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Regent Student Wins 3rd Cross Country Title

By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer

ELLIE GILBREATH: She won her third straight state championship in Class 2A cross country in October.



Ellie Gilbreath won her third straight Class 2A state championship in girls’ cross country in October in Shawnee. But this one was special compared to the others.
Gilbreath, a junior at Regent Preparatory, did not have to persevere through nagging pain as she had to the previous seasons.

“This is the first season that I have been completely injury-free, because I have had shin splints in the past,” says Gilbreath, who also runs track and plays soccer in the spring. “Normally, I get real bad shin splints in track and in cross country. They’ve always kind of flared up toward the end of the season. But, this year, I was able to train hard the whole season.”

Running the 2-Mile (3200-Meter), Gilbreath finished the race in a time of 11:28.63, winning by 35.28 seconds against runner-up Zoee Weaver of Beaver (12:03.91).

“It felt really good,” says Gilbreath, now a 3-time state champion. “Definitely, my hard work paid off. It’s just really nice knowing that the whole season had a really good ending. Probably my favorite, so far.

“I prayed a lot. I put it all in God’s hands, and I trained probably harder than I ever have. Being injury-free definitely helped.”

Natalia Cleveland, a freshman who took 11th with a time of 12:55.93, was also a boost for Gilbreath.

“She really motivated me to work hard,” Gilbreath says. “It was really nice having her in practice every day, pushing me, and I definitely think she helped me run as well as I did.”

Running is not something Gilbreath has always done. She took it up in the seventh grade but never trained because she had been involved in ice skating most of her life at that point. But her skills on the rink helped her excel.

“I think it definitely did,” Gilbreath says. “That’s probably what made me able to run so well in middle school without training for running, because it is actually really hard, and it takes a lot of aerobic strength.”

Although she only does it every once in a while, Gilbreath is expected to participate in a Christmas program this month at the BOK Center.

“Well, I definitely know that God has blessed me with natural talent. I do work hard,” she says.

It was Gilbreath’s freshman year when things took off for her on the trail.

“That’s when I actually started running mileage and training,” she says. “Ever since freshman year, I have run more and more and have gotten more competitive. My favorite thing is the feeling after the race. It’s so nice to see that your hard work has paid off. It’s just very rewarding.”

Outside of Regent Prep, Gilbreath also runs with the Jenks America Track Club. She ran in a national meet in Ohio, the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Gilbreath also won a state track title in the 2-Mile run last spring and finished runner-up the previous two years.

Next year, she hopes to successfully get the four-peat.

L. Christian Boys, BKHS Girls Winners

Lincoln Christian won its fourth straight state title in Class 4A with senior Luke Murphy winning as an individual. The Eagles captured the team championship with 44 points, beating Bethany who finished with 111. Murphy took top individual medalist honors with a time of 16:29.70. Finishing behind him in second was Michael Gates (3:20.53), of Weatherford.

Other Lincoln Christian runners were seniors Preston Turner (third, 16:50.06), Brock Sherwin (10th, 17:19.59), Harison Michael (13th, 17:27.89), freshman Josiah Antis (17th, 17:50.25) and sophomore Nate Gibson (23rd, 18:06.19).

One week later in Edmond, Bishop Kelley took home the Class 5A girls championship with 55 points. Runner-up Claremore was second with 67 points. Highest individual finisher was junior Tess Crosley, who finished the 5K run with a time of 20:09.03. Sophomore Sara Crosley (ninth, 20:22.77), junior Jenna Swords (11th, 20:28.98), senior Mary Ziegler (16th, 20:37.77), freshman Abigail Hills (19th, 20:49.13) and sophomore Shelby Peck (25th, 21:01.77).

Updated 12-19-2017

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