Track and field is a sport where individual accomplishments result in team goals. This is also the philosophy of Claremore track coach Eric Wiens as he prepares his program for Friday and Saturday at the 5A State Track and Field Championships in Yukon.
“Ultimately, winning would be great,” Wiens said. “But what we tell the kids is if they do their best, everything will turn out the way it should. If their best is good enough, then everything is going to be fine. The more pressure we put on them, the worse they do.”
If that philosophy is followed by the athletes in the 29 qualifying events for this weekend’s showcase, then the Lady Zebras will be in the running for a state title, and the boys are in the running for a trophy. The program could also produce several individual state champions, and according to Wiens, there could be more than 10 champions when all is said and done.
“It’s going to be an awesome state meet to watch,” he said. “The state meet is going to be busy.”
There are several athletes who could bring home gold medals.
For the girls, the 1600-meter relay and the 3200-meter relay will be considered among the favorites. The 1600 team has the second best seed time, and the 3200 team has the third best time.
Sydney Callender, whose older sister Katelyn won the 300 hurdles last year, has the best time in the same event this season. Her time of 47.08 is the best in the field.
Katelyn Alexander has the second best 800-meter time in the field. She also has the best 1600-meter time of 5:35.01. Teammate Laynie Nichols has the second best time of 5:36.84. Nichols has the second best 3200-meter time as well.
Wiens also likes the chances of his girls in the field events. Jazymne Hoke jumped 4-10 at regionals, but Wiens said she has the potential of jumping 5-6, which would put her in the running.
And Kacey Holt, who qualified in both throwing events, has thrown the discus 125 feet in practice, which would put her in the running as well.
Regional champion Anna Perry has the second best time in the 200 meters.
For the boys, Wiens like the chances of his 1600-relay team. The quartet of Ethan Shires, Luke Woodruff, Jack Vincent and Dylan Kedzior could make a run at a championship.
Kedzior has a chance of winning the 400 meters, according to Wiens.
Wiens also likes Vincent and Andrew Vanaman in their individual events. Vincent has one of the top times in the 800 meters, and the duo can each win in the 3200 meters.
200 meters: Anna Perry
300 hurdles: Sydney Callender, Jazymne Hoke
800 meters: Katelyn Alexander
1600 meters: Katelyn Alexander, Laynie Nichols
3200 meters: Laynie Nichols
400 relay: Sydney Callender, Riley Denler, Kate Bustamante, Anna Perry
800 relay: Sydney Callender, Riley Denler, Kate Bustamante, Anna Perry
1600 relay: Riley Denler, Anna Perry, Laynie Nichols, Katelyn Alexander
3200 relay: Gloria Butts, Sarah Willhoite, Laynie Nichols, Katelyn Alexander
High Jump: Jazymne Hoke, Jamie Burden
Discus: Kacey Holt
Shot Put: Kacey Holt
400 meters: Dylan Kedzior
110 hurdles: Ethan Shires
300 hurdles: Ethan Shires
800 meters: Jack Vincent
1600 meters: Jack Vincent, Andrew Vanaman
3200 meters: Jack Vincent, Andrew Vanaman, Michael McMorris
1600 relay: Ethan Shires, Luke Woodruff, Jack Vincent, Dylan Kedzior
High Jump: Quentin Skinner, Blake Hargrove
Pole Vault: Reid Willhoite
Shot Put: Coby Williams