While the Marlow Lady Outlaws have a proud tradition in cross country, there’s just one thing that has been missing the past few years, a state title.
After finishing as runners-up two out of the last three years, the Lady Outlaws are looking to change their fortunes on Saturday in Shawnee at the Gordon Cooper Technology Center.
However, to do so they will have to take down their main rivals and seven time defending state champions, Plainview.
“I’d have to say repeating as champions would be extremely tough,” Marlow coach Mikey Eaves said. “Although winning the state title this year is going to be difficult. There’s so much competition in our class that it’s very hard to pick a winner. Plainview is going to be difficult to beat because they are a quality team. But, there’s other good squads like Jones and Henryetta along with Hennessey.”
Among the key elements to the Lady Outlaws success will be the performances of Maci Rich and Makayla Ortega, who have both been battling injuries late in the year.
“Maci was running really well this week and looked good,” Eaves said. “I was also a little worried about Makayla, but she seems to have gotten over her injuries.”
While his team is hungry to be called champions, Eaves said his squad isn’t feeling the pressure, in fact they are as calm as they can be.
“They’re relaxed and not feeling any sort of anxiety,” he said. “I always tell them there’s no pressure on them. But, with Plainview I think they have a lot of pressure on them because they are trying to win their eighth title in a row.”
On the boys side, the Outlaws will look to capitalize on a strong showing at last week’s regional competition.
Tony Aguliera and Chris Davis will be among the MHS runners trying to bring a state title home.
If there has been one surprise team this season, it’s been Velma-Alma.
Last week at the 2A regionals in Lindsay, the Lady Comets claimed third overall as a team, with Cailyn Wright leading the way with a runner-up finish, while the Comets claimed second as a team, led by regional champion Ty Hobbs.
This weekend in Shawnee, the Lady Comets along with the Comets are hoping to surprise some teams with a strong showing at state.
“I’m very excited for the kids this weekend,” V-A coach Jerry Loveall said. “They’re a young group and are ready to compete against some good teams. We’ve had some good workouts this week and everyone has been running solid.”
Loveall added he expects his team to compete well, and show plenty of improvement this weekend.
“Our boys are excited to run against Silo because they beat them last weekend,” he said. “You never know with kids, especially our group. Some years there’s a strong favorite as far as teams, but other years there are plenty of surprises. We’re just going to go out there and compete and see what happens.”