Pawhuska’s 2014 track-and-field seasons got off and running last week with a junior high meet Tuesday at Ramona followed by Thursday’s high school opener in the Danny Daniels Relays at Hominy.

Head coach Mark Frye welcomes back a strong nucleus from last year’s Pawhuska High School squads.

Official start of the local track-and-field seasons begins next week with junior high competition in the annual Pawhuska Invitational Track Meets. The Pawhuska Junior High Track and Field Meet will be held at Ormand Beach Stadium on Tuesday, March 25, Frye said. Two weeks later, PHS hosts the high school meet on Tuesday, April 8. Both events are to get underway at 10 a.m., the coach added.

Eleven PHS girls — including six freshmen and three sophomores — qualified for the 2013 Class 3A State Championships. This season, the Lady Huskie squad will be bolstered by another talented crop of ninth-graders.

Despite the youthful composition of the four-member Lady Huskie relay units for 400-, 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter events, all of them earned trips to last year’s state meet. The squads also helped provide highlights for PHS’s showing at Hominy.

Running expecially well in the season opener was the Pawhuska girls’ 4x100-meter relay squad, which matched its time from last year’s state championships. The Lady Huskies’ returning state qualifier in the 300-meter hurdles, Sarah Phillippi, also produced a top-quality effort at the Hominy meet.

Returning state place-winners for the PHS track-and-field teams are sophomore Haley Mouser, who took fourth as a freshman in the girls’ high jump, and seventh-place finishing pole vaulters Bradley Moreland, a sophomore of the Huskies, and Darien Lookout, a Lady Huskie senior.

Pawhuska girls who ran their way to last year’s state championships included now-seniors Whitney Cotton and Carlie Culver, juniors Andie Sweeden and Kortney Barnhart and sophomores Kailee Hambright, Karissa Hughes, , Keylee Kirk, Genie Herren and Phillippi.

This season’s Oklahoma high school regional meets are scheduled for Saturday, May 3, at sites to be named later. The following week, on May 9-10, the Class 3A State Championships will be held in Moore.