By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Broken Arrow won the state championship in boys track and field for the first time since 2013, as the Tigers finished the Class 6A boys meet with 110.2 points. Jenks was second with 88 points and Union was third with 74.
The Tigers won a pair of relay events and got a gold medal from Brandon Hanoch in the pole vault on the weekend of May 10-11 in Moore.
Three seniors – Kalope Morris, Keith Smith and Logan Matthews were part of the 400- and 800-relay teams. They finished with times of 41.71 and 1:27.47 in each of those respective races. Hanoch, also a senior, finished with a vault of 14-6 in his event.
“It feels amazing with all the hard work we put in,” Matthews said. “We had a great coach behind us all the way.”
“It was such a good feeling to know that we started from nowhere and got somewhere,” Morris said. “We progressed and progressed as the season went along and it came out great. This season was pretty much a success.”
In winning the pole vault, Hanoch got to enjoy his first state gold medal.
“It was definitely a goal I had all season,” he said. “During my whole career, I always wanted to win a state title. I’ve had several family members who won a state title in the pole vault, so, I wanted to follow suit.”
His older brother, father, grandfather and a couple of uncles had also competed in the sport in high school.
“I had a pretty big senior year and improved a lot this year,” Hanoch said. “So, I got into a better position to win state.”
Hanoch will continue his pole vaulting in college when he attends Oral Roberts next year.
Matthews said the key to winning was keeping a level head, not folding under pressure and teamwork.
“We all had a key place to play,” said Matthews, who was also a member of the state championship football team last fall.
“It was also chemistry,” Morris said. “We’ve known each other for a long time now and we knew what we were supposed to do. We had been switching people around all year and we finally got our team in place to surprise people.”
“There was a lot of people on this team who believed and I tried my best to push people to be their best and it was awesome to see all the hard work they put in pay off,” Hanoch said. “It was definitely something I was hoping for, but I wasn’t sure if it would happen. But as we started to go, I realized it would happen. I was definitely proud of the team I was on and I was happy to contribute for the team.”
Morris and Matthews do hope that their accomplishments will inspire future Tiger track athletes to win more state titles.
“Winning is in our blood and everybody can do it,” Morris said. “They’ve seen us do it this year, so if they all put in the hard work, they can do it.”
“We’re just building everything back up,” Matthews said. “We fell off for a time, but we had a few coaches coming in, a few transfers coming in, all the pieces came together and we made it work.”
“God bless everybody,” Matthews said.
Tiger Quick Hits
• Broken Arrow took runner-up at the 6A girls track and field meet. The Lady Tigers were in first place after day one, but were passed over by Edmond Memorial, who won with 147 points. Broken Arrow finished with 101.5. It won the 1,600 meter relay event with a time of 3:52.46 and Payton Hinkle won the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:00.69.
• The Tigers’ baseball team made a run for state title, but, came up shy as it lost 5-4 to Edmond Santa Fe in the Class 6A title game on May 11 at ONEOK Field. Highlighted by a two-shot home run from highly touted football recruit Andrew Raym, BA had a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. But it lost the lead when it gave up three runs in that frame. Broken Arrow finished the season with a 24-11 record.