PHS girls finish 4th at state meet due to medal-winning relay efforts
MIDWEST CITY — Relay squads provided a steady flow of medals for the Pawhuska Lady Huskies at the Oklahoma Class 2A Track & Field Championships Friday and Saturday at Carl Albert High School.
Haley Mouser claimed her second straight state championship in high jump, adding a 2A crown with the Class 3A title she won in 2015. The PHS senior defeated the defending 2A champion and completed a two-year unbeaten streak in high school meets.
The Pawhuska 4x400 relay made a valiant showing in the meet’s final event. While placing second, the Lady Huskie unit — sophomore Kyleigh Riebel, seniors Sarah Phillippi and Mouser, and freshman Kianna Taylor — scorched the Carl Albert track with a run of 4:11.67. The effort cut 8 1/2 seconds off the squad’s best time coming into the meet. It left the Lady Huskies 9/10ths of a second behind the repeat champions from Cordell, but put PHS nearly five seconds in front of the third-place Crossings Christian runners.
Phillippi took third in the 300-meter hurdles event, but it took an extraordinary performance to beat her. The multi-talented Lady Huskie senior improved on a No. 3 time in Friday’s preliminary heats by unleashing a career-best effort of 47.24 seconds in the finals, where Dibble’s Brooke James set a new 2A state meet record at 44.28 seconds. (The previous mark of 45.45 was set in 1996.)
After finishing as runnerup of the 300 hurdles and winning three medals at the 2015 3A championships, Phillippi collected four medals at this year’s state meet.
Coach Mark Frye’s PHS girls combined to score 42 points and wound up fourth in the 2A team standings. Cordell ran away with the title by scoring 139 points, with Wynnewood (64 points) placing second. In all, 31 schools scored points in the 2A girls’ division.
Fifth-place finishes by Lady Huskie 4x800 and 4x200 relay squads put Pawhuska’s first eight points on the scoreboard Friday.
The 4x800 quartet of senior Genie Herren, sophomore Aubrie Walker, junior Madelyn Priest and sophomore Kyleigh Riebel combined to cover the 3200 meters in 10 minutes, 40.05 seconds — which cut 13 seconds off their time coming into the meet.
PHS’s hard-running unit in the 4x200 event — comprised of seniors Sarah Phillippi and Keylee Kirk, sophomore Riebel and junior Darienne Frye — clocked in at 1 minute, 48.79 seconds.
Medalling with a sixth-place finish Saturday was Pawhuska’s 4x100 relay unit. The Lady Huskie squad — including Phillippi, Kirk, Taylor and sophomore Star Sweeden — posted a time of 52.27 seconds.
In other Friday events, Lady Huskie senior Danae Laird placed eighth in the long jump by recorded a leap of 15 feet, 3 1/4 — her best of year. Kirk finished eighth in the discus with a throw of 98 feet, 8 inches, and fellow PHS senior Erika Barker heaved the platter 86 feet to come in 12th.
Frye had the 12th-fastest finish in the preliminary races for the 100-meter hurdles, which left her 4/10ths of a second off the qualifying pace. In the qualifying runs at 200 meters, Sweeden placed sixth in her heat and 13th overall, with a time of 27.89 seconds — her best in the event this season. A 13th-place finish in the 400-meter prelims kept Riebel from advancing to the finals by about one second.
Lady Huskie sophomore Ashley Henley finished 11th in the shot with a put of 31 feet, 3 1/2 inches. In the pole vault, Herren tied for 15th by clearing 6 feet, 6 inches. Walker was 15th at 3200 meters, coming across in 14 minutes, 50 seconds.
In the high jump, defending 2A champ Morgan Welch of Caney Valley and Mouser both topped out at 5 feet, 4 inches, but Mouser held the winning advantage due to having fewer misses. Another Caney Valley jumper, freshman Kaitlyn Clemens, tied for third place.
When Mouser was a freshman, she tied for fourth place in the high jump at the 2013 state championships. Her third-place finish as a sophomore followed victories at every meet but one during the regular season. She reaffirmed her high status a few days later by taking the title at the Meet of Champions, an annual exhibition featuring the top track and field finishers from each of the state classes.
Mouser, who recently signed a letter of intent to compete for Oklahoma State University, placed first in every high jump competition of her junior and senior seasons.