Last cross country season I had to rush the boys state preview because I ran out of time the day before the meet. Now I apologize but I have to rush this 4A girls preview because I have run out of time. I'm just going to hit a few key points.
Day 1 of the state meet is already complete and the weather was warm and sunny. Sprint times were fast and distance times were fast, too, but some distance runners struggled. With warm weather projected all weekend, fast times are coming for Olivia Ekpone, Katie Wolf, Auriyall Scott, Afia Charles, Doris Anyanwu and the other top 4A sprinters. This time last year, Ekpone was unbeatable and dropped her fastest times of the season in the 100, 200 and 400. Everything points to her once again dropping some fast times, but times of sub-12 in the 100, sub-24 in the 200, or sub-54 in the 400 will not guarantee victory because all of the aformentioned girls are capable of doing the same thing under good conditions. Katie Wolf absolutely belongs in the same conversation. Wolf is the best current moco athlete to have never won a state title, but her day will come at some point.
Skipping right up to the distance, Jessie Rubin will be the class of the field in the 3200. Teshika Rivers of Eleanor Roosevelt and Stephanie Bryan of Thomas Johnson may be the most dangerous runners in the 3200 race besides Rubin despite their slower seed times, but Rubin has been running on another level this season and should be considered the runner to beat.
The girls 1600 may be a different story. Rubin will get all that she can handle from Eleanor Roosevelt's Amirah Johnson (who should dominate the 800 later in the day). Then again, we have not seen what Rubin can do if challenged in the final lap of the race.
What of this girl from Sherwood running hurdle races with a broken foot? Can Katie Salke win the 100 hurdles? I say absolutely yes. The competition is good, but not overwhelmingly so. Let's hope that foot holds up.
Eleanor Roosevelt will win.
OK, so I left a lot out, but the meet has already started. See you there!