Finishing first as a team was hard for Bart Frank’s team to come by during the 2014 track season. That was until regional time.
The Tahlequah boys track team posted 149 points and beat Glenpool by 28 points to capture the Class 5A regional crown at Tahlequah High School on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s the first meet we’ve won all year,” Frank said. “There's a reason for that. We've gone out and tried to tackle the big ones and all but one had Jenks, Union or Broken Arrow in the field.”
Leading the charge for Tahlequah was its relay teams. The Tigers’ 3,200-meter relay team (Braxton Hood, Seth Martin, Will Carlile, Zech VanFleet) was first at 8:21.26 with Coweta second at 8:25.91.
Tahlequah’s quartet of Wyatt Jones, Brandon Conrad, Mitch Sellers and Jordan Blalock led the Tigers to second place in the 400-meter relay.
Tahlequah was also second in the 1,600-meter relay and third in the 800-meter relay.
Conrad also had a first-place showing all his own. The senior high jumper won gold in the event with a leap of 6 feet, 2 inches. Coweta’s Tyler Guymon was second at an even 6 feet.
The Tigers’ Eric Garcia was other first-place finisher in the discus. Garcia let loose a throw of 140 feet, 8 inches to beat Stilwell’s Brent Girdner, who tallied a throw of 139 feet, 5 inches.
Tahlequah’s Logan Cook was third in the discus at 138 feet, 8 inches.
Garcia was third in the shotput at 46 feet, 1 1/2 inches, with his teammate, Chad Harlan, was fourth at 44 feet, 6 1/2 inches.
In running events, Tahlequah’s Zech VanFleet posted first- and second-place showings. VanFleet won the 1,600-meter run at 4:35.79, and he was second in the 3,200-meter run at 10:22.51.
Hood, Mohamed Bassime and Carlile led Tahlequah to third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes in the 800-meter run.
“We ran some of our best times of the year,” said Frank, who had his half-mile runners all finish in the 2:02 to 2:03 range.
The Tahlequah girls posted 130 1/2 points while Glenpool won the title with 151 points.
Leading the way for the Tahlequah girls was Alli George in the long jump. George recorded a jump of 15 feet, 4 1/2 inches, while Pryor’s Tiffany Atkins was second at 14 feet, 6 3/4 inches.
George was also second in the high jump at 5 feet. She tied with Edison’s Jarayjnee Griffin, who finished first based on numbers of jumps.
Tahlequah’s 3,200-meter relay team (Amy Hembree, Gracie Medellin, Alejandra Medellin, Lindsey Chaffin) was second at 10:22.96. Catoosa won at 10:14.53.
Morgan Thompson, Hannah Stratton, Alli George and Allison Hickman combined to finish third in both the 400- and 800-meter relays.
Hickman and Stratton teamed with Erin Littlechief and Chaffin to come in fourth int he 1,600-meter run.
Morgan Thompson and Krista Glock finished second in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, respectively.
In the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, Medellin was second in both events. Hembree was third in the one-mile run and fourth in the two-mile contest.
Hickman was also third in the 100-meter dash at 13.00 seconds. Glenpool’s Cameron Hilliard was first at 12.56.
Now Tahlequah’s track teams will shift their focus to the 5A meet at Yukon on Friday and Saturday.
“Hopefully it'll roll over into this weekend,” Frank said of his team’s success at the regional. “We just want our kids to go out and win medals — the more that win, the better.”