NORMAN — Hayley Redwine rounded the final corner and picked up the pace for the final stretch of the race, pushing herself through the pain.
“I kept telling myself, ‘I’ve got to keep pushing it, got to keep pushing,’” she said after the race. “I told myself that they were close.”
But they weren’t. No one was, and the Norman High junior cruised to a 12-second victory at the Mid-State Conference cross country meet on Tuesday. Redwine finished with a time of 11:46 to lead NHS to a second-place finish.
“I ran the race I wanted to run, and I came in the place I wanted to be,” she said. “As a team, we’re improving and running faster every week.”
It was a strong performance from the Tigers, but it couldn’t match the one turned in by their cross-town competitors from Norman North.
All seven of North’s runners finished in the top 21 spots, and, led by Abbey Mace’s second-place finish, the Timberwolves finished 16 places ahead of NHS to claim the victory. It marked the first conference title in program history for the Timberwolves.
“The girls did awesome today,“ coach Mike Ramsey said. “Every superlative you can say, that’s how good they were.”
Westmoore, Edmond Memorial and Southmoore rounded out the top five in that order, while Moore came in sixth.
One of the strengths of North’s squad is its depth. Ramsey said he didn’t know from week to week which of his runners would finish the fastest, which is a good sign. The coach is pleased with where his team is heading into regionals next weekend and state the week after that.
“We don’t know the regional assignments yet, but I think we can be a top 3-4 team at state,” he said.
On the boys’ side, Edmond Memorial took home the title after putting four runners into the top six. Most notably, Alex Shook ran an incredible race to beat NHS’ Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris out of first place. NHS finished second and North came in third, with Westmoore and Southmoore also placing in the top five.
“We ran solid today,” coach Scott Monnard said. “They’re healthy and we like where they are.”
Monnard was not worried about Wahpepah-Harris, who turned in a solid time of 15:58, even though he didn’t win.
“You have to give it to the other kid; he ran the race of his life today,” he said. “And Mackenzie’s not a guy who minds losing sometimes. Our performance today was encouraging.”
Next up for Cross Country are regionals, which will take place Oct. 20 throughout the state.
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com