As soon as Ardmore 400-meter dasher Jywayne Allen glided to a win in his heat, the sophomore slipped on his track pants and casually sat in the shade underneath the Noble Stadium bleachers.


As soon as Ardmore 400-meter dasher Jywayne Allen glided to a win in his heat, the sophomore slipped on his track pants and casually sat in the shade underneath the Noble Stadium bleachers.

If the Tigers were nervous, you certainly couldn’t tell.

Allen and the Tigers weren’t No. 1 at the Ardmore Invitational on Friday, but they were close. Against competition from north and south, Ardmore placed second to Lawton. No boys team scores were reported.

Allen, the defending state Class 5A champion in the 400, ran to a first-place time of 48.94 second in the final, one of four event wins for the Tigers. Ardmore’s state champion 4x400 relay team was close to 2 seconds better than Lawton and defending state discus and shot put champ Ryan Minkley won with throws of 60 feet, 2 inches and 177-2, respectively.

In a girls’ field equally as deep, Denton Guyer won with 110 points, with Plainview placing second with 89. Ardmore’s girls were fourth with 63 points.

“I’m a friend with the coach at Denton Guyer, and I told him, ‘You’ve got 4,000 kids and we’ve got 350,’” Plainview girls coach Jerry Naylor joked. “There were lots of good teams there. You compete against hard teams and that’s what makes you better.”

Plainview’s girls did get wins in three events. Abbie Wallace won the high jump at 5-4, and the Indians finished first through third in the 3,200 run, with defending 3A champ Tess Lackey leading the pack at 12:02, followed by Alex Davis and Rebekah Hickman. Davis was also second in the 1,600, and C.J. Hornback was second in the 100 hurdles.

Pole vaulter Danielle Nowell attempted to break her state record of 12-9 with attempts at 13 feet, but couldn’t convert. She still won with a 12-6.
Ardmore’s Veronique Parker strolled to a win in the 400 (59.06), as did Leneé Brown in the discus, besting Kammie Mercer of Madill 127 feet to 110-9. Ardmore’s girls took three of the top six spots in the discus, with Nychole Brown placing third and Marquitta Oliver taking sixth. Ardmore’s girls were second to Guyer in the 4x400 relay.

The 21-team event was primarily made up of larger schools. Madill and Lone Grove of 4A and Plainview, Little Axe, Elgin and Pauls Valley of 3A were the only non-6A or 5A teams represented. Guyer is a Class 4A school in Texas.

“Kids love and hate this because the competition is so stiff,” Plainview boys coach Johni Bell said. “It’s always good to run up.”

Allen, a sophomore, said it was easier to run on the road than at the home stadium. It didn’t seem that way, as he was the only 400 runner under 49 seconds.

But running away from Noble Stadium does have its advantages.

“If I do bad, I don’t have the whole town telling me what I did wrong,” he said.

If not for sprinter Andra Brown’s tender hamstring, the Tigers may have had a win in the 4x100 relay. Brown had to withdraw from the event and an unofficial substitution at the last second earned them a disqualification. Lawton took the first-place points, one of two wins for the Wolverines.

Madill’s boys got wins in the 100 and 200 dashes from Darryl Fields (10.95 and 22.05) and the 800 run from Marcos Duran (2:01.24). The lone win for Plainview’s boys came in the pole vault from Tanner Callihan (14-0), but Andrew Leahey finished third in the 1,600 run and Leahey and Gary Heller took fourth in the 3,200 run and high jump, respectively.

Lone Grove’s Calvin Helmers was sixth in the 100 hurdles.

Erik K. Horne
221-6522