By Michael Kinney
The Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference (COAC) could easily be described as the most talented track and field conference in the state. With the likes of Edmond, Southmoore, Edmond North, Mustang and Moore, they have many of the athletes expected to shine at the state meet.
So, when they hold their annual COAC Championships, it is not only a showcase of the talent, but also a preview of the upcoming state meet.
This year the COAC meet was held April 26 at Moore Stadium. And despite many of the squads still tinkering with their postseason lineups, they tried to put on a show.
"It's been great. Very competitive," Moore coach Stefan Seifried said. "This COAC meet is probably close to being close to the state competition outside of a couple of schools from Tulsa."
Edmond North claimed the boy's team championship as they racked up 108 points. That was 10 more than runner-up Edmond Memorial. The Broncos of Mustang were the only other school to crack the 90-point barrier as they tallied 91.
Norman North (58), Norman High (57), Deer Creek (55), Westmoore (53), Yukon (53), Moore (40), Edmond Santa Fe (27) and Stillwater (11) rounded out the rest of the field.
On the girl's side Edmond Memorial posted 158 points. Next closest was Southmoore at 95.
The rest of the field included Edmond North (94.500), Norman (66), Moore (66), Mustang (39), Deer Creek (37), Westmoore (24), Edmond Santa Fe (24), Yukon (20), Norman North (18) and Stillwater (9)
For the boys, Moore's Patrick Larrison kept up his dominating season with another pair of victories in the shot put and discus.
Larrison's toss of 200-07 in the discus set a new personal record for the Kansas signee.
In what could be a preview of the state meet, Edmond North's Chris Bank and Yukon's Tyler Dechant battled it out in the high jump. Both cleared 6-foot-8, but were unable to get over 6-10. Banks won the title because he had fewer failed attempts.
Mustang's Damian Close won the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.89 and took third in the 200.
The Broncos also rolled a victory in the 4x100 as they posted a 42.18.
On paper the score makes it look like a one-sided affair in favor of defending champion. However, the COAC lineups for teams like Southmoore and Moore won't be the same one they have at the regional and state meets.
But that didn't take away from some very entertaining matchups. That included the 4x100 relay in which the Southmoore girls ran a 48.51 to edge out Memorial, who ran a 48.77.
But, it was Memorial who came back and took the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:35.55. That is the best in class 6A this season.
Southmoore's Whitney Bridges took top honors in both the 100 (12.15) and 200 (24.77) meter dashes.
Southmoore also got an impressive showing out of Analya Miller in the 110 hurdles. For the third straight meet Miller (14.99) beat defending champion Rachel Hamel (15.09) of Mustang to take the event.
Hamel also was runner-up in the 300 hurdles to Westmoore's Shelby Krasue.
Norman High's Sophia Maag dominated the 3200 run as she ran a 11:15.12 to win the event. She was more than 25 seconds ahead of runner-up Maddie Median of Norman North.
Maag's time is also the third-fastest time in 6A this season behind a pair of 11:14s.
"This conference is very strong. Just look at last year's state meet team titles," Seifried said. "The Edmond Memorial girls win and we at Moore were runner-ups. And looking at Southmoore girls this year, and our girls and Memorial girls, we're all going to be in the top four or give."