Second title is twice as nice

Sports Editor

For most of the 2016 cross country season, the Guymon boys ran under the radar of most of the state. Despite winning the 5A title a year ago, Guymon spent most of the year ranked sixth in the 5A poll. Then came the regionals in Norman a week ago where Guymon dominated then-No. 1 Carl Albert.

The rest of Oklahoma took notice, and simply watched helplessly as Guymon rolled to their second straight 5A state championship, Saturday in Edmond.
And for good measure, the Lady Tigers turned their fourth seed into a state runner-up finish for a dominating 1-2 Panhandle Punch.

“It’s a great feeling,” head coach Andy Brown said. “It justifies all the hard work the kids have put in. The system works.”

Guymon dominated the team standings with 43 total points. Second place Tahlequah scored 91 and Carl Albert was third with 98.
And Guymon’s runners weren’t even in contention after the first mile.

“We dropped the hammer at the halfway point and our boys just moved up so far in the race,” Brown said.
Javier Jaramillo raced to a third place finish in 17:04.2, followed by Uzziah Urquiza fifth in 17:05.2. Both earned all-state honors. Coal Phillips of Carl Albert won the individual state title in 16:55.9 and Tahlequah’s Joshua Dick was second in 17:01.6.

“They’re really consistent runners,” Brown said of Jaramillo and Urquiza. “You don’t get a great race and then a crappy race out of them. They’re up at the front and that’s where they’re going to be.”

Justin Stonecipher (12th in 17:18.1) and Dylan Portillo (14th in 17:20.6) both earned All-State Honorable Mention honors. Frank Moreno was 16th, Noel Nuñez 30th and Anthony Peña 39th to round out the Guymon contingent.

“It’s a testament to the summer training,” Brown said. “I think some of the kids were a little more disciplined on their diets, their food. There’s a lot of things that go into making a complete runner. There’s so many things that go into the puzzle and they’ve all got to click at the right time.”

And for both teams, it was about mental preparation, as well. Brown spent five minutes each practice focusing the kids on mental preparation.
“I think they were mentally prepared for the challenge,” the coach said.

For the Lady Tigers, coach Brown thought the race would come down to Guymon and Elgin for third and fourth with Bishop McGuinness and Claremore the favorites. And he was right, sort of.
Elgin did place fourth and Bishop McGuiness did win the state title. But the Lady Tigers edged out Claremore and took second place - the best state finish for a Lady Tigers team.

“We knew we had a chance, we just had to believe it,” Brown said. “And they did, they made it happen.”

Gabby Ramos placed fourth in 20:12, three seconds faster than her regional performance. Rosio De La Garza was seventh in 20:22.2. Ramos and De La Garza each earned All-State honors for their performances.

Perla Estrada was 12th in 20:55.6 and Kendy Salinas 15th in 21:03, both earning All-State honorable mention. Rosy Morales was 41st in 22:17.5, Zyanya Estrella 63rd in 22:57.5 and Sonia Garcia 81st in 22:32.7 out of 112 runners.

Brown challenged the girls with a quote by British Olympian and author Steve Backley: ‘There are three types of people in this world. Firstly, there are people who make things happen. Then there are people who watch things happen. Lastly, there are people who ask, what happened? Which do you want to be?’

“I told them, let’s be the group that makes it happen,” Brown said. “And they were.”

Salinas was 16th going into the home stretch and passed Haley Mandakunis of Elgin to grab 15th and an all-state honorable mention.

“I told them if we got four in the Top 15, we’re going to do it,” Brown said. “We had a positive frame of mind going in.”

Class 5A State Cross Country Championships
Saturday at Edmond Santa Fe
Girls Team Standings
1. Bishop McGuinness 58
2. GUYMON 73
3. Claremore 75
4. Elgin 87
5. Bishop Kelley 116
6. Durant 184
7. Collinsville 202
8. Western Heights 210
9. Coweta 273
10. Carl Albert 293
11. Altus 298
12. Tulsa Edison 301
13. Piedmont 303
14. Tahlequah 310

Boys Team Standings
1. GUYMON 43
2. Tahlequah 91
3. Carl Albert 98
4. Claremore 132
5. Bishop Kelley 167
6. Santa Fe South 178
7. Bishop McGuinness 185
8. Piedmont 188
9. Northwest Classen 252
10. Glenpool 271
11. Shawnee 273
12. Duncan 279
13. Collinsville 287
14. Noble 322

Guymon Girls Individuals
4. Gabby Ramos 20:12
7. Rosio De La Garza 20:22.2
12. Perla Estrada 20:55.6
15. Kendy Salinas 21:03
41. Rosy Morales 22:17.5
63. Zyanya Estrella 22:57.5
81. Sonia Garcia 22:32.7

Guymon Boys Individuals
3. Javier Jaramillo 17:04.2
5. Uzziah Urquiza 17:05.2
12. Justin Stonecipher 17:18.1
14. Dylan Portillo 17:20.6
16. Frank Moreno 17:26.2
30. Noel Nuñez 17:47.6
39. Anthony Peña 17:57.5