Phoenix Sports Writer
STROUD – Vian’s Rob Boyd defies logic as a shot putter.
He doesn’t spin in the circle like most athletes in the event use to generate speed when releasing the shot. Instead, he keeps stationary, crouches and lets it fly.
That technique obviously worked for him Saturday as he recorded a career-best 51 feet and 1 inch put to win the event in the Class 3A regional track meet on a cold, wet overcast day at Stroud High School.
He qualifies for the May 3-4 state meet next weekend in Ardmore.
“I’m basically standing there and letting it go,” the Tulsa University football signee said. “I twist my body and just come with it. I tried to do the spin and the glide and that would slow me down. We figured out I was more explosive in going from one point and throwing.
“It was a great day. It came off my hand perfectly.”
Boyd’s best showing in the event before Saturday was 47-1 at regionals here last year.
Wilson Wilhite, an assistant coach for Vian’s Brandon Tyler, has worked with Boyd on his technique.
“He’s had more time to work on that and he’s a year older,” Wilhite said of the class valedictorian. “The throw he had (Saturday) was a perfect throw. Everything was straight down the middle in the throwing area. He’s just a hard worker.”
The top three finishers in each event automatically qualify for the state meet. The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association later compiles the next four best qualifiers from the fourth through sixth place finishers at all four regional meets to determine the remaining qualifiers for 16 total qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Sequoyah’s 400-meter relay made up of Grant Nujin, Cody Hooper, Ryan Helsley and Kyle Helsley finished third in 45.87 seconds to qualify for state. It was the first time for them to run in the event this season.
“It wasn’t any problem getting these guys to jell,” Sequoyah assistant coach Brendal Rector said. “We just had to teach them their steps and they picked it up quickly. Coach (Sam) HorseChief and I wanted to qualify these guys because we had a relay team last year everybody heard of, but nobody has heard of these guys.”
This year’s relay replaced the quartet of Dillon Wade, Sonny O’Field, Brayden Scott and Zack Robinson. Scott is at Memphis where he signed to play football in February, and Robinson at Oregon State playing football.
Teamwise, Sequoyah’s boys finished tied for third place with Okemah in the team standings with 63 points. The Indians won this meet a year ago. Okmulgee and Kansas tied for first place on Saturday with 72 points.
HorseChief was proud of his team’s showing.
“We basically had a new team with 10-12 guys,” he said. “We graduated all of those sprinters and came back and had this kind of performance.”
Other boys who qualified for the 3A state meet include Sequoyah’s Nick Kingfisher in the high jump (6-0). Terrence Nofire (10:15.08 in the 3,200) and Eufaula’s Cole Montgomery in the 1,600 (4:47.26 in the 1,600), Keys’ Dakota Matlock in the 100 (11.92) and Vian’s 3,200 relay (9:10.42).
Other girls who qualified for the 3A meet include Sequoyah Brittany Poe (35-5 1/4) in the shot put. Both Keys’ Ali Andrews and Vian’s Mykala Rich qualified in the 1,600 and 3,200. Andrews ran 12:13.88 in the 3,200. Rich had time of 12::26.58 in the 3,200. Vian’s Jennifer Hunter (15-2 1/2) in the long jump and Erica Casey (13.41) in the 100. Vian’s relays in the 400 (53.66) and 800 (1:53.2) along with Stigler’s 400 relay (54.83) also qualified.
In 4A, Checotah’s Katy Smith in the girls 800 (2:28.32) was the lone area qualifier. Hilldale’s boys finished fifth in the 400 relay and have to wait and see if they advance to state.
Class 4A-2A at Oologah
In 4A boys, Fort Gibson’s 1,600-relay of Caleb Phillips, Zach Peterson, J.R. Singleton and Cameron Thomas finished second to qualify for state with a time of 3:34.50. Thre Tigers finished fourth in the 400-relay (45.98) . Gore’s Ben Smith was second in the 2A shot put (44-5 1/4) and third in the discus (130-8). Elsewhere in 2A, Hulbert’s Terry Cook was first in the discus (141-11) and Travis Cook was third (116-10) and third in the shot put (43-11).
Warner’s Mekko Washington was second in the 2A 800 (2:05.28)
In the girls division, Warner’s Becky Kauffman was third in the 1,600-run (6:05.38) while the Lady Eagles were second in the 3,200-relay (10:59.20). Robin Goodreau was third in the discus (86-9). Fort Gibson’s 1,600 boys relay consisting of Kaleb Phillips, Zach Peterson, J.R. Singleton and Cameron Thomas was a razor-close second at 3:34.50 behind Vinita’s 3:34.33.
Kyla Martin was third in the 4A girls shot put (39-1/2) to qualify for state.
Warner, Gore and Hulbert boys tied for ninth with Colcord the champion. Warner girls were fifth with Tonkawa taking the team title. Both Fort Gibson teams were ninth. Vinita’s girls and Douglass’ boys took the championship honors.
—From staff reports