SHAWNEE — To some people, three years might not seem like such an extended amount of time.

SHAWNEE — To some people, three years might not seem like such an extended amount of time.

But when you are the Plainview Lady Indians cross country team, three years between state championships feels like an eternity.

Saturday afternoon though, the wait ended for PHS.

Fueled by five runners finishing in the top-15 of the individual standings, the Lady Indians easily won their 18th state championship in program history, and first since 2014 with 57 points, well ahead of second placed Metro Christian at 101 at the Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee.

For veteran coach Jerry Naylor, the moment was just as special now as it always has been, and he was quick to emphasize his girls ran as a team to accomplish the goal.

“This ranks way up on the list, because we started the season not sure where we were going to end up,” he said. “As the year went on, we got better and better and learned to race as a team. When you race as a team, you are hard to beat.”

“These kids have taken it upon themselves to run together,” Naylor added. “They train together, run together in meets and just work so well as a unit. You win as a team, and today we were the better team. We’ve had an outstanding year, and I can’t say enough about the kids, the parents who support us and the great coaching staff we have. There’s so many variables that go into something like this.”

A big part of the Lady Indians success came from having their first two runners finish in close proximity to one another.

Jacey Keith crossed the finish line in eighth place overall, but was registered as seventh in the scoring standings with a time of 12:43.11. 

Emily Butler earned 10th overall, but was also placed ninth in the scoring standings as she clocked in at 12:44.38, giving the Lady Indians an early advantage.

Then came the turning point for PHS.

“We’re all on cloud nine right now,” Butler said about becoming a state champion. “This is just an unbelievable feeling for all of us as a team.”

Yale Otero scored 12th overall, with a 14th place finish, clocking in at 12:55.49, with Hadyn Hobbs and Deryn Hobbs in 16th and 17th overall respectively, as the duo scored in 14th and 15th place with times of 12:57.26, and 13:01.05.

“This just feels so great right now,” Hadyn said about the state title. “It feels like all of our hard work has paid off with this moment today.” 

“We’re just happy we could come together as a team,” Deryn added. “This is the proof that all of our hard work and effort has been worth it.” 

No other team in the standings had more than three runners score in the top-15 places.

Made Turner finished 20th overall with a time of 13:08.01, as state title No. 18 was well within reach by the time she crossed the finish line for Plainview. Ireland McGill finished with a time of 13:54.40, as the senior was able to end her season with a state title along with her teammates.

“I’m just very excited right now,” Turner said. “It’s the greatest feeling in the world right now.”