NORMAN - Pencil the Tigers in as favorites.

For what?

How about a state title?

The race must still be run, many more times even, but the Norman High boys, second at the Class 6A state meet a year ago to Union, served notice Friday at the OK Runner Classic, run on the NHS course behind Irving Middle School.

The Tigers didn’t so much win as dominate, posting a score of 42 - 29 points in front of second-place Edmond North.

The Tigers did it against one of the largest fields they’ll face all season prior to the Class 6A regional meet, Oct. 22, which will also take place on the NHS course.

A mammoth event, NHS competed against 16 other Class 5A and 6A programs. Earlier in the day, 20 boys and girls programs from Classes 2A, 3A and 4A were on the course.

In cross country, seven runners run, the two slowest are kicked out of the scoring, the places of the five runners who count are added to arrive at a final score.

The idea is to go low, and NHS went really low. The Nos. 1, 4, 5 and 9 runners were all Tigers. So was No. 23, Jon Torres, who may have been the slowest Tiger to count, yet still finished in front of 93 other runners.

“It’s how we won that pleases me,” NHS coach Scott Monnard said. “We got four of the top eight … We’ve got a lot of depth.”

Across first was defending state champion Tanner Satterthwaite, which may not seem newsworthy because the guy never loses, yet was Friday when he set a new personal best, by a whopping 15 seconds, on the 3.1-mile course, finishing in 15:44.73.

Still, Satterthwaite was most pleased to learn it wasn’t only him who finished first, but the rest of his teammates, too.

“That’s awesome,” he said.

Also, for the record, he enjoyed knowing he had never run faster.

“I like doing PRs. It’s a lot more rewarding,” he said. “It lets your body know you’re going faster, which is awesome.”

For the Tigers, it was all pretty awesome.

Al Maeder was fourth in 16:46.23.

Mackenzie Wahpepah-Harris was fifth in 16:57.63 and Robert Baines was ninth in 17:15.93.

“I feel like (winning) is a good step. It’s one of those steps along the way,” Maeder said. “I have a feeling that if we just keep training, we’re the team.”

They were clearly the team Friday afternoon, finishing in front of Edmond North (71), defending Class 5A state champion McGuinness (107), Edmond Santa Fe (133) and, rounding out the top five, Ponca City (168).

Behind Westmoore (175) and Duncan (194), was Norman North, eighth at 229. The Timberwolves got a sixth-place performance from Tayler Blake, who ran the course in 17:00.08.

In the running

Between Tigers and Timberwolves, North got the best of it in the girls competition, with the T-Wolves finishing in third place with a 124 total, just two spots behind second-place Edmond North (122), which finished well back of meet victor Edmond Memorial (66).

Norman High was sixth with a 162 total.

Other area teams included Westmoore (fourth, 151), Moore (11th, 287) and Southmoore (12th, 309).

NHS was pushed along by Megan Johnson, who placed third in 12:13.68, on spot in front of North’s Elise Base, who finished fifth in 12:16.48.

The race, though was clearly for second place. Mustang’s Emily Helms was first in 11:38.63, almost a half-minute in front of second-place Tara Lewis (12:06.98).

Both Johnson and Base were pleased enough, but not that pleased.

“I was happy with it,” Johnson said. “It leaves me room to improve the rest of the season.”

“I want to do better,” Base said. “By the time I get to state, I want to be up with the top.”

Clay Horning 366-3526