Nowden gave Davis the edge on the track
For what seems like ages, Davis football and track coach Jody Weber has lauded about the speed of Dedrien Nowden.
Be it on a football field or a track, Weber was confident that he had a difference maker. It certainly made Weber look smart on the gridiron, and Nowden returned the favor this spring with a shorthanded group of Wolves.
Davis' boys brought six athletes to the Class 3A state meet at Noble Stadium and came home with a fifth-place finish. Nowden, the All-Ardmoreite Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year, was the flash finishing off Davis' surprise result.
Against the likes of bigger squads from Lincoln Christian, Millwood, Frederick and Marlow, Davis more than held its own.
Nowden will play defensive back for Central Oklahoma in the fall, but if the Bronchos ever came through with a track program for men, they'd have a dual (sport) threat.
Running the anchor leg on two relays, Nowden helped Davis to a state championship in the 4x100-meter relay and a third-place finish in the 4x200 in 3A.
The finish to the 4x100 was a classic battle with Millwood, with Nowden outlasting Janari Glover down the stretch. Davis won in 44.51 seconds to Millwood's 44.52.
Nowden also placed sixth in the 100 (11.40) after qualifying first in prelims with an 11.11. The field for the 100 was blazing, with the pace set by Millwood's Glover (10.87).
"It was fast," said Nowden of the 4x100, who won the event with his twin brother Michael, Blake Summers and Mitchell Scott. "Going into it, we had the fastest prelim time, and Millwood was right below us. We were thinking 'Oh, we got this. It'll be close, but it won't be too close.'
"It came down to me and him (Glover). We didn't know who won because it was so close."
Nowden said the win was extra special because of where it occurred, adding that Davis hasn't performed particularly well at Noble Stadium in the past. At 3A state in 2012, the Wolves' 4x100 team placed fifth at Noble Stadium.
"The year before (2012), we went over to Ardmore and practiced," Nowden said. "I think it just gave us some bad voodoo, because we had the fastest time."
The speed of Davis is all the more remarkable when you consider that its runners were the vagabonds of the track season. Davis doesn't have a track on campus, so their practices were done mostly on grass. A few times a week, Nowden and Co. would ride to Wynnewood or Sulphur to get on a real track.
For Nowden, who played linebacker for Davis at about 170 pounds, being smaller or working with less has never been a deterrent from achieving success. He hopes that what Davis was able to accomplish carries over into next year.
Page 2 of 2 - "I feel we performed really well for how small we were," Nowden said. "I was hoping to aspire some people to come out for next year. I'm hoping a few people will come out and replace me and Michael."
It'll be pretty hard to replace Dedrien Nowden, who helped Davis qualify for the 4x100 every year of his high school career.
"We took it pretty seriously, because ever since freshman year, we've always made it (in the 4x100)," Nowden said. "I just thought 'It's senior year, last time we get to run it for high school, so let's see what we can do.'
"We trained, went out and ran and ended up being pretty good."
Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD