|
|
|
The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Plainview T&F embraces challenge of class bump

    • email print
  • Nothing changes much around the Plainview track program, even as the world changes around them.
    The years pass by, and no matter how many Indians move on, there are always a host of new ones to replace them each spring, like the parts of an assembly line.
    And the product it has produced is a consistently elite one. Plainview has become used to winning, and in large amounts. In the last 17 years, a Plainview team has finished as the champion or runner-up in 16 of them, including a record-setting Class 3A state championship win last spring for the girls.
    So it's not terribly surprising to hear girls coach Jerry Naylor feel optimistic about his latest squad, as it looks to take its winning ways to 4A, even as he loses some of his mainstays from a year ago.
    "We'll still be good, just in a different way," Naylor said. "I'm pretty enthused about our kids."
    Lose a three-time state champion in Abbie Wallace? No problem, just plug in freshman Rebecca Wright, who recorded an impressive 5-foot-2 high jump for a sixth place finish at the Gregg Byram Invitational in Norman last weekend.
    Wright's performance came just days after the Indians finished basketball season, after just "one real practice", according to coach Alicia Foster.
    "I was happy with it, because it's a personal best, especially since I hadn't practiced much," Wright said. "At the same time, I know I want to keep improving and getting better."
    The Indians also lost C.J. Hornback, the 100- and 300-meter hurdles state champion from a year ago. Accomplished pole vaulter Chloe Thompson will also be missed, but there are those waiting in the wings to replace them.
    So while the puzzle may not fit quite yet, the pieces are there to complete it.
    "I know we're just trying to figure out where we are right now, but we know we're going to be strong," senior Alex Davis said.
    The Baylor signee will be looking to fit the final feather in the cap of one of the best distance careers in Oklahoma history by repeating as state champion in the 3,200 run, in which she has also twice set a state record.
    Davis appears well on the way to possibly resetting the record; despite windy conditions she called "awful" at Gregg Byram last week, Davis still ran a 10:50.11 time, besting her closest competition by over 20 seconds.
    In fact, Davis said she was still disappointed in that time.
    "I recovered right after the race, and I was so disappointed," Davis said. "I felt like I wasn't able to push myself, because of the conditions.
    Page 2 of 2 - "But now that I have the race under my belt, I'll be ready for later."
    Another returning champion will be senior Shannon Wilson, who took the 3A state titles in shot put and discus a year ago. She broke her state-winning discus mark last weekend, throwing a 129-1 that will likely be more than enough to take 4A.
    "I felt really good about it since it was the first meet, normally there's a bit of trouble getting started on the year," Wilson said. "I just need to keep practicing and stay consistent."
    On the boys side, coach Cody Lawson will take over for Johni Bell, who has moved full-time into her capacity as athletic director.
    Like Naylor, Lawson will have to adjust his squad for the 4A level, but insisted that the Indians had seen plenty of good squads at the 3A level.
    "It will be a different challenge for us, but overall, we just have to approach every day getting better," Lawson said. "We've got a pretty good mix of young ones and veterans, and we didn't back down in Norman facing those bigger schools.
    "I was pretty pleased with how we did."
    One of those vets, senior Robert Torres, showed out well in Norman, placing fifth in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200.
    "I felt pretty good, earned a personal record in all my events," Torres said. "As a team, we feel pretty good, really confident.
    "We think we have a pretty good chance."
    All in all, things may be changing, but some things, like Plainview track, will always stay the same.
    "Any time that you go against schools with bigger enrollment, they obviously have more people to pick from," Naylor said. "But that doesn't mean they'll be better than we are."
    Ardmore Invitational
    — Friday at Ardmore High School's Noble Stadium
    FRIDAY: Ardmore T&F relying on youth for boost in Class 5A
    Follow White on Twitter:@swhiteARD

        calendar