude), so it kind of makes me focus more on myself in cross country."
Ward draws inspiration from Steve Prefontaine, a former American record-setting distance runner who died in a car accident at age 24. Her favorite quotes of his are "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift" and "Somebody may beat me, but they are going to have to bleed to do it."
"Everyone has talent that they can use," Ward said. "If you work hard, you can do whatever you want with it. You can just strive to be the best you can be."
Ward, who is leaning toward staying in state for college but keeping her options open, is looking forward to the upcoming track season and then her final high school season of cross country and track.
"She's had a wonderful career so far," Beggs coach Gerard Alexander said. "I haven't had a distance kid that works as hard and is as dedicated.
"She dedicates herself to being the absolute best and we hope it continues to pay off for her."
Original Print Headline: Preparation pays off
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452
Beggs junior Regan Ward won six times this past season and finished third at state in Class 3A. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World