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Stephenson state champ, KHS girls race to 6th

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Stephenson state champ, KHS girls race to 6th

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    KHS FRESHMAN Ally Stephenson stands next to the sign showing the height she cleared in the high jump, which won her gold at the 4A state meet. [Photo provided]
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    2019 4A Academic State Champions

KHS STATE TRACK ROUNDUP

Madeline Loosen’s legs have carried her to a team state championship in cross country and an individual state title on the track.

She’s earned multiple medals and all-state honors with her running prowess.

But before she left Kingfisher High School, she wanted one more thing: The school record in the 1,600 meter run.

Her last and best chance came last Saturday at the Class 4A state track and field championships in Catoosa.

The school record of 5:27.04 is owned by Katie Krepel, a mark she set in 2008.

Loosen’s best time entering the state meet was just over 5:33.

“Before regionals, I made it a goal to get the school record,” Loosen said. “It was a ways off my personal best, but I knew crazy things happen at state and I could at least get close.”

She did get close.

Loosen took third place in the event - one of four medals the senior earned at the meet - and finished in 5:27.28, a mere .24 off the school mark.

“I thought I performed well at state, but if there’s one thing I could go back and change, it would be that,” Loosen said.

“The fact I didn’t get (the school record) still keeps me up at night.”

Falling short of a school record was about the only thing that didn’t go Loosen’s way at the state meet as she capped a career as one of the most decorated runners in KHS history.

“She concluded a stellar career,” KHS track coach Micah Nall said. “She’s a medal running machine who has great determination and a great perspective on running.”

Loosen helped lead the KHS girls to a sixth-place finish. Weatherford won the state crown with 121 points and Plainview was second with 72.5. KHS scored 46 points.

Loosen also took third in the 800, an event she won as a sophomore and took fourth in a year ago. Her time has improved in it each year and she set a PR this year at 2:19.97.

She was also a part of the 3,200 and 1,600 meter relays, both of which placed fifth.

“I PR’d in the 800 and mile, both of which I was wanting to do,” Loosen said. “And the other girls on the relays did amazing stepping up to the challenge at state.”

She was joined in the mile relay by a trio of freshman: Rayland Garner, Katon Lunsford and Ally Stephenson. Their time of 4:09.87 was just three seconds off the school record.

Loosen ran the anchor leg.

“She helped us in running that relay and we had a group of girls who sold out and bought in with her and we just kept running a faster time this year,” Nall said. “It was cool to see a distance runner anchor that 4x400 when it’s usually a sprinter.”

Lunsford, Zoey Evans and Ashtin Witt joined her in the two-mile relay and that quartet ran its best time of the season.

Stephenson jump is gold

standard for KHS

Although a challenge, the height of 5 feet, 4 inches isn’t something that’s stopped Ally Stephenson many times this season.

After all, she jumped 5-5 at Deer Creek earlier this year and 5-6 at the Kingfisher meet, both school records.

But at the Class 4A state meet last Friday, 5-4 had stymied the KHS freshman twice, leaving her with just one more attempt.

“I don’t really know what it was, but she got out of sync,” KHS track coach Micah Nall said.

Stephenson, who only stands 5-3, doesn’t disagree.

“I missed the first two, so I was really nervous on the last one,” she said.

Her third attempt did the trick as Stephenson cleared the bar, then jumped 5-6 on her first try. That clearance made her the first high jump champion in KHS girls history.

“She was perfect on that last 5-4 jump,” Nall said. “She would have cleared 5-8 and that propelled her into the next jump I think.”

Stephenson was Kingfisher’s lone individual state champ this year and she also placed in two other events.

She was part of Kingfisher’s mile relay team that took fifth and also finished eighth in the 100.

“She had a great freshman season,” Nall said. “What she did in the high jump this year speaks for itself. She continued to get better and better. You can’t help but be excited about her future here.”

St. Cyr gets PR in the rain

As a heavy downpour began to settle over the Class 4A state track and field championships at Catoosa last Friday afternoon, all the athletes gathered inside, waiting to hear how long the meet was going to be postponed.

That’s when KHS senior Maddie St. Cyr learned, unexpectedly, the 3,200 meter race was going to be held at its normal time.

In the rain.

“I started freaking out, thinking I wasn’t going to be ready,” she said.

Ready or not, the race started and St. Cyr developed her strategy on the fly.

“I just thought to myself that I’m going to stay with the front pack,” St. Cyr said.

For the race’s first four laps, the front pack was the entire field.

But in the fifth lap, Weatherford’s Kennadi Price and Tuttle’s Hallie Ann Sheffield broke from the pack. St. Cyr went with them.

During her entire senior track season, St. Cyr has strove to run the race in under 12 minutes. She got close during cross country as she covered the distance in 12:15.

In track, however, she’s never been closer than 12:40.

With three laps to go, St. Cyr wasn’t contemplating that, but she was thinking about a medal.

“When we were on our sixth lap, I was thinking that I wasn’t even ranked coming into this race and now I have a chance to be on the medal stand,” St. Cyr said. “That’s what pushed me to finish so strong.”

She finished strong enough to place third. Despite running in a downpour of rain, St. Cyr crossed the finish line in 11:58.63, by far her best time.

“ThewholetimeIwasn’t thinking about times,” she said. “But when I found out I ran 11:58, I was so excited.”

“To do what she did in the downpour of rain, the worst conditions possible, showed a lot of grit and determination on her part,” Nall said. “She hung with the leaders and basically stayed with them the entire race.”

Lafferty, York

pace KHS boys

Kingfisher’s boys put 11 points on the board at last weekend’s Class 4A state track and field championships in Catoosa.

Those points came from a pair of seniors as Colton York was state runner-up in the long jump and Reece Lafferty sixth in the 300 hurdles.

York’s best jump at state was 21-8. Ashton Bartholomew of Wagoner won the gold with 22-3.75.

“I know he wanted to win the gold medal,” said KHS track coach Micah Nall of York, who earlier this year set the school record in the event.

“But second is a great accomplishment; he’s got nothing to hang his head about.”

Lafferty has been a distance runner his entire career, but switched gears for his senior season of track… once it finally got started.

“He missed our spring break practices because of basketball and then he got really sick,” Nall said. “I mean, really sick. He didn’t even run in our first two track meets.”

Lafferty bounced back to have a solid season in his new event and made the medal stand at state, running it in 40.93.

“He really only had six meets to learn the event,” Nall said. “He worked really hard, put in a lot of extra work and did really well.”

Academic State Champs

The entire Kingfisher High School boys track team made the top of the medal stand last week. The boys were awarded the Class 4A academic state championship for track and field. “We did a lot of great things on the track this year, but I’m especially proud of this,” KHS track coach Micah Nall said. “This speaks to how well-rounded our young men are at Kingfisher.” The team carried a combined 3.93 grade point average this year. It will be recognized at the state Capitol next Thursday, Nall said.