EDMOND – The third-ranked Mustang Broncos broke out the measuring sticks last Tuesday in the Central Oklahoma Athletics Conference meet.
Mustang finished third behind the two top-ranked teams in the state – No. 1 Deer Creek and No. 2 Edmond North – however, after another strong performance, the Broncos have now gauged what it will take to run down the Antlers and Huskies at state.
“We talk about it all the time, but the main thing is believing that we can get them,” said senior Carson Patten, who placed sixth overall in the COAC meet with a time of 15:43.4. “We have to be ready to pounce on our opportunity and believe that we can.”
Patten led the Broncos as the team’s only racer to crack the 16-minute mark last Tuesday.
Noah Thayer (So.) and Cameron Langdon (Jr.) also placed inside the top 20. Thayer placed 12th with a time of 16:00.1 while Langdon placed 17th with a time of 16:08.9.
Teagan Nelson (So.) and Luke Balliew (Sr.) rounded out the team’s placers. Nelson placed 20th with a time of 16:18.5 while Balliew placed 23rd with a time of 16:23.3.
Ryan Cable races toward the finish line during the COAC meet on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, at Deer Creek High School in Edmond. Cable finished 54th overall, helping lead Mustang to third place as a team. (Photo by Trey Hunter)
Seniors Wyatt Fryar and Ryan Cable finished as the team’s displacers. Fryar clocked in at 16:57.4 in 47th place while Cable finished with a time of 17:13.6 in 54th place.
“It was good and fast like always,” Cable said of the course. “We were just trying to see where we stack up against the other teams. I think we learned a lot today.”
Mustang has yet to unseat Deer Creek this season but did beat Edmond North in the first race of the season – the Deer Creek Field Run. The Broncos still believe in their chances to finish ahead of both teams in two weeks.
“Everyone is talking about how they’re going to win and no one else has a chance, but we’re really trying to take them down this year and we’re going for the title,” Balliew said. “We obviously want podium, but the ultimate goal is the top of the podium.
“I just want the guys to know that no matter the chances or odds, we can beat them.”
Deer Creek won the conference title with all five placers inside the top 30, including meet winner Brody Woodcock. Edmond North finished runner-up with all five placers inside the top-25, including second-place finisher Colby Moore.
Mustang will have its chance against Deer Creek again this Saturday in the Class 6A west regional meet at Wild Horse Park.
The Broncos won the Mustang Harrier night race at the park earlier this season as well as in 2022. Edmond North has been placed in the 6A east meet.
Luke Balliew (Sr.) heads toward the finish line during the 2023 COAC meet at Deer Creek High School in Edmond. Balliew finished 23rd overall, helping lead Mustang to third place as a team. (Photo by Trey Hunter)
“We just have to focus on sticking together and matching the speed from those two teams.” Fryar said. “And we have to stay healthy for regionals and state.”
“Come watch state,” Patten added.
The 6A boys are set to go off at 9:45 a.m. this Saturday following the 6A girls. The top seven teams from each regional qualify for the state meet next week at Edmond Santa Fe.