Mustang conquers OK Runner

By Michael Kinney

Every week it seems to be the same for Emma Downing. Each time the Mustang senior competes, she continues to prove is she one of the elite cross country runners in the state.

Downey’s latest conquest came Friday afternoon in the annual Norman OK Run at Irvin Middle School. She took home the top honors in the varsity girls after running a 19:54 over the 5K course. Despite the heat and wind, it was one of Downey’s best times of the year.

Yukon’s Elora James came in second place, nine seconds behind Downing.

The Lady Broncos had three more runners finish inside the top 20. They included Paris Nance (9th), Alex Jenkins (10th) and Hiede Askeland (17th).

Mustang was able to capture the overall varsity girls team title with 62 points. That was enough to hold off Westmoore by 8 points.

Edmond North, Norman North and Edmond rounded out the top five.

Being able to win the Norman OK run was a good test for the Broncos. Most of the top teams on the west sdie of the state were at the meet because the OSSAA West Regional will be held on the same course Oct. 21.

On the boys side, it was Piedmont who took home the team title. They totaled 129 points, which was just 10 less that second place Mustang.

The Broncos Cameron Mills took third overall. He ran a 16:50. That was 20 second behind Stillwater’s Vlad Munteanu and 17 seconds behind Casady’s Sam Bass.

Mustang’s Gabe Simonson fell to 13th place with a time of 17”12. However, he was just four seconds out of a top 10 finish.

The Mustang cross country will be heading out of state for its next meet. They are set to travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the 29th Annual Chili Pepper Cross Country Festival Sept. 30.

The Chili Pepper is one of the largest cross country events in the nation. According to organizers, it hosts approximately 6,500 runners and over 6,000 spectators each year with the money raised going to area high schools.

Races begin at 7:15 a.m.

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