Tahlequah got back at Claremore in Saturday’s Class 5A East Regional Track Meet at Union High School in Tulsa.
The Tigers edged the Zebras to claim a regional championship one week after a reversal from a scoring error gave Claremore a Metro Lakes Conference title over Tahlequah.
Seven individuals had top-three finishes for THS on Saturday, three of which were regional champions and automatic qualifiers for the Friday and Saturday OSSAA Track & Field State Championships. The Tigers closed with 129 points and ended two points ahead of Claremore in the final team standings.
Gabe Wardlow, Blake Corn and Cole Goodnight were the crown winners, each in field events.
Wardlow won the discus throw event in decisive fashion with a result of 135-05. He was nearly 10 feet better than Coweta’s Piper Pennington. Just a sophomore, he enters the state meet only trailing Tecumseh’s Alex Schovanec for 5A’s top throw. Wardlow threw a season-best 154-06 at the Tahlequah Reasor’s Track Classic on April 5. Schovanec’s top distance is a 163-9.
Corn, a junior, took top honors in the shot put with a result of 51-01.75. Corn’s top mark was a 53-00 and was done in Wagoner. He joins Collinsville’s Zac Robbins with the top 5A result this season.
Goodnight, who competed for the first time this year and joined the team after baseball season, claimed a championship in the long jump with a result of 21-00.
Tahlequah also had five second-place finishes and one finish in third place.
Malik McMurtrey took second in the 400 meter (52.29), Eric Burns was second in the 800 (2:04.27), Tate Miller was second in the high jump (6-02), and both the 4x400 and 4x800 meter relay teams were also second. The 4x400 (Kobey Baker, Qua’shaun Leathers, Burns and McMurtrey) posted a time of 3:32.33, and the 4x800 (Burns, Blaine Jones, Eddie Barnes and Cesar Sierra) combined to run a 8:38.39. Baker finished in third place in the long jump with a 20-04.
Additional qualifiers for Tahlequah were Dae Dae Leathers in both the 100 and 200 meter events, Travis Davis in the pole vault, Wardlow in the shot put, and the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay teams.
Leathers was just outside the top three in both of his sprints. He ran a 11.22 in the 100 to finish fourth, and was also fourth in the 200 with a time of 23.22. Davis was fourth in the pole vault at 10-06. The 4x100 (Jaric Hodge, Baker, Dae Dae Leathers and Simeon Armstrong) ran a 44.79 to place fourth, and the 4x200 (Baker, Armstrong, Dae Dae Leathers and McMurtrey) clocked a 1:32.76 to close in fourth place. Wardlow finished at 44-11.50 to place fourth in the shot put.
In girls action, the Lady Tigers were fourth in the team standings with 82 points. Durant won the team title (143), Claremore followed in second (127), and finishing in front of Tahlequah in third was Glenpool with 94 points.
Junior Lily Barnes won a pair of regional titles. Barnes ran a 12.86 in the 100 meter and a season-best 26.78 in the 200 meter. Barnes’ previous best time in the 200 this season was at the Tahlequah Reasor’s Track Classic where she ran a 26.84, which was the sixth best time in 5A this year.
Freshman Lily Couch was also a champion in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:43.32. Couch was second and an automatic state qualifier in the 3200 after running a 12:26.68. Couch currently holds the third best time in 5A this season with a 5:39.31 that she ran on April 12 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Kloe Bowin was Tahlequah’s other regional champion. Bowin won long jump event with a result of 16-05.25.
The 4x400 meter relay team (Lola Brownfield, Stella Aldridge, Couch and Barnes) took second place with a time of 4:16.28, and the 4x100 meter relay team (Brownfield, Aldridge, Barnes and Madison Booth) advanced to state as an additional qualifier after placing fourth with a time of 51.81.
The OSSAA Track & Field State Championships will be on Friday and Saturday at Moore High School.