Jeff Kaley/ For The Duncan Banner
The Duncan Banner
LINDSAY - When Waurika’s cross country runners arrived at Lindsay Golf Course Saturday, Joe Masoner knew there was a good chance one of his three harriers would advance to the Class 2A State Meet.
Mason Boyd turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
Junior Daley Gay went to the 2A Regional hosted by the Leopards as one of the front-runners among individuals not on a full team. In addition to runners on competing teams, five individuals would also have an opportunity to extend their season to the 2A State Meet.
Gay kept up her end with no problem, earning a state ticket by finishing fourth overall, completing the 3,200-meter course in a career-best time of 13:23.
Also in the girls’ meet, Courtney Howard, who has been using cross country to stay in shape for basketball season, ran her best race of the season. An 18:15 clocking put Howard 59th among 72 total runners.
While Gay sought a second chance to run in the state meet, Masoner had no real idea where Boyd might finish in the boys’ regional race. The freshman was the only male on WHS’ varsity team this season and also plays on the varsity football team, which has limited his race competition.
The answer came dramatically, however, when Boyd gave Waurika a second state meet qualifier by taking 14th overall and being the third-place finisher among individuals not on a competing team. He covered the 3.1-mile Lindsay course in 19:55.
“I was really, really happy with Mason,” Masoner said. “I didn’t know if he’d have a chance to qualify or not, but he ran really well. He ran a 19:55, which was his second-best time of the season."
Gay stayed among the leaders from the starting gun to the finish chute. “I don’t think she was ever any further back than fifth, and she led (the race) for a while,” Masoner noted. “A couple of girls stretched it out on her late in the race, but they didn’t beat her by much.”
Gay will enter the girls’ state race at Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee among the top 12 finishers overall at the three regional meets.
The 2A girls state final is scheduled for noon Saturday, while the 2A boys run between 12:30 and 12:45 p.m.