By Mike Tupa

Despite graduating its top three speedsters from last season’s state championship team, the reconstructed boys cross country team of Bartlesville High School held its own during a high-powered test Saturday in Broken Arrow.

Paced by Spencer Hales and Caleb Eiden, the Bruins bolted to third place, with 105 points. They trailed only Broken Arrow (88) and Jenks (103), and finished 22 points better than fourth place Bishop Kelley (127).

Hales surged to third place — in a field of 140 runners — with a sizzling early-meet time of 17:03. Eiden came in seventh at 17:22.

Rounding out Bartlesville seven Bruin varsity ground-pounders were James Boudreaux (22nd, 17:58), Tyler Linthacum (31st, 18:14), Michael Brockman (42nd, 18:33), Asher Childress (48th, 18:42) and Max Williams (50th, 18:44).

Brockman was the fifth-fastest ninth grader in the run.

Hales, Eiden, Linthacum and Childress each ran on last year’s victorious state team.

The Lady Bruins— who are younger and less experienced than the Bruins — didn’t fare as well overall Saturday in the varsity girls run.

That’s with the exception of last year’s state team members Liza Williams and Jillian Skalicky.

Williams left hot tracks on the course to come in 15th (21:12) out of 105 participants in Saturday’s challenge.

Skalicky notched 24th place (21:56).

The remainder of the six-girl Lady Bruin contingent included Aarya Ghonasgi (46th, 23:00), Margaret Drummond (50th, 23:09), Erica Gruber (67th, 24:26) and Emma Loyd (71st, 24:46).

Bartlesville finished eighth in the team standings, with 184 points.

Bishop Kelley (50) took home the girls title, followed by Jenks (67) and Broken Arrow (109).

In the junior varsity girls run, Bartlesville finished fifth.

Ryan Barham led the way, finishing 25th (25:28), followed by Melanie Decosta (27th, 25:41), Jenna Gunter (34th, 26:11), Rachel Harper (36th, 26:18) and Morgan Cook (43rd, 26:55).

Rounding out Bartlesville’s top seven were Claire Hopkins (29:16) and Allie Pryor (29:37).

In the boys junior varsity run, the Bruins rumbled to fourth place as a team.

Logan Brownell (19:06), led the Bartlesville blue wave, followed by Evan Gunter (19:09), Shawn Jerden (19:36), Kaiden Taylor (19:44), Morgan King (19:46), Nick Day (19:47) and Colton McCullough (19:59).

Brownell came in 9th overall, followed by Gunter, 10th; Jerden, 19th; Taylor, 27th; King, 29th; Day, 31st; and McCullough, 37th.

Bartlesville’s girls junior high team of Ledi Mull (10:28), Gentry Turner (10:38), Payten Pregler (10:44), Reid Foust (10:49), Alexis Smith (11:05), Taylor Speer (12:10) and Olivia Ontiveros (12:11), finished second in its team standings, finished only four points behind Sapulpa.

Mull grabbed ninth place to lead the Bartlesville charge.

In the boys junior high battle, Bartlesville came in sixth as a team.

Tanner John (9:58) spearheaded the effort, followed by Luke Hood (10:14), Lucas Duncan (10:16), Will Bolding (10:30), Matthew Gogol (10:38), Russell Miller (10:43) and Jack Wahl (10:53).

David Ayres serves as the Bartlesville High head cross country coach, with assistant Bon Bennett training the girls.