Crowson took the lead early with two Riverside runners on his heels, but about 1 1/2 miles into the race, the Outlaw decided he did not want any more company and pulled away.
“I was feeling good, so I decided to push it a little bit,” Crowson said. “All the training I’ve been doing since the summer has paid off.”
The weather was ideal for the race with a cool morning giving way to warmer weather by the early afternoon.
“He’s a good Christian, godly kid,” Marlow coach Mikey Eaves said. “Everything he does, he does in honor of God. That’s not just in running – that’s in life and leadership. You can’t say enough about the kid. Any school would be lucky to have him whether it is football, basketball, baseball or whatever. Those are the type of kids you need and it showed. His eyes are on the goal and that is to be an all-stater and be in the front pack.”
Crowson knocked 20 seconds off of his previous race a few weeks before at the course. He finished the 5k race in a time of 17:08, 31 seconds ahead of second place Red Grounds of Riverside.
Marlow placed five runners in the top 12, finishing with 35 points, 16 points ahead of second place Riverside.
Chris Davis (18:03) and Justin Brown (18:14) took seventh and eighth respectively. Ethan Blanchfield (18:24) and Nathan Fikes (18:27) were 11th and 12th. Ben Ivory (19:11) finished 19th, while Johnathan Cantwell rounded out Marlow runners in 21st (19:14) in the 66-runner field.
“It was a good example of the work we put in,” Eaves said. “This season has been pretty exciting. We’ve had our ups and downs. To perform the way we did coming out here at regionals is pretty exciting.”
The Outlaws trained both in the morning and afternoons to get ready for the race.
“This goes to show what type of kids we have,” Eaves said. “They don’t mind working and when you don’t have kids that don’t mind working, you can push them to the limit a little bit.”
Lady Outlaws take secondMarlow sophomore Rylee Rich fought through pain all week in practice and in the regional race, but still managed to lead the Lady Outlaws to a second place finish.
Rich was third individually with a time of 12:59.25, 24 seconds behind first place Jaime Alexander of Marietta. Marietta won the team title with 32 points, 12 points ahead of Marlow.
Rich was one of four Marlow runners to finish in the top 10. Tiarah Nunley was fifth (13:21.47); Hannah Scarbrough was eighth (13:46.62); and Lauryn Knox was 10th (13:54.65).
The race had to have two starts. A tree stump near the start line caused runners to squeeze inside it or go around it. Scarbrough got tangled up with another runner and fell, causing a false start.
Sarah Ivory (14:41.22) finished 25th, and Jill Cowley (15:04.34) was 32nd to round out Marlow runners. There were 80 total runners.
“I thought it was a lot better than the last time we ran here,” Eaves said. “The invitational we ran here a couple of weeks ago we struggled with. Obviously we’ve trained since then, so I was pleased with that.
“The biggest thing is not the times, it is who you are competing against. We knew Marietta was the team to beat. They’ve been training well and running well. That’s the team we’ve got to catch up to. “
The Lady Outlaws will do that by training hard this week as they prepare for the state meet this Saturday at Shawnee.
“We need to get healthy and get where we need to be. If we do that, we will give them a run for their money. If it happens, it happens, but either way I’ll be proud of them.”