MOORE — In reviving an event that had been absent for more than three decades, the Oklahoma Track Coaches Association had hoped the Meet of Champions would draw the best athletes from all over the state.
It was good, and signs are that it can be even better, if the weather helps out next year. A good crowd and just more than 400 athletes showed up at Moore High School for the return of the Meet of Champions on Tuesday evening. Several athletes from Class 5A and 6A chose not to participate after rain postponed their state meet to Monday. The OTCA looked into rescheduling the meet, but several factors, including the availability of the facility and the athletes — mostly because of graduation ceremonies — made it difficult to change. But several big-school athletes pushed through the pain to compete Tuesday. "We’re very tired,” Guthrie’s Dustin Bohanan said after his 400-meter relay team won gold a day after winning the event at the 5A state meet. "We’re sore. Our legs are tight. "But we were coming. We wanted to race Southmoore (6A 400 relay champ), but they weren’t here.” The excitement of the competitors and the understanding of some athletes being too worn down to compete one day after state gave OTCA president and Weatherford coach Dennis Seifried hope that the event will grow next year. "The kids are just tickled to death,” he said. "Everyone we’ve talked to has been so positive about it. I think it’s gonna be one of the biggest events of the spring from now on. "I don’t think there’s any doubt this will be a huge event next year if the weather helps.”
Event gets off to fast startAlmost from the opening pistol shot, there was excitement on the track Tuesday. The first event, the girls 400-meter relay, came down to a photo finish so close that the winners from Choctaw didn’t know they had won until it was announced for them to take their place on the medals stand. "It was close.