Owasso’s cross country team ran their way to the state championship on Nov. 10 earning the respect of all competitors.
In fact, the team sort of burned the others out in the process.
“We knew the people we had to beat and went out and beat them,” said Coach Dub Raper. This is the first time this year everyone run as hard as they could in a single contest. The Rams went out and beat the teams they knew they had to beat, he added.
But run they did. During the first one and one-half miles, the Owasso squad ran one and two. Joe Clardy was first and Mark Young was second.
Raper said they set a good pace for everyone in the contest because Danny Hightower was fifth, Frank Beil, 10th, and Doug Worley was 15th.
During the last part of the three-mile race other individuals passed the Ram runners, but their total points didn’t make any difference to the championship runners.
As the race ended, Young was fourth with a time of 15:05 for the three mile course while Clardy was sixth with a time of 16 minutes flat. Beil was 15th; Hightower, 18th and Worley 31st.
Worley wasn’t supposed to be in the race, Raper said. He had cracked a bone in his foot earlier and the doctor wanted to put the foot in a cast. However, Doug talked the doctor out of it and it was taped real well. When Worley went back to the doctor following the race, the doctor advised to keep the foot taped rather than put it in a cast, the coach added.
Two Ram runners made all-state as a result of their efforts. Young and Clardy were among the top runners to finish thereby earning the honor, it was noted.
Graduation will hit the cross country ranks hard, Raper said. The four that will be lost including Worley, Beil, Hightower and Young.
But there are younger runners coming along, Raper said.
Evaluating the season, the coach noted that when the competition ended last year the cross country team realized they could win state if they put forth the effort.
As the season progressed this year they got better and better and earned the state championship in 3A.
Oklahoma City Cassady finished second and Bishop Kelley was third in the state.