Allison Hickman prefers to run the 400-meter relay to get the day started. Tahlequah’s upcoming regional and state opponents, you’ve been warned.
Much like the upcoming regional and state meets, Tahlequah ran the 400-meter relay to begin the Metro Lakes Conference meet on Thursday. And the Tahlequah girls coasted to the event title, paving the way for the rest of the day, which resulted in Tahlequah’s second straight league crown.
Hickman was the anchor on Tahlequah’s 400-meter relay team, which finished at 51.76 seconds beat Skiatook (53.21) by nearly two seconds.
“I like doing that first because it gets me ready for the 100,” Hickman said. “When I go right into the 100, I’m physically not ready for it. I just have to have something to get me going.”
It certainly did in the conference meet on her home track.
Hickman followed by winning her second straight 100-meter dash title, edging past Skiatook’s Dominque Durdette, 12.94 to 13.13 seconds. Hickman also helped guide Tahlequah’s 1,600-meter relay team to a time of 4:21.23, which was more than seven seconds better than Claremore (4:28.64).
The title in the one-mile relay capped off a 158-point day for the Lady Tigers. Skiatook was second with 110 points, and Grove picked up the bronze with 93.
“We had some kids today do some things that we haven’t done all year,” Tahlequah coach Elzy Miller said. “The main thing is we hooked up and competed against some people that are highly ranked in the state right now. Our conference is represented well across the state.”
The Tahlequah girls did their part in representing for a league title. Of the 17 events contested, Tahlequah won six of them. Tahlequah’s Morgan Thompson and Krista Glock swept the gold medals in the hurdle events, winning the 100-meter and 300-meter races, respectively. Alli George also picked up a long jump championship with a leap of 14 feet, 11 inches.
“I’m extremely proud of (Glock) and every one of our kids who won an event today,” Miller said. “This is a tough conference. Metro Lakes Conference is tough across the board.”
Polishing off a couple of silver medals for Tahlequah was Amy Hembree in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Hembree finished behind the state’s top-ranked distance runner in Class 5A, Grove’s Michaela Werner.
“Amy is the cog that we turn to in the distance races,” Miller said. “She’s so competitive, and today was a deal where we’re running with the state’s No. 1 miler and two-miler. I told her before the race, ‘winning isn’t the important thing today, but getting the places that we should get — and running decent times — is.’”
Hembree’s teammate, Gracie Medellin, ran in the same events and finished third (one mile) and fourth (two mile).
On the boys side, Tahlequah’s reign as conference champion gave way to Claremore. The Tigers collected 107 points, but it was 23 shy of what the Zebras came up with.
Zech VanFleet led the Tigers with a first-place run in the two-mile race, narrowly edging out Skiatook’s Zac Mullins. In the 1,600-meter run, VanFleet was second behind Collinsville’s Dylan Dyer.
Tahlequah’s relay teams posted two second-place finishes (400 and 800) and two third-place showings (1,600 and 3,200).
The Tigers’ Jordan Blaylock was also second in the 100-meter dash.
Both Tahlequah track teams will now be off until May 10, when they will compete at home again in a Class 5A regional meet.