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Union Boundary

Springtime Another Championship Season for Union

Sports Writer

STATE CHAMPS: From left, Keviyon Cooper, Travon Delph, J.T. McCloud and Patrick Fields celebrate winning the Class 6A boys state track and field title in May in Yukon.

Courtesy Union Track and Field Coaching Staff

Another spring sports team at Union earned the right to be called champions this spring. While the girls’ soccer team took their third straight state title at The University of Tulsa on May 13, the boys track team won their first Class 6A state championship in eight years and one Lady Redskin captured gold medals in two field events in Yukon. The event took place over a two-day period.  

Contributing to their point total in the team standings were juniors Keviyon Cooper, Travon Delph, Patrick Fields and sophomore J.T. McCloud. The quartet made up the 400-meter, 800-meter, and 1,600-meter relay teams, winning the races with respective times of 41.72, 1:27.14 and 3:18.09.

Cooper also finished first place in the 400-meter run with a time of 48.23. He said that he knew that as long as he did his job correctly, he knew he wasn’t going to get beat.
“First of all, I give all glory to God,” Cooper says. “It feels nice to actually help my team and get us back on the map with the win. It’s been eight years, so it feels good.”

The Redskins finished with 104 points, 13 better than runner-up Edmond Memorial.

“What really helped us with our success was the hunger and compassion we all had to try to get us a title, because it has been really a long time for Union,” Cooper says. “All the times we came out to practice and cheered each other on, that’s really what helped us trying to get us to win.”

As anchor of the relay teams, Cooper tells the difference between sprinting in a run solo and joining three others in relays.

“The difference in running by yourself is you’re just running for yourself, you’re just doing it for you,” he says. “But as a team, it’s like a big effort. You can’t do bad and hope someone tries to do good. You all have to do good and come together.”

McCloud echoes that statement.

“In relays, you got to do your part and hope everybody else does their part, so you can beat everybody,” says McCloud, who was the second leg of the relay.

“We just stayed focused, because we had to work on our handoffs. After we got all that down, we were able to do more and get faster times to reach our goal,” McCloud says.

On the girls’ side, Tryzah Stinson took first-place medals in the discus throw and shot put events, throwing distances of 149-7 and 41-2.25, respectively. She and the rest of the Lady Redskins finished with 50 points, taking third in the team standings behind Edmond Memorial (134) and Moore (66).

Stinson, who graduated after her wins, relocated to Tulsa with her family from Woodward between her sophomore and junior seasons. Her mother won state in the same events her junior and senior years, and Stinson wanted to get one.

“I was pretty excited,” Stinson said. “Actually, I had looked forward to it my whole life. I was totally excited because my mom was there to see me do it.”

Stinson started competing in the discus throw and shot put when she was in the sixth grade, but her mom began teaching her long before that.

Having come up shy of winning the gold in previous trips to state, she worked extra throughout the year.

“Personally, we had 2 ½ to 3 hours a day during the week of practice after school,” Stinson says. “My mom and I would get there early and work on footwork before everybody got there and try to work on it a little bit after and spend a lot of time in the weight room.”

When the moment arrived, Stinson excelled, and it paid off.

“I think being calm and knowing what I was capable of and definitely lots of practice made the difference,” she says. “I was ready for it. I’ve been waiting for a long time. I’ve been to state enough times, but I knew what I needed to do.”

You never stop learning and improving in the shot put and discus throw, Stinson says, and that’s what she likes the most about it.

“You can’t get so good at it where you don’t learn more things,” Stinson says. “You can always figure out something else that you can fix and that you can change. There are so many different ways you can do it, and I feel like that’s what kept me going. I never got bored with it. There was always something new every day.”

Updated 06-17-2017

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  • Edward Jones
  • Edward Jones