Apr. 3—Muskogee’s girls sprint relay team is on a tear.
A week after winning the event in their own meet, Rakiya Lang, Mya Williams, Alexis Nicholson and Jakayla Swanson ran the 400 meters in a time of 50.83 seconds at the Tahlequah Tiger Classic on Friday — a slight improvement over the 50.87 they ran to edge Owasso last week. The difference was greater, as Sapulpa, finishing second, ran a 51.81
“These girls are young, and we’ve had young kids before, but these girls are stronger and faster than the ones we’ve had in recent years and we’re not waiting 2-3 years to be great,” said Roughers coach Angie Hillmon. “We’re right there with some of the top relays teams already and it’s just about keeping them in tune like they have been and focused. because you want to peak at the right time, and that’s the last meet.”
Lang is a freshman, Williams a senior, and Nicholson and Swanson are sophomores.
Swanson was also a repeat winner in the 200, running a 26.61. She won in 26.86 last week. Campbell Barta of Bartlesville ran a 27.23 to take second on Friday. She was also runner-up at the Roughers meet in 26.91
“She’s just an athlete who is good in about anything she does,” Hillmon said of Swanson. “It’s been a long time since we had one where you could put her anywhere out there and she’d be successful.”
Swanson didn’t run in the season-opening meet, still being in basketball. Williams splits time between track and tennis.
Swanson ran in one meet last year before COVID-19 shut down the season. Prior to that, she ran at Fort Gibson in middle school.
“You never know who you’re running against when you step up to run, you just try to get your times lower and lower,” said Swanson.
Kaitlynn McGee and Aubrielle Brown, both freshmen, ran in the opening meet with Lang and Nicholson. A baton drop caused them not to finish.
“They probably would have won that one too,” said Craig Perry, in his first full year overseeing track at MHS.
“We’re still looking for that right clique going forward,” said Hillmon. “It’s just really a good young group.”
On the boys side, Bryce Duncan, Keondre Johns, Michael Vann and Rahiem Payne were second in the 800 relay, in 1:35.17. Owasso won in 1:30.77. Johns was second in the 200 to Cole Adams of Owasso. Johns won in 22.84, Adams in 22.27.
Other girls points came from the 800 relay, which was fourth in 1:50.44, Ashlen Freeman was fifth in the high jump at 4 feet, 8 inches and sixth in the 100 hurdles in 18.55. Deriayah Lee was fourth in the 300 hurdles and Lang fifth in the 200, in 27.63.
Muskogee’s squads will be at Owasso next Friday.