Baker sets meet record at Oklahoma High School Indoor Championship, THS 'competitive' ahead of outdoor season

Feb. 12—NORMAN — Just a little over an hour after getting second in the mile race, Tahlequah Tigers' Trae Baker set a meet record in the half-mile race in the Oklahoma High School Indoor Championship on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Baker won the meet and set the new record with a time of 1:57.84. Baker beat the next closer runner by about four seconds. An hour and 10 minutes earlier, Baker placed second in the 1600-meter race with a time of 4:32.01.

"It tells you how well conditioned he is to do that," THS Long Distance Coach David Spears said. "He only had a little bit of time between races. He had a kick with 200 meters to go to blow off the doors of the guy in second place. It tells you how hard he has worked, he is also mentally strong to come out and run like that."

Along with competing in the two individual events, Baker was also a part of the Tigers' 4x800 relay team that nabbed sixth place. Baker was joined by Matthew Talburt, Ismael Perez and Jalen Hooper.

"I think they did a really good job for the first time running all year. I was really pleased with the efforts, we just need to get in better shape and we will be okay," Spears said.

The other Tigers competed in the 800-meter race. Wyatt Burson finished with a time of 217.53. Taven Neal finished with a time of 221.40.

Hooper also competed in the mile with Baker, finishing with a time of 4:55.77. In the 3000-meter race, Kaden Turner finished with a time of 10:36.20k, while Joesph Espinosa added a time of 10:56.

On the girls' side, Tori Pham grabbed 29th, in the one-mile race, while Analeigh Rowe with a time of 8:07.60.

"They were so competitive in the meet. Indoor is hard, because of that track there aren't a lot of places to pass, it's like a little roller derby," Spears said. "But once we get our confidence down we will do better. It isn't about how you start the year, it is how you end it, we just need to trust our conditioning, and trust the process we will be okay."

The Tigers open their outdoor season on March 2.

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