ARDMORE — Freshman Jourdan Clarke swept both hurdles events and also finished third in the 100-meter dash to lead the young Ada girls squad, and sophomores Michael Roberts and Chaz Daniels paced a strong showing by the boys as Ada qualified a strong contingent for Friday’s Class 5A State Track Meet with a solid effort at Saturday’s regional meet in Ardmore.

In addition to Clark, Roberts and Daniels in individual events, Ada will have distance runner Niku Bayatfar on the girls side and surprising half-miler Chad Leonard and all three relays on the boys side at the state meet at Tulsa East Central High School. Elizabeth Ham (fourth in the long jump) and Alex Lanis (fifth in the 800-meter run) could also qualify for the state meet on the time (the top three finishers in each event are guaranteed a spot, and the top fourth and fifth-place performers from all of the regional meets also qualify).

The Ardmore regional was the only one in Class 5A that wasn’t postponed Saturday because of rain, and Ada track coach Mart Leming said he was proud of the performance of his young squad in less than ideal conditions.

“It was cold and rainy, so I was pretty happy with the times,” Leming said. “The boys 1,600-meter relay (Roberts, Daniels, sophomore Stefan Jones and freshman Colton Richardson) ran their best time of the year, and Steffan Jones and Chaz Daniels ran their best splits of the year.”

Daniels, who false-started and was disqualified in the 100 meters (where he probably would have been the favorite), won the 200 in 22 seconds flat, and Roberts — fourth at the state meet in 2005 as a freshman — won the 400 meters in 49 seconds, with Ada’s Jordan Benton sixth in :53.5.

The Ada 1,600-meter relay squad, which will be among the favorites at the state meet, ran a solid 4:59.5, while the 400-meter (Roberts, Steffan Jones, Tyler Jones and Daniels) and 3,200-meter (Chris Jay, Matt Beasley, Colby Howry and Alex Lanis) squads were both second in times of :53.5 and 5:08.6, respectively.

The only other Ada boy to place was Jarrell Booker, who was sixth in the long jump (18-5).

Clark, who has established herself as the top hurdler in Class 5A this spring in her first varsity season, continued her recent winning streak with her sweep Saturday. She ran the 100-meter hurdles in :15.21 (after running a :15.6 in the preliminaries) and came back with a :47.50 to capture the 300.

“I was real happy with the way she came back and ran in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles against two of the top five hurdlers in the state,” Leming said of Clark. “She’s beaten them all year, and she went out and did it again.”

Bayatfar was second in the 3,200 meters in 13:23.15, but she missed a chance to qualify in the 1,600 meters when she fell asleep and missed the race.

Ham was fourth in the long jump with a leap of 15-5 and could qualify for the state meet, and Tori Banks was sixth in the shot put with a heave of 30 feet, nine inches.

Leming said the disqualification of Daniels in the 100 meters and the missed opportunity for Bayatfar in the 1,600 were his only real disappointments Saturday and added that the biggest shocker of the day was a third-place finish in the 800 meters by newcomer Leonard, who ran a solid 2:03.9 in his first meet of the spring.

“Chad Leonard was a huge surprise in the 800,” Leming said. “He came out after soccer and worked out with us this week and ran a 2:04 for his first half-mile. He should help our two-mile relay immensely.

“We had a really good day,” Leming added. “The kids ran well in some tough conditions, and we got everybody that we got in, other than the false start in the 100 and missing the 1,600-meter run. I think our fourth and fifth-place finishers have a good chance to qualify for state, because our region was pretty tough.”

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