Eureste, Bishop Kelley add to 5A state championship collections
Ella Eureste and Bishop Kelley once again left the rest of the Class 5A field in the dust on Saturday.
The Comets sophomore clocked a time of 19 minutes, 15 seconds as she claimed her second consecutive individual state championship. Eureste was one of five Kelley runners who finished in the top 10, as the Comets cruised to a third consecutive girls team title at Edmond Santa Fe High School.
Kelley accumulated 25 team points. OKC Bishop McGuinness was second with 107.
“It’s amazing,” Eureste said. “We’ve worked so hard and everything came together. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Kelley junior Abigail Hills was just behind Eureste in third with a time of 19:33, followed by teammates Sara Crosley (fifth, 19:59), Katherine Bishop (sixth, 20:02) in sixth and Alexandra Borovich (10th, 20:24), as Kelley runners accounted for half of the all-state spots in the race.
Kelley coach Terry Stupp said claiming a third title in as many seasons required some new faces to perform on the biggest stage.
“Our No. 3 girl (Hills) was out injured last year, so this was new for her,” Stupp said. “For Ella to win the second time and still run as well was she did, that’s amazing. We had three girls that didn’t run here last year with us. It was a new experience.”
The Comets notched their fifth team title in school history. With Crosley as the only senior on the roster, Kelley figures to be a favorite to add to its state championship total in 2020.
“It’s a pretty good future,” Stupp said with a grin.
Claremore puts 2 on podium
Seniors Laynie Nichols and Jack Vincent concluded their cross country careers with memorable performances in the 5A races. Nichols finished second, just behind Eureste, and Vincent placed fourth in the boys race.
Nichols clocked a time of 19:25 and concluded her career with two state championships and two additional all-state finishes.
“I’m pretty happy with how high school went for me,” said Nichols, who will run at NCAA Division II Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, next year.
Vincent was the top local finisher in the boys race with a time of 16:30, which gave him a second consecutive fourth-place finish at state.
“It’s not bad, but I was definitely hoping for more,” Vincent said. “I wasn’t worried about time. I was more focused on place.”
Hales takes second
Bartlesville senior Spencer Hales finished second in the 6A boys race with a time of 16:02, behind only Mustang’s Gabe Simonsen, who clocked a time of 15:39. Hales, who was part of the Bruins’ 2017 state championship team, was aiming to become Bartlesville’s first individual boys champion since Joey McNair in 1999.
Union’s Shawn Rutledge and Andrew Laffita of Jenks earned All-State honors along with Hales. Rutledge finished seventh with a time of 16:24 and Laffita was ninth in 16:25.
Back-to-back x 3
Three of the four individual champions in the state meet defended their crowns Saturday, the most repeat winners between the two classifications in five years.
Kelley’s Euereste won her second straight girls 5A ttile. On the boys’ side, Simonsen won his second straight 6A crown, as did Santa Fe South’s Christian Arenivar in 5A.