It seems as if the Altus High School women’s cross-country team is in the habit of doing well and doing it often, despite all odds.
That was the case Saturday as they ran their way to a second team title in as many weeks, taking out runners from top-ranked Elgin, as well as Lawton High, Lawton Eisenhower, and Duncan despite losing their leading runner Beth Garrison due to a breathing issue during the 5K run.
Without Garrison, Olga Lopez took over the top spot to claim the individual title with a time of 22:15, beating out second place finisher Madeline Morgan from Elgin by 22 seconds.
Francis Tapia claimed fourth with a time of 23:06, while Autumn Goodwin at eighth, Grace Hernke at ninth, and Chauncey Beckner at 12th, rounded out the final scorers for the Altus Lady Bulldogs.
In addition, Itzel Flores followed behind Beckner in 13th, while Hadley David was 20th and Leeliana Villareal took 22nd.
For the men’s team, Ryan Oden led all Altus runners with a fifth-place finish at a time of 17:43 on the 5K course with Jessie Benitez finishing 27th, Josh Baker finishing 31st, Alan Palestino finishing 32nd, and Calvin Wagoner finishing 35th to round out Altus’ scoring runners for a strong third place team finish.
Other runners for Altus included Skyler Ledesma in 37th place, Trevor Busby in 51st, Macel Canterbury in 56th, Javanni Cardona in 59th and Jon Wathen in 62nd.
The Altus Junior High School girls’ team ran its way to a rare third-place team finish. Typically, the team takes first or second place, but could not outrun a first-place Weatherford squad or second-place Cordell squad even with Cayden Beckner’s second-place individual performance with a time of 9:58 in the 1.5K run.
Rylee Borrego backed her up in fourth place, while Sarah Scott took sixth, but it was not enough to overcome first-, third-, and fifth-place individual finishes by Weatherford.
Other scorers for the AJHS girls’ team were Anna Merritt in 38th, Aprhil Palestino in 51st, while Patricia Garrett took 85th, Kolby Rivas took 93rd, and Angel Willoughby took 94th.
The AJHS boys’ team did not place in team competition, but had a good individual performance from 13th-place Aiden Kille, who finished the two-mile course in 13:32, while Spencer Hyde finished 39th, Tristan Gregg finished 47th and Matt Furfey finished 48th.
The high school teams have a bye week before traveling to Lawton for the Cameron Invitational Meet on Oct. 11, while the junior high school teams are slated to compete in Hobart on Oct. 1.
Reach Ryan Lewis at 580-482-1221, ext. 2076.