MADILL — Watch out Class 4A Cross Country, Byng’s runners are finally at full strength.

The Pirates won the 2020 Lake Country Conference championship held Saturday in Madill and the Lady Pirates finished second to powerhouse Plainview.

BYNG BOYS

It was the first time in school history the Pirates — ranked No 6 in Class 4A — brought home a conference title.

“We finally had the whole team back together after having two of our top runners out for the past couple of weeks,” said Byng head coach Josh Sawyer. “We knew we had a shot to win it this year for the first time, but we knew we’d have to run good to do so. The boys showed up today and ran pretty well.

Byng finished with 29 team points followed by Madill at 39, Plainview at 89 and Sulphur at 98.

Sawyer said the track was a mess in spots.

“The course was extremely wet and muddy today, but we were still able to put down some good times,” he said.

AJ Gustin led Byng with a second-place finish in 17:17. Madill’s Miguel Duran won the individual title with a time of 17:00.

The Pirates had five runners in the Top 10.

Harley Cobb finished third at 17:33, Kade Streater was fifth at 17:56, Lawrence Coleman was eight in 18:59 and A.J. Herrera was 11th in 19:09.

Cross country newcomer Trae Lowe turned in a solid debut for the Pirates with a time of 20:04, good enough for 20th place.

“We added another runner to our roster this week — baseball standout Trae Lowe. He decided to see what he could do on the cross country course,” Sawyer said. “I was very pleased with how Trae ran today. For never running before, he came out there and ran a solid race. I think if we get some training under him, he may be able to help us reach our goal this year.”

Other Byng runners included Will Vogt at 20:42, Nathan Cain at 21:21, Riley Youngblood at 23:30 and Dawson Brawdy at 27:01.

“I still don’t think we have run to our potential yet, but we are moving in the right direction,” Sawyer said.

BYNG GIRLS

The Byng girls totaled 47 points, just off the pace set by champion Plainview, who finished with 39.

“We put up a tough fight against No. 1-ranked Plainview,” Sawyer said.

“Just like on the boys side, we had two of our girls back that we’ve been missing for the past couple of weeks.”

The Byng freshmen combo of Brylee Baird and Cadence Carlos finished second and third in the meet. Baird clocked in at 13:44 and Carlos was next at 13:48 in the two-mile run.

“We had two runners finish in front of Plainview’s top girl, but it wasn’t enough to knock them off that top spot,” Sawyer said. “The girls ran a very good race, we just need to keep working and get our 3, 4 and 5 girls to get up a little further and break up Plainview’s group of runners.”

Isabel Sanchez of Madill won the individual race in a time of 13:41.58.

The Byng trio of Deesa Neely, Olivia Colombe and Kaleigh Blackmon just missed Top 10 finishes. Neely was 13th in 14:30, Colombe was 14th at 14:37 and Blackmon was 15th at 14:41.

Other Byng runners included Kylee Smith, 15:20; Kaylee DeAngelis, 16:07; and Lexi Mathews, 16:58.

“Overall I was very happy with how they ran today. They proved that they belong in the conversation of the top girls team in 4A,” Sawyer said.

The Lady Pirates trail only Plainview and Community Christian in the rankings.

Sulphur finished sixth in the standings with 152 points.

Both Byng teams will return to action Saturday at the OK Runner Meet in Norman.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.

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