Union’s Shawn Rutledge to Run at OBU
By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
One look at Oklahoma Baptist was all it took for Shawn Rutledge to be convinced that it was the place for him to run.
Rutledge signed with the Shawnee-based university on national signing day back in early February.
What drew him to OBU?
“I feel like the team and the coaches are awesome people and I think they can get me to be the best I can be,” Rutledge said. “It was just a team that was awesome. They’re all good people. Those two things were what influenced me to choose the program.”
He also appreciates the size of the school.
“It’s small, which I kind of enjoy more than a big campus,” Rutledge said. “I’ve always enjoyed that kind of stuff. That was it for me.”
Rutledge chose OBU over Central Arkansas.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Va., Rutledge began attending Union in the second grade after moving with his family to Tulsa. He started running in seventh grade, then quit his freshman year before joining back up his sophomore year. Rutledge also runs track.
As a junior last year, he competed in a few meets before the COVID-19 pandemic forced school closures and cancellations of sports and other activities.
This past fall, he was sixth at the Class 6A state boys championship in cross country. He then placed fifth in the Oklahoma vs. Arkansas meet.
Running challenges Rutledge to push through the pain, he said. “It allows me to just push through the pain and try to do something that I’m not sure I can do at times. That’s what is awesome about it. That’s what I enjoy the most,” the Union senior added.
Just being involved with every practice and meet has been his favorite Union moments.
“My teammates are just awesome people,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge is expecting to run in the 3,200- and 1,600-meter runs this year in track and field. He believes his team has a chance to finish on top this year.
“My main goal is to do what I can do to be a state champion and have our team be a state champion.” he said. “There are other things I would like to do, but that’s at the top of my list.
When he gets to OBU, he can see himself get a lot faster and “That’s the main goal, just to get faster and get better,” Rutledge said.