Ardmore boys track and field cruises past competition for Class 5A state title

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
The Tigers cruised past the competition on Saturday to win the Class 5A State Championship at Noble Stadium. It was the first time since 2002 that both Ardmore programs won a title in the same season.

State titles are rare in any sport, but it’s even rarer to see two programs bring home the gold during the same season. Don’t tell that to the Ardmore High School track and field teams though.

Both squads won it all during back-to-back seasons in 2000 and 2001 and completed the sweep again Saturday when the Tigers clinched a 5A State Championship at Noble Stadium.

“It’s a great day to be a Tiger, it’s the best day ever,” said Ardmore head coach Bryce Bell. “It doesn’t get any better than this, for both teams to win it here. My first year, I joked with coach Brenda McHatton that ‘Teamwork makes the dream work, of working together and looking past who has boys and who has girls, and coaching kids, caring for kids and helping them.’

“We both do that for each other,” Bell continued. “Her and her coaching staff and her athletes cheer for ours like crazy and they’re just as happy for each other as they are for themselves. And that’s what makes it all worthwhile.”

Bell also mentioned that Ardmore’s athletes deserve all the credit. He said the Tigers have listened, bought in and believed from the first day until now.

However, Bell also put in his fair share of hard work and dedication and it showed as he tried to gather his thoughts following the celebration.

“There’s nothing sweeter than this moment,” Bell said. “It’s a great day to be a Tiger. I love these kids. Seeing this is worth every bit of it, every single bit of it. I love every one of them.”

Ricky Smith led the way as he won a state title in the long jump at 22 feet, five inches.

Ardmore also took home first place in the 4x100 relay at 42.41, while KeRonn Johnson, Evan Smith, Jalen Reed and Donald May finished second in the 4x200 at 1:29.03.

Walker, Reed, Swanson and Ricky Smith were also second in the 4x400 at 3:28.67. 

May placed third in the 100 at 10.78, followed by Evan Smith in seventh with a 11.16.

Reed, Walker, Swanson and Fayera Wolabu added a fourth-place finish in the 4x800 at 8:29.60.

Walker took fourth in the 800 at 2:01.68, while Swanson ran a 51.06 to place fifth in the 400.

Elijah Franks took seventh in the 300 hurdles at 43.22 and Quade Derryberry was ninth in the discus at 133 feet.

Dakaree Scott tied for 10th in the high jump at 5 feet, 10 inches, while Derryberry was 11th in the shot put (44 feet, 4 inches) and Cordarius Tyner took 15th at 42 feet, 4 inches.

“We’re going to be back for it next year,” Bell said. “We have too many back next year for me to worry too much. I’m going to enjoy this, get some rest and I’ll bet at some point (Saturday) night I’ll try to figure out how we’re going to do it again next year.”