McALESTER — More than 200 cross country runners raced in the Henryetta Invitation Cross Country Meet on Saturday. They braved the hills, the heat, not to mention the other runners.
McAlester’s Sam Adams ran the 5K course in 19 minutes, 53 seconds, finishing 13th. Adams was the only Buff to finish in the top 30 and earn a medal.
Also a Buffs football player, Adams came back from Friday’s game in Stillwater well past midnight Saturday morning, Carney said. Despite a shorter night of sleep than he would’ve liked, Adams still beat out 90 percent of the runners.
“Sam has just got a little more foot-speed than the other guys,” Buffs cross country coach Susanne Carney said. “He’s able to get up there and get in that top pack a little better.”
Carney said that the 30 teams competing made the course very difficult, and the heat just made conditions worse. Colin Smith suffered an asthma attack and couldn’t finish, Carney said, and Stone Adams cramped up.
Smith and Stone Adams had been the Buffs’ second- and third-best runners, respectively, on Aug. 31 in Okmulgee.
“Those two guys not being able to be up where Sam was at hurt us,” Carney said, adding that Smith later recovered.
“These guys have not really run cross country before. This is pretty new to these guys.”
The final times for McAlester’s high school boys team were:
• Sam Adams, 19:53, 13th
• Hank Brown, 20:53
• Noah Rose, 21:51
• Parker Elliot, 22:54
• Stone Adams, 27:13
• Zach Clayton, 27:17
McAlester’s junior high team also competed at Henryetta and took second, with champion Berryhill willing by just three points. Jake Rattan finished the 1-mile race second overall in 5:29, followed by Isaac Briggs in fourth in 5:39, Cody Norriss in 12th in 5:49 and Matt Rattan in 15th in 5:54.
“We were close,” Carney said. “Berryhill’s always good, too.