High school state track: Cashion girls looking to repeat as Class 2A champs
Dark skies were sweltering in the background, but Madelyn McCabe was focused on clearing the bar.
The loudest cheer of the rain-shortened event came when the Cashion junior cleared the high jump. Her leap of 5-feet, 6-inches gave McCabe her second straight Class 2A event title Friday at the Classes 2A and A track meet at Western Heights. Her 10 team points are a strong start for the Cashion girls track team, which is looking to win back-to-back titles.
“She definitely started it off well today,” Cashion coach Tony Wood said.
Storms came through shortly after noon, washing out the rest of Friday’s field events and every track event. The championships will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday with field events wrapping up in the morning and track events running timed finals beginning with the 4x200 relay at 9:30 a.m.
McCabe, who earned national All-America status in 2018 for high jump, has been battling injuries throughout the season. She tied for the top jump with Caney Valley’s Kaitlyn Clemons, but her previous jumps pushed her to the top, making her a state champion again.
“I knew when I cleared my jump that I had won it," McCabe said. "It's why I celebrated so much when I did. It's an awesome feeling."
When Cashion won state last season, McCabe was the only Wildcat to win her event, so they’re off to a strong start.
McCabe is also a stellar long jumper and a key cog in Cashion’s 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
For a team that doesn’t have a track at its high school, finding ways to effectively practice relays was a big part of why the Wildcats won state last year. Wood said his team will need to accumulate as many points in relays as it can to stand atop the podium again.
Cashion borrows Kingfisher’s track to practice sometimes during the year. On running events, the team can use city streets to get into shape. In field events, parents often take kids to tracks where they can practice.
Wood said it puts the burden on him and the parents, but it’s those little things that have paid off and made Cashion successful.
Even with the pressure of trying to defend a team title, Wood said his girls are relaxed ahead of Saturday’s finals.
“They’re eager to run,” Wood said. “It’ll be a little different feeling when they’re running down the front stretch and the stands are packed. More than anything, they’re eager to run.”