Lady Jackets 2nd, surpass Weatherford; boys take 4th overall
Kingfisher cross country coach Kerri Lafferty couldn’t help but be at least a little giddy on Saturday.
In just one week, her cross country teams showed considerable improvement, most notably the reigning Class 4A state champion girls squad.
The Lady Jackets took second place at the Kingfisher Cross Country Meet held at Briscoe Park, but it was one of the teams KHS leapfrogged that had Lafferty even more excited about the rest of the season.
“I thought it was a really big deal for us to beat Weatherford,” Lafferty said. “I really think they’re one of the best teams in Class 4A.”
In the first meet of the season at Watonga last week, Weatherford was runner-up to the host squad with 64 points while KHS was fourth with 114.
At Kingfisher, the Lady Jackets were second with 94 while Weatherford was third with 98.
Watonga won the meet with 46.
“One big reason was Katon (Lunsford) was much more healthy this week,” said Lafferty of the sophomore runner who was battling strep throat the previous week.
Lunsford ran the 3,200 meter course in 13:41.2 and placed 10th overall. She was 21st at Watonga.
Added Lafferty: “But it was also the improvement of our 3-4-5 runners. They all made huge leaps of improvement and that just boosts our team scores.”
For Kingfisher, Ashtin Witt was 19th overall, Jacee Mueggenborg 43rd and Dani Ramirez 48th.
Their placings that count toward the team standings were even lower because of some individual runners who weren’t part of full teams.
The Lady Jackets were led again by junior Zoey Evans, who was fourth in 12:51.0.
“It was her goal to get under 13:00 this year and she’s already done it,” Lafferty said of Evans. “The only time she did that last year was at state, so she’s already so far ahead of last year’s pace to improve.”
Steady improvement is what Lafferty wants to see from her squad.
“Our goal is to peak when regional and state rolls around,” she said. “Some teams tend to peak early or mid-season and don’t have it at the end of the year. We want to build toward the end of the season and be at our best then.”
Kingfisher’s boys took third overall with 110 points.
Weatherford won the meet with 28 and the OKC Knights were second with 91.
Jon Henry paced KHS with a fifth-place finish, running the 5K course in 17:43.6.
Jayden Newkirk was eighth and Joel Munoz 18th.
“We were just better (over last week) all the way around,” Lafferty said. “I just thought they ran a really good race.”
Lomega’s boys were sixth and led by Hector Rivera’s sixth-place finish individually.
Tate Ott was 13th and Riley Lumpkin 38th.
There were 141 runners in the boys race and 124 in the girls.
Cashion’s Kaitin Taylor took sixth in the high school girls race as she crossed the line in 13:24.8.
Kingfisher’s middle school girls again dominated their team competition.
They netted just 24 points while Weatherford was runner-up with 67.
Peyton Walker was second overall and was followed by teammates Emmy Lunsford and Scout Snodgrass, who were third and fourth, respectively.
Raegan Snider (11th) and Addie Wilson (16th) gave KMS scores all in the top-20.
The KMS boys were fourth with 125 points.
They were paced by Coleman Gilles, who was eighth overall.
“All told, we had close to 600 runners participate in all our races,” Lafferty said. “And it felt like things went really well and really smoothly.
“You can’t have that happen without a lot of help and we were fortunate to have people willing to do that. Their efforts were greatly appreciated.”