YUKON — Championship-winning coaches love to talk about the importance of a total team effort in winning a title.
Edmond Memorial girls track coach Tim Grantham has proof of just how valuable it was for his team to win the Class 6A state track championship Saturday at Yukon High School.
Memorial had a shot at a two-championship day, but Broken Arrow's boys won the final event, the 1,600-meter relay, to pass the Bulldogs for the team crown, 125-110.
The Memorial girls had only one individual athlete win a gold medal. The team's other three golds came in relays, and the Bulldogs scored points in 13 of the 17 events at the meet.
“We had a lot of adversity, with injuries, especially,” Gratham said. “We needed everybody doing their part. I told them on the bus (Friday night), we need somebody to step up. Who's it gonna be? And they all said, ‘I'll do it.' And all of them did.”
Sophomore Jenny Roy, who was one of the last qualifiers for state, won the high jump at 5 feet, 6 inches, edging Putnam City's Schuyler Wood at 5-4 for the Bulldogs' only individual gold.
They added relay victories in the 400, 800 and 1,600 meters, but piled up the points by scoring in every event they could, totaling 134 points, with Edmond Santa Fe second at 73.
“We just did our best in every event, and it worked out for the best,” said Cherish Abinah, one of three seniors on the team. “Going out on such a good note is a great feeling.”
Abinah and fellow senior Shaquan Burris each scored in the 100 meters, with Burris finishing second and Abinah third. Burris finished with four medals on the day, adding to the Bulldogs' relay wins.
“My sophomore and junior year I came here, and never placed, so this is amazing,” Burris said. “This is a big accomplishment for the whole team. We couldn't have done it without every person on the team.”
For senior Emmi Scott, a season ravaged by injuries to her hamstring and quadriceps couldn't have ended any sweeter.
“We won it when we were sophomores, but it was just a couple girls scoring most of the points,” Scott said. “This is seriously a Cinderella story, because we've been through so much this season.
“Every girl did their part. Every girl got on the podium. I'm just so grateful for my team. Being a team captain, this is a great way to leave this team. We're leaving a tradition, a legacy. To have the heart and the fight to do this means a lot.”