Heading into a Class 5A regional track meet Saturday at Edmond Deer Creek, the Altus girls find themselves going to the toughest of the four regionals.
Defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Deer Creek will be the favorite. Altus, Guthrie and Del City will be battling for second. El Reno, Ada, Woodward, Western Heights, Guymon and Chickasha also will be in the regional.
The sprint races will feature five of the top seven runners in the state.
Altus’ top performers, by event:
100 meters: Freshman Kiondra Knight will enter regionals as the No. 4 runner statewide with a best time this year of 12.43 seconds. The only problem is the top three also will will be at this regional. The top three in each event at each of the state’s four regionals plus the next four-best performers statewide advance to the state meet. She has an excellent chance to make it to state in this event. Freshman Mariah Watson could also make it to state in this event.
200 meters: Knight is ranked No. 1 in Class 5A in this event with a time of 25.67. The Nos. 2, 3 and 4 runners also will be there. “It will be a great race to watch at regionals,” Altus girls coach Robert Garrison said.
400 meters: This will be another highly competitive event with the top five girls separated by less than a second. Zetta McCaskill, currently ranked #5 in Class 5A, will enter as the No. 3 seed at regionals with her best time of 1:01.22.
Freshmen Bree Barker and Gracie Hernke could also make it to state in this event.
100 hurdles: The best in Class 5A will be at this regional. Senior Ashely Hughes is ranked No. 2, and freshman Jimmie Dollins is ranked #3. They should both easily make it to state if they run clean races, Garrison said. Freshman Chauncey Beckner has a good chance of making it to state in this event.
300 hurdles: Hughes is ranked No. 2 in this event, and Dollins is ranked No. 7. This will be a tough race as three other girls ranked in the top 10 will also be running. Beckner is stronger in this event. Deer Crreek will try to dominate the distance events.
800 meters: Sophomore Julia Pack will be seeded No. 2 in this event. She has only run the open 800 once this year. Barker should also have a pretty good chance to get qualified. Lexi Herron will also be in this event and could have a shot.