Their races have been run. Their skills have been tested. Their times measured, examined and cut down, bit by bit.

Their races have been run. Their skills have been tested. Their times measured, examined and cut down, bit by bit.

And for the young men and women of the Lake Country Conference, now is the time to put it on display for a chance to earn the biggest of trophies; a state title.

That will be the scene on Saturday when the regionals for the Class 3A and 4A teams take place at Madill High School.

The top three finishers in every regional will automatically qualify for the state meet; the next four best times afterwards are taken in a situation similar to an at-large bid.

With so much on the line, it may seem like the pressure can build on the athletes to perform beyond their abilities, but Tishomingo head coach Larry Wood isn’t so sure.

“Naturally, this what you might call the playoffs, but the training and getting ready for this is all hard work, so the mindset becomes ‘Oh, it’s finally here,’” Tishomingo track coach Larry Wood said. “You try to convince them that it’s just another meet.”

The competition is expected to be fierce. Southern Oklahoma is an area known for its prowess in both track and field events, and Davis coach Jody Weber doesn’t expect things to change.

“As far as just our conference, when you just talk about Plainview, Tishomingo and Madill, it’s tough to find better competition than this,” Weber said. “I think top to bottom, there probably isn’t a better area.”

The area produced eight state champions last year, three girls and five boys, including two-time female high jump champion Abbie Wallace of Plainview.

Among the other competitors expected to heavily compete in various events are Madill’s Caleb Muncrief in the 100-meter dash, and a slew of Plainview athletes featuring C.J. Hornback in the 100 and 300 hurdles, Chloe Thompson and Tanner Callahan in the girls and boys pole vault, respectively, Shannon Wilson in the shot put and discus, and Rebekah Hickman and Alex Davis in the distance races.

Sulphur’s Ashley Hughes in the 800, Marietta’s Caleb Fincher in the 110 and 300 hurdles and Tishomingo’s Mariah Gunter in the long jump are also those expected to qualify for state.

Another strong contender from Tishomingo should be Logan Blackburn, who Wood expects to perform well in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

“I think Logan has a good chance of winning those events,” Wood said. “I really ran him hard (Wednesday) and now it’s just time for him to rest.”

Plainview boys coach Johni Bell, like many of the other coaches, believes her squad is gaining momentum at the right time of the year.

“Our boys have consistently dropped time and improved,” Bell said. “I feel like they’re peaking when they need to.”

Spencer White