SHAWNEE — When Eli Wood saw the puddle, he couldn’t help himself.
Without a second thought, the Sequoyah sophomore lunged toward the small pool of water and cannon balled into it, splashing nearby runners in the process.
“I was just trying to have fun, honestly,” Wood said. “That was pretty fun.”
His teammate William Morales, the only other Sequoyah runner, considered performing the dive as well but ultimately chose to forgo the action.
“I was like, ‘Oh, coach is gonna kill him,’” Morales said. “I was going to do it, too, but it was way too cold.”
The Eagles certainly enjoyed themselves at the Class 4A cross-country meet outside the Gordon Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee on Saturday morning.
Woods finished the 5K (3.1 miles) race in 21 minutes, 3 seconds to finish 149th of 167 runners, and Morales came in at 156th with a time of 21:14.
Caden Goss of Ft. Gibson clocked in at 16:15 to win the individual championship, and Lincoln Christian claimed the team title with 75 points.
“I just wanted to get it over with because it’s cold,” Morales said. “The cold made me a lot slower. I usually do way better when it’s warmer and I can handle it.”
Wood and Morales competed as two of the 22 individuals who qualified for the state meet without a full team of five to seven runners.
The pair finished within one second of each other at the regional meet in Kiefer last weekend with times of 19:38 (Wood) and 19:39 (Morales).
Sequoyah coach Brad Holt said they were the last two qualifiers to earn the ‘individual’ distinction for the state meet.
“They knew coming in it would be tough,” Holt said. “They ran well for them. They ran slower today with the muddy conditions.”
Later in the day, Inola’s Zach Briggs competed as an individual in the Class 3A state meet, finishing 99th of 162 runners with a time of 20:29.
Agustin Lopez of Little Axe won that race in 17:01, and Kiefer took the team title with 63 points.