On Friday, the weather conditions were the story as rainy, wet, windy and cold conditions were the norm of the day. The Altus girls started off great as the 3200 Relay team finished third. Christin Fairdchild, Sarah Gilstad, Jorja Martel and Debra Kime circled the track in 10:07 to take the bronze. Everything else went great the rest of the day for the Lady Bulldogs as they qualified everyone that needed to.
About the only problem the Lady Bulldogs had the first day was when the Shawnee coach protested one of the Lady Bulldogs’ uniform and tried to get them disqualified in the 800 Relay, the protest was quickly thrown
“Kinda just shows you that Shawnee was willing to do anything to try to win this meet,” said assistant Coach Robert Garrison.
The momentum continued Saturday as Tisay Woodhouse finished fourth in the shot put and Kendra Gibson took second in the long jump to put the Lady Bulldogs out front in the points chase. The momentum came to a halt in the first running event of the day as the 400 Relay team, the second fastest qualifier, missed the final exchange and were
disqualified, leaving the Lady Bulldog without any points in the event.
“Those things happen sometimes,” said Garrison, “There isn’t anything you can really do about it, it was the first time that has happened to us in three years.”
Head Coach Randle Hawkins then had to pick up his girls and get them going and they responded. Fairchild took the track next in the 800 run and broke the school record with a time of 2:23 to finish 5th.
Ashely Hughes then followed with a 5th place in the 100 Hurdles. The 800 Relay team of Gibson, Jazznae Harris, Vetta McCaskill and Hughes then took second with a season best time of 1:44.2 to put Altus in a
first place tie with Deer Creek at 44 points.
Harris then followed that by winning her second straight 400 Dash State Title with a 59.34. Hughes then ran a great 300 hurdle to finish third with a season best time of 47.30.
“Harris and Hughes really came through in their events,” said Garrison, “Ashely ran her best time of the year and that is all you can ask of your girls.”
But as all that was going on, Deer Creek scored 28 points in the 100 and 200 dashes and Shawnee won the 100 and 300 hurdles and second in the discus as the meet entered the last two events.
Fairchild came out big in the 1600 run for the Lady Bulldogs, breaking her own school record by running a 5:26 to finish fifth.
Going into the final running event of the day the points were very tight with Deer Creek at 74, Altus at 64 and Shawnee with 67.
The 1600 Relay came down to Altus and Shawnee and the Lady Bulldog team of Hughes, McCaskill, Holly Childs and Harris ran a 4:06 but it wasn’t enough and Shawnee took the gold.
“The girls did all they could to stay in the meet,” added Garrison, “I’ve seen many teams just fold it up after a mistake, but our girls fought their guts out. We broke two school records and ran some of our best times, but that wasn’t enough.”
It was a disappointing end to an otherwise great season for the Lady Bulldogs. Seniors Jazznae Harris, Christin Fairchild, Holly Childs and Debra Kime ran their last meet for the Lady Bulldogs.
“We will miss all of them,” said Garrison, “It’s pretty cool that all of them were offered track scholarships at numerous colleges and I can’t wait to hear the great things they will do.”
Altus will return many key pieces to their team next year and should still be one of the top teams again.