Yukon — The Ada High boys track team made the most of its opportunities in Saturday’s Class 5A regional School meet at Yukon High School.
Senior Travis Cowan had a rare bobble, falling in the preliminaries of the 110 Hurdles, but the Cougars earned points in every other event in which they competed en route to a surprising third-place finish behind Ardmore and Duncan in the team standings. Ardmore edged Duncan, 138-133, for the team title, while Ada finished with 85 points.
Ada’s girls squad finished sixth in the 10-team field at the regional, and two of its young stars -- freshman Aaliyah Blakley and sophomore Jenna Huling -- both earned spots in this week’s 5A state meet at Ardmore.
“We were happy,” said AHS boys track coach Nathan Elliott, who took just 14 athletes to the meet and saw all of them earn points during the day. “We scored all the points we could score, other than the 100 Hurdles.”
After tripping over a hurdle and falling in his preliminary heat in the 110, Cowan came back to his specialty, the 300 Meter Hurdles, in a time of :39.43.
“To me, that showed his reliency, coming back to win like that,” Elliott said of Cowan, who figures to be one of the favorites in the 300 at the state meet. “It was just a freak thing (to fall). He’s gone over those hurdles a hundred times, and that’s the first time it’s ever happened.”
Christian Johnson, won the high jump with a personal best 6-6, and fellow senior Nick Anderson was second in the high jump -- also with a career-best of 6-4 -- and, despite a mishap of his own, he was also second in his speciality, the long jump, with a leap of 20 feet, six inches.
Johnson was fourth with a leap of 20-4, and Nathan Blakley also earned points in the event, finishing sixth in 19-8.
“Christian and Nick had a great day,” Elliott said. “Christian jumped extremely well.
“The impressive thing about Nick’s finish in the long jump was that he slipped in the preliminaries and went flying through the pit and hyperextended his knee,” Elliott said.
“We didn’t know if he was gong to continue or not, but he came back and showed a lot of character to even make the finals, much less finish second. He showed a lot of guts.”
Anderson’s injury kept him out of his last event of the day, the mile relay, but that quartet -- Ramsey Maxwell (running for Anderson), Chase Bowker, Nathan Blakley and Cowan -- finished fourth in 3:32. Although only the top three in each event earn automatic berths, the top fourth-place finishers also get into the state meet. Ada’s two-mile relay (Colin Earle, Steven Davidson, Landon Jackson and Matt Smith) also checked in fourth in 8:47.
Ada’s sprint relay squad -- Cowan, Bowker, Maxwell and Shane West -- also finished fourth in a time of :44.01.
“Looking from other times from (the other three regionals) around the state, I think that time will get us in,” Elliott predicted.
Freshman Steven Davidson turned in an impressive effort in the mile, rallying from fourth with about 200 meters left to finish second in a time of 4:49, and Earle was second in the 3,200 Meters in 10:49, and Maxwell finished fourth in the 200 Meters.
“We felt like our kids went out and competed hard,” Elliott said. “You don’t even want to leave points on the track, and other than the 100 Hurdles, we felt like we didn’t.”
On the girls side, Blakley finished first in the long jump with a personal best of 16 feet, two inches, and Huling was also stamped her ticket to the state meet with a runner-up finish in the high jump with a leap of five feet. Huling and Markeisha Black also earned points for the Lady Cougars in the long jump, finishing fourth and sixth.
Elsewhere, Victoria Lotter was fifth in the 400 Meters, Ada’s 800 Meter Relay squad of Jaycee Boydston, Lotter, Black and Blakley finished fourth, and Lotter, Meagan Wright, Kylie Byrd and Ali Stafford finished fifth.