Tahlequah captured its first team regional championship since 2016 Saturday at the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Class 5A East Regional Cross Country Championships in Sand Springs.

Junior Jack McKee paced the Tigers with a third-place finish, running a 16:28.81. McKee, who finished behind Mount St. Mary’s Jackson Salsman (16:20.31) and Claremore’s Tyler Douthitt (16:24.86), was coming off a Metro Lakes Conference championship on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in Tahlequah where he finished with a time of 16:33.83.

The Tigers, who closed with 56 points and finished ahead of Bishop Kelley and Sapulpa in the team standings, also received a ninth-place finish from freshman Trae Baker, who ended with a time of 17:02.12. Senior Eddie Barnes was 11th overall at 17:10.92, junior Eric Burns was 13th at 17:14.29, and senior Blaine Jones was also in the top 20 at 20th with a time of 17:33.95.

Tahlequah advances to the OSSAA Class 5A State Championships on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Edmond Santa Fe.

The Lady Tigers, led by junior Lily Couch’s third-place finish, took fourth in the team standings Saturday and will also advance to the OSSAA 5A State Championships on Saturday. Couch ran a 19:37.08 and finished behind Sapulpa’s Stailee Heard (19:15.65) and Sydney Krehbiel (19:20.11).

Tahlequah freshman McKenna Hood was seventh overall individually, running a 19:56.67. Hood won the Metro Lakes Conference title in her previous outing with a time of 19:48.45.

Tahlequah freshman Abigail Johson was 29th overall with a time of 22:07.73, while sophomore Emma Maxwell followed right behind in 30th at 22:10.77. Freshman Victoria Pham was 38th at 22:36.34.

In the final team standings, the Lady Tigers, who finished with 104 points, trailed Bishop Kelley, Sapulpa and Coweta. Bishop Kelley closed with 52 points.

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