The two-time defending 5A state champion, Guthrie BlueJay cross country team, finally meet their match at this years state meet. However, head coach Clay Tarter could not have been more proud of his team.
The Antlers finished with a team score of 37 points followed by Guthrie (81), Tahlequah (103), Guymon (143) and Tulsa Memorial (144).
All seven of the Guthrie runners set personal records in the race, including Jonathan Ogan and Walker Cross, who finished second and third, respectively, in the race to earn All-State status.
Tarter, despite not winning a third straight state title, was very much pleased with the way his team ran.
“Very proud. Deer Creek is loaded and really good. We kept seeing how good Deer Creek was our goal was to see if we can beat Tahlequah,” Tarter said.
Tahlequah just a week ago out ran Guthrie for the regional championship and aided in the approach the Jays took for the state-run.
“Tahlequah has a really balance team, but we knew we were better than what we did last week,” Ogan said.
Ogan earned his second All-State achievement with a time of 16:12 and perhaps earned some bragging rights in his family. Jason and Jared Ogan (Jonthan’s older twin brothers) helped the Jays win back-to-back titles and each earn their All-State status in 2009.
“I have had a very blessed life and had the benefit of my brothers pushing me in my sophomore season and helping us win state that first year,” Jon Ogan said.
Following Ogan in the state race was Cross’ 16:15. Cross earned his first All-State honor after just missing out a year ago in 11th place. Cross became the programs (boys and girls combined) 38 All-State athlete. The top 10 finishers are considered All-State.
“It was pretty awesome,” Cross said of his All-State performance. “Just to know I was that much better than a lot of great runners.”
Tarter was quick to mention what career’s both Ogan and Cross put together.
“Excellent career. They worked real hard, great kids and ran PR’s (personal records) today. You can’t ask for more,” Tarter explained of the two who also helped the track program to back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
For the third straight year, Deer Creek’s Taler Buck won the individual 5A race with this year’s time of 16:08. “I gave him a race,” Ogan said following the award ceremony.
Ogan and Cross led the beginning of the 5k run, but Buck took the lead for good with approximately two miles left in the run to keep his distance.
“I knew Jonathan and I could finish in the top three and was hoping we could pull something against Taler, but we could not manage that,” Cross said.
Ogan admitted that Cross and himself did not have a plan going into the race as to trying to stop the three-peat of Buck.
“We really didn’t have a plan. Walker usually gives me the pace the first mile and I just try to help him hold off until the end,” Ogan said.
Guthrie, who has now finished runner-up six times in its proud history, saw three runners run in their first state meet: Brandon Greenlee (38th), Taylor Self (40th)and Adam Noriega (53rd).
Hunter Sallee (21st), who was a 2010 All-State runner, and Evan Watts (55th) returned back to the state meet and had one of their better runs of the season.
“Hunter is right up there with those guys (Ogan and Cross) and I was pleased to get second with all of our new runners this season,” Tarter concluded with.
Guthrie Cross Country State Results:
Jonthan Ogan (2nd) 16:08
Walker Cross (3rd) 16:12
Hunter Sallee (21st) 17:18
Brandon Greenlee (38th) 17:49
Taylor Self (40th) 17:56
Adam Noriega (53rd) 18:15
Evan Watts (55th) 18:16
Toney represented the Lady Jays program
All season long Lauren Toney, or as her fellow runners call her LT, finished her season with a 47th finish in the girls 5A race Saturday morning.
Toney ran a 13:49 and has been the only Lady Jay to run this season.
The program has found a hard time of female runners coming out, but help appears to be on the way with a good amount of Junior High runners on their way to help beef the program back up.
Rachel Roberts, a 2010 graduate and 2006 and 2007 All-Stater, was the only female to run in her senior season.