EDMOND — It was a step in the right direction for Ardmore's girls on Saturday at the Class 5A cross country meet.
With just a single upperclassman, Ardmore placed three runners in the top 50 at Edmond Santa Fe High School. Senior standout Destinee Howell placed 22nd overall (12:53) to lead Ardmore's girls, who finished 11th as a team in a deep 5A field.
According to coach Steve Wright, Howell improved her time from regionals by 15 seconds for her best time of the season.
"We ran real well. I was very pleased with the effort," Wright said. "They weren't happy with their performance, they feel like they can do better. That's a good thing in a way."
In her second state meet, sophomore Celia Caro was 36th (13:09), with an improved time from last season. Freshman Kevi Davis was 37th (13:10).
Sophomore Cariann Bone was 101st (15:12), freshman Makayla McGee was 103rd (15:40) and freshmen Tia Wright and Shelby Peters were 104th (15:43) and 110th (17:12), respectively.
"I'm very optimistic about next year," Wright said. "We've got a really good eighth-grade group coming up. We should have some depth, which we haven't had in quite some time."
Ardmore scored 263 points to place 11th. Metro Christian won the team title with 59 points, with Tahlequah (79) and Shawnee (104) rounding out the top 3.
Ardmore tied Durant at the Norman regional last week, but Wright took pride in the Tigers coming out ahead of the Lions on Saturday.
The Madill girls placed fourth at the Class 4A meet, paced by Miranda Nolen's eighth-place finish for All-State honors.
Nolen, a sophomore, cut more of a minute off of her time from last season, finishing in 12:31. All of Madill's runners will return next season on the girls side, including 2011 4A state champion Lindsey Gregory, who was unable to defend her title due to injuries.
In his first year as cross country coach, Trey Drinkard was pleased with the results from the season. Drinkard took over this season for Hall of Fame coach Ron Love.
Drinkard will also be in charge of the Madill girls in track this spring.
"Any time there's a transition between coaches, there's going to be a difference," Drinkard said. "By next year, everything will be better. I'm having a good time with it.
"I'm excited about it. I think things are just going to get better and better."
Mount St. Mary won the girls title with 45 points, beating Heritage Hall (70). Vinita (105), Madill (143) and Newcastle (187) rounded out the top 5.
Madill's boys were ninth as a team, scoring 200 points. Anadarko won the boys team title.
Jose Delacruz paced the Madill boys with a 21st place finish (17:34). Dylan Idleman (39th, 18:07) and David Duran (50th, 18:19) were also top-50 finishers.
Page 2 of 2 - Five of Madill's top seven boys runners will return next season.