BYNG — The Byng High School cross country teams are planning on making some noise at the Class 4A Regional Tournament Saturday in Waurika.
The Class 4A girls race will begin at noon with the boys to follow at 12:45 p.m.
“Our kids are ready to go this weekend. They are hungry and know what they need to do to bring home some hardware,” said Byng cross country head coach Josh Sawyer.
“Both teams have put in some great races over the past couple of weeks, and it looks like we are hitting our stride at the right time,” he continued “They’ve been working hard and putting in some great workouts these last few weeks, which tells me they are ready.”
Sawyer said his team landed in the most rugged of the three Class 4A Regional meets.
“We drew the toughest of the three regional assignments. On the girls side, we have four of the Top 10 teams at our regional, with us and Plainview ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the state,” he said. “On the boys side, we have five of the Top 10 teams in the state at our regional.”
The Lady Pirates will attempt to win the program’s first regional tournament Saturday. Byng enters the regional ranked No. 2 in Class 4A. Awaiting the talented Byng team will be 2020 nemesis Plainview, the top-ranked team in the state.
Other top teams in the field include No. 7 Madill, No. 11 Blanchard, No. 21 Bridge Creek, No. 22 Newcastle, No. 23 Cache and No. 25 Sulphur.
Byng’s top runners — Brylee Baird, Deesa Neely, Olivia Colombe and Cadence Carlos — need to perform well for the Lady Pirates to have a chance to catch tradition-rich Plainview.
“In order for the girls to win, we need to have our trio of Deesa, Brylee, and Cadence finish in front of Plainview’s No. 2 runner,” Sawyer explained. “We need Olivia to finish in between their third and fourth girls and our No. 5 needs to be within 25 seconds of Olivia. If we can do that, our girls have a good shot of beating Plainview and winning their first regional title.”
Both BHS squads are coming off championship wins from their own Byng Badlands meet.
“I’m excited for this weekend. I know the kids are too. They have been working extremely hard all year long and it’s all starting to come together and pay off at the right time,” Sawyer said. “We are carrying a lot of momentum into this weekend with some dominant performances at our home meet last week.”
The Pirates will look to continue the program’s string of recent success Saturday by winning its fourth regional crown in the past six seasons.
Byng enters the regional ranked No. 6 in Class 4A. The stacked field includes: No. 2 Cache, No. 7 Madill, No. 10 Plainview, No. 11 Anadarko, No. 15 Bridge Creek, No. 16 Tuttle, No. 17 Blanchard and No. 18 Tuttle
Byng will count on its top performers — AJ Gustin, Kade Streater, Harley Cobb and Lawrence Coleman — to run well at the event.
“In order for our boys to win, we need to put three runners in the Top 5, our fourth runner needs to be in front of Cache’s No. 3 guy, and we need our No.5 runner in the Top 20,” Sawyer explained.
The Pirates have matched up well with Cache this season but haven’t quite been able to get over the hump.
“We’ve raced against Cache a few times this year. The last time we raced them, we got within seven points of beating them and our No. 5 runner didn’t have his best race. I think if we run to our ability, we have a great shot at bringing home that regional title,” he said.
The Top 7 teams and Top 7 individuals not on a qualifying team from each of the three regionals qualify for the Class 4A State meet scheduled for Oct. 31 at Edmond Santa Fe High School.