Simonsen & Antonelli Flash Fast Times At Deer Creek

Photo by Michael Kinney

At the Deer Creek Field Run this past weekend in Edmond, we witnessed a smoking fast duel between Mustang junior Gabe Simonsen and Deer Creek sophomore AJ Antonelli.

The underclassmen Antonelli just missed out on pulling off the upset over the defending Oklahoma Class 6A state champion Simonsen on Antonelli's home course at Deer Creek. But Antonelli gave Simonson all he could handle on his heels in second-place in a 15:24 personal best for 5K while making the sophomore year leap.

Simonsen also achieved a personal best in his victory just ahead of Antonelli for first place at 15:23. The Mustang High School star harrier was a top 20 finisher at last year's Nike Cross South Regional as well as 35th place finish at the Foot Locker South Regional. 

A huge gap of 38 seconds existed between the pair upfront to the third-place finisher Shawn Rutledge of Union High School at 16:02.

The team battle was very fierce with three squads in the mix among the 14 full boys squads which competed at the Deer Creek Field Run. Only nine points separated to the top three in the standings with Piedmont (61 pts) just edging out Mustang (62 pts) by a mere point while host school Deer Creek (70 pts) finished just off both teams in third place.

All three squads had top five team averages hovering around 16:30 in a gathering of many of the state's top-ranked programs in Oklahoma. Piedmont had four finishers among the top 15 in the race without a single senior among them as Beckam Hartis led them in fourth place at 16:06. Their squad appears to have a young nucleus of runners who have really improved from a year ago when they were the Class 5A state runners-up by a 30 point margin. Their team win this past weekend has to be considered a mild surprise as Deer Creek is the defending Class 6A state champions and return their entire varsity lineup.

Deer Creek Cross Country Invitational: