By BOB CRAMER
Mustang High’s cross-country teams had their day rained on — literally — in the OK Runner Classic on Saturday.
Nobody escaped Mother Nature’s wrath last weekend. Not Mustang’s softball or football teams, and not its harriers, who were slowed but not deterred in Norman.
“We had a 2 1/2-hour lightning delay, but the rain stopped,” Mustang boys coach Mike McGarry said of the morning meet, which drew many of the best Class 6A teams.
But the conditions weren’t ideal, McGarry noted: “The course was amazingly firm. It was cooler but really humid.”
Mustang junior Gabe Simonsen, the defending Class 6A state champion, ran 16:46 yet finished six seconds behind Class 5A rival Christian Arenivar of Santa Fe South on the 3.1-mile course at Irvine Middle School.
Freshman Lakyn Webb highlighted the Lady Broncos’ effort. She placed ninth at 21:31 behind Westmoore’s Annabel White, who was first in 20:02.
McGarry wasn’t overly concerned about his champ, though. Simonsen had beaten the Santa Fe South ace three weeks ago in a meet at Deer Creek.
“Gabe got fourth here last year, so no worries,” McGarry said. “State is where we want to run our best.
“His time is slower, but the Norman course is not a flat course. He was 21 seconds faster than his time that won regionals last year.”
Simonsen may not even have been the biggest story for the Bronco boys, McGarry said.
Juniors Brendan Robeaux and Colton Cable ran excellent races, placing fifth and seventh, respectively, with 17:19 and 17:24.
“Brendan was almost a minute faster, and Colton placed seventh in a big meet. He wasn’t even on the varsity last year,” McGarry said. “I think he had the best race of all on our team.”
Both McGarry and Mustang girls coach Greg Osborne remain concerned about developing depth for team scoring.
“We only have two returning runners and only dropped from first to third,” McGarry said. “Now we have to get our fourth and fifth boys ready.”
Mustang’s boys were third with 97 points. Deer Creek won with 69 points.
Other Bronco boys results: 42, Jaxson Pearson, 18:29; 43, Kyle Bussell, 18:30; 44, Andrew Waller, 18:31, and Gunnar Sroczynski, 18:44.
GIRLS COACH PLEASED
Despite the subpar conditions, Osborne was happy with the Lady Broncos’ performances, though the rain slowed their times.
“Lakyn was one minute, 11 seconds behind her time at the (Sept. 14) Harrier,” Osborne said.
Mustang’s Elaina Hinkle ran 22:08 to place 20th and Alexis Ray was 23rd with 22:30, helping Mustang’s young squad finish fifth with 113 points. Deer Creek won with 66 points.
“Because of the mud and how wet it was, times were slower than normal,” Osborne said. “I’m proud of them, though. It’s difficult when we are thrown off our normal routines because of the delay.
“I think they ran very well. I believe we are a competitive team and will continue to get better.”
Other Lady Bronco results were: 28, Katie Jones, 22:48; 33, Annistyn Stanley, 23:12; 36, Emily Wilson, 23:43, and 38, Cassidy Burris, 23:56.
Mustang’s teams return to action at 9:45 a.m. Saturday in the Pre-State meet at Edmond Santa Fe.