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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Indians run to sweep of Lake Country titles

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  • Plainview had a stranglehold on the Lake Country Conference meet on Saturday.
    The boys and girls teams went home with wins, with the girls occupying four of the top five individual places. The boys followed by racing to three top 10 finishes.
    The LCC meet has for years been an early gauge for coach Jerry Naylor to assess his team. He likes what he's seeing, particularly since each of the teams is so young.
    "I'm pretty proud of our kids," Naylor said. "We've got some that have got to pick it up a little bit, but we've got a bunch that are pretty young."
    Young is right: One senior on the girls side and none for the boys.
    Sophomore Madie Gray continued her fast start to the season with a win in the girls race. Gray paced a dominant Plainview effort with a 13-minute, 25 second finish on the 2-mile course.
    Gray was also first overall at the Marcus I Invitational in Denton on Aug. 31.
    "I'm trying to step it up, realizing the importance of pratices," Gray said. "We have a lot of extra practices, so I make sure to make it to all of those."
    Gray was one of five Indians in the top six, along with Jessica Woods (second, 13:33), Darian Barnes (third, 13:39), Kyleigh Norris (fifth, 13:50) and Bailey Sutherlin (sixth, 13:55). Only Marietta's Jaime Alexander broke up the sweep of the top 5.
    Alexander placed fourth (13:46) and Marietta was runner-up as a team with 51 points to Plainview's 17. Abbie Winchester (seventh, 14:05) gave Marietta two top 10 finishers.
    "I'm really happy with the way we ran today," Marietta coach Matt Appleman said. "Two in of the top 10 is excellent, but I'm more happy with the way we raced, the way we fought.
    "Right now, we're more concerned with that than times. The times will come. Competing is more important to us right now."
    Marietta is another young team on both the boys and girls sides. In the boys' race, Marietta and Plainview combined to occupy five of the top 10 positions.
    None of those runners were seniors for either squad. Jackson Daube paced Plainview to the team title with a fifth-place finish (18:58), with teammates Elijah McPhail (19:23) and Josh Jones (19:24) in seventh and eighth, respectively, on the 3.1-mile course. Zac Neely (19:15) and Josh Jones (19:25) placed sixth and ninth for Marietta.
    Plainview's boys outscored Madill 26-63 in the team standings. Durant's Alberto Vasquez won the meet with a 17:53, but runner-up Cameron Corbin of Tishomingo was named the LCC champion because Durant is not a part of the conference.
    Corbin (18:11), Jose De La Cruz of Madill (18:24) and Ardmore's Zarius Flenory (18:38) were the top 4 finishers.
    Page 2 of 2 - Gray thinks things will only get better for Plainview, who are on track for an eighth consecutive state championship in girls cross country, and a fourth straight title in boys.
    "Coach is always telling us that we're just as good, if not better, than last year," Gray said. "He thinks we have a good chance of still coming back and winning state this year, too."
    Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD
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