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Guthrie Cross Country: State Champs, again

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It was a running athletic director that came spreading the words: “We did it. We won.”

2010 Class 5A State Champions

It was an announcement from Gary Boxley to boys cross country head coach Clay Tarter that sent the Guthrie contingent into a state of cheering and hugging at Mitch Park, in Edmond, Saturday afternoon.

The Guthrie Boys Cross Country team had won the 2010 Class 5A State title for their second in a row. The win is the seventh overall for the program, who has won more titles than any other sport in GHS history.

Click here to view GSP photos.

Guthrie edged out the favorite, Deer Creek, by four points 57-53. Bishop Kelley, who ran past the Jays last week for the regional title, finished third.

“Coach Boxley came up and told me and I was like whoa,” junior runner Jonathan Ogan said with wide eyes. “From the beginning we knew it was going to be us, Deer Creek and Bishop McGuinness and it just turned out in our favor.”

Guthrie placed four runners in the top 11, but it was a heroic performance from the No. 5 man, Caleb Murillo, that aided in bringing home another state championship trophy. Murillo, who finished 32nd overall, ran in just his fourth race of the season.

Senior Zach Cates comes across the finish line to help lead the Jays to the title.

“We knew Murillo was getting better and that helped us win it,” Tarter said following the award ceremony. “He’s an athlete and we knew he was going to get better.”

“Last week (at regionals) he started too fast and he died. This week we told him not to start too fast and people will slow down around him and it worked.”

The headliners for the Jays were senior Zach Cates and Jon Ogan. The duo was consistent with top three finishes all season long . In his final high school run, Cates finished second overall with a time of 16:26.60 and was 12 seconds behind the overall winner Taler Buck of Deer Creek. Ogan finished third with a time of 16:42.

Hunter Sallee and Walker Cross also proved to be consistent over the season. Sallee ran a 17:06.46 for seventh place overall while Cross ran a 17:15.40 for 11th place and just missing out on an all-state status.

“He (Cross) worked real hard all summer. He went from being an alternate last year to being 11th place in state and had a great season,” a smiling Tarter said trying to find Cross among the Guthrie crowd.

“We have had a run of good kids and great athlete’s and things have gelled well,” Tarter said. “Coach Boxley, Coach (Mike) Longstreth and Coach (Dietrich) Hayes all work well together, but you got to have kids, that is the key and kids that are willing to believe in themselves and to do the work. They were willing to do that.”

The Jays have now won the last two cross country state titles along with the last two-track state championships.

“We had on our board all year to “Exceed Expectations” and they did that,” Tarter said.

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  1. steve
    November 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Awsome job Guys. Back to back in this sport is hard to do, so compliments to each of them.

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