Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Search By Keyword
Breaking News Alerts
Email Alerts
Email Address
Text Alerts
Mobile Number
 )  - 
Mobile Provider
standard messaging rates apply
Jake Thomas is looking to become Tuttle's first state qualifier since 2008. (Staff photo by Jeff Harrison)
By Jeff Harrison
Managing Editor

Jake Thomas’ passion lies on the baseball diamond. But the Tuttle sophomore has found another sport he loves in cross country.

And he’s pretty good at it too.

In just his first year on the team, Thomas has become the Tigers’ top runner. He has led the team at every meet this year, while continuing to shave time off his personal best.

“He’s just gotten better and better as the year has gone on,” Tuttle cross country coach Shane Head said. “And he’s playing two sports, so he’s doing double time.”

The Tuttle cross country team heads to Norman Saturday for the Class 4A regional meet. The top seven teams, and next seven fastest individuals, who are not one of those teams, qualify for the state meet.
Head said his team would be a long shot to qualify for state, but believes Thomas has a legitimate chance.

“I think he needs to run about an 18:30 to make it and he did that in our last meet,” Head said.

Thomas notched his personal best Oct. 10 at the Oklahoma Baptist University Invitational in Shawnee. He clocked a time of 18:30 to place 30th.

Since that race, Thomas has picked up the pace during workouts and feels confident about his odds at regionals.

“I’m just getting better and I’m running a lot now,” he said. “I’ve been working on longer strides and keeping a faster pace, and I’ve done a really good job at it. I feel like if I just get a really good run in I will qualify for state.”

Tuttle has not had a state qualifier since 2008 when Chad Foster placed 15th at state.
Thomas joined cross country as a way to stay in shape for baseball, but came away with much more.

“It’s a great way to stay in shape for pitching but I have just loved it,” Thomas said. “My team is really cool, I love coach Head and I just love the whole cross country thing in Tuttle.”

The Tuttle boys will have several others compete Saturday. Jake Hardin, Dakota Head, Seth Shelton, Lane Turner, Preston Ogle and Shelton Legg will also run.

The Lady Tigers hopes for a trip to state took a big hit with the loss of their top two runners. Seniors Mikayla Howorka and Jayci Manning are not expected to compete. Howorka will be taking the ACT Saturday, while Manning injured her leg during the OBU meet.

Alexia Welsh and Miranda Stonebraker are expected to compete for the Tuttle girls.

The regional meet will take place at Irving Middle School in Norman. The meet will include 4A-6A races. The 4A girls will run at noon. The 4A boys’ race will follow at 12:45 p.m.

The state cross country meet is Nov. 2 at Edmond Santa Fe High School.

click ad below for details
  • Show All Ads