OKLAHOMA CITY – Competition among Class 5A boys’ cross-country teams has been fierce this season, but Elgin coach Jon Hughes is confident the Owls have a “strong chance” of qualifying for the state meet this year.
The Owls competed in the always-tough Carl Albert Invitational last Friday and ran well against other 5A teams, Hughes said. Top Elgin runner Hunter Monostori finished 14th in the elite division with a time of 17:59.
Other Elgin runners competed in the 6A-5A varsity division as Jordan Pierce finished 31st with a time of 18:23. Noah Bronkema was 59th with a time of 19:26 and Ben Roberts was 65th with a time of 19:31. Jake Jones was 83rd with a time of 19:55 and Tristan Nunez was 92nd with a time of 20:05.
“I thought we ran well against our 5A competition,” Hughes said. “The top seven from each regional go to the state meet and from what I’ve seen so far I think we’ll be around third on the west side of the state. The Carl Albert meet is the first of the season where we see a big chunk of 5A teams.”
Elgin will compete at the Cameron Invitational on Friday and then takes a week off before running at the Edmond Pre-State meet on Saturday, Sept. 24 at Edmond Santa Fe.
“That’ll be the next big meet to see 5A teams. After that, we’ll know where we are among 5A,” Hughes said.
Monostori competed in the elite division last Friday because of his desire to run against another athlete from Mustang, Hughes said. The elite division race was moved to the afternoon instead of the planned morning run. Instead, the varsity race was moved to the morning where cooler temperatures prevailed. Other top runners chose to run the varsity race instead of competing in the afternoon race when the temperature hit 96 degrees, Hughes said.
Elgin’s cross-country runners have changed their strategy for the upcoming meets, Hughes said.
“We’ve backed off the pace for the first mile so we can catch our opponents in the second and third miles,” the coach said. “You get very pumped up catching runners in front of you at miles two and three.”