As the high school cross-country season comes to a close the Grove Ridgrunner squad can look back on a season of impressive results.
Two members of the team, senior Justin Falley and sophomore Blair Thomas, were state qualifiers and competed in the Class 5A finals over the weekend at Mitch Park in Edmond.
In the event Falley took home a 7th place finish while Thomas finished 15th.
The top-ten finish for Falley earned him an All State honor. Thomas was awarded All State Honorable Mention for her season.
“Justin probably ran his best race of the year at state,” said GHS Cross Country Coach Todd Kerr. “He got third at regional out of 109 entrants. He caught one of those guys (from the regional event) at state so only one runner from the east beat him.”
“I felt pretty good about it,” said Falley of his run at state. “It’s state for a reason- and so the course wasn’t easy.”
Falley has been competing in cross-country for six years and he rates this season as his best. The long distance runner will feature for the GHS track team this spring specializing in the mile and two-mile events.
“I want to break some school records!” said Falley of the ’09 track season to come.
Besides his duties with the track team Falley plans to also compete with the Ridgerunner soccer team this spring.
For Thomas the state event capped a season that saw her finish every preceding event inside the top four.
“I just had a bad race,” said Thomas of the state meet. “I’m not really sure what happened. I ran pretty well the whole season but it just didn’t come together at state.”
“Blair was probably a top two or three runner in the state all year,” said Kerr. “(State) was probably her worst race of the year but she’s coming back.”
“I want to win it next year,” Thomas said.
From here Thomas will return to the Lady Red basketball team for the winter sporting season and then the soccer team this spring. She would also like to run for the track team this spring.
“I’m going to try to do both,” said Thomas of the spring sports.
Aside from their exploits at the state meet the two runners finished the season as Conference Champions with each taking home the gold medal at that event in late October.
DATE EVENT FALLEY THOMAS
9/5 Okmulgee 16th 1st
9/12 Tulsa Edison 16th 2cd
9/16 Stillwell 2cd 1st
9/25 Kellyville 2cd 1st
10/4 Vinita 1st 2cd
10/9 Oklahoma Baptist U 4th 1st
10/10 Pre-State 13th 4th
10/21 Conference 1st 1st
10/25 Regional 3rd 2cd
11/1 State 7th 15th