Ada tops Heritage Hall for 4A state title

May 9—CATOOSA — The Ada High boys track team trailed private-school powerhouse Heritage Hall by three and a half points with only one event remaining Saturday evening at the Class 4A State meet hosted by Catoosa High School.

That final event was the 4x400-meter relay and that meant bad news for the Chargers.

Ada's team of Camariee Richardson, Lakievin Richardson, Gavin Hamilton and Xander Rhynes won that race and sealed the 4A state championship for the Cougar track squad.

Ada finished with 102.50 total points and jumped ahead of Heritage Hall, which finished second at 93. Cache followed in third place at 81.

"I told the kids if we could get it to the mile relay, we're going to be in good shape. We knew we had the best mile relay team in our class — in fact, we were in the Top 3 in the entire state of Oklahoma coming into the state meet," Ada boys track coach Colby Shamley told The Ada News.

Ada won the 4x400-meter relay with a time of 3:20.49. Wagoner was runner-up at 3:21.60 and Chickasha finished third at 3:25.59. Heritage Hall ended up in fifth place with a time of 3:27.55.

"That's back-to-back weeks we ran 3:20. That's extremely hard and extremely fast," Shamley said. "Each one of those guys earned it. They've pushed themselves, they've thrown up and they've done what they needed to do."

It was the seventh overall boys state track championship for Ada and the first state title since 1979.

"I'm so excited for the kids. At the end of the day, it's about the kids. They're the ones who did it. I'm so proud of them because winning state in track is really, really hard. It takes a point here and a point there," Shamley said.

According to Shamley, out of the 14 AHS athletes that competed at the state meet, 13 scored points for the Cougars.

"It was a team effort by far," he said. "It's something we have been building since the first day I got here three years ago. It's been a process trying to get better each year."

Even though it was a tight battle throughout with Heritage Hall, the Cougars stayed the course.

"As the meet was going on for the two days, the pressure never really got to them. When you get to the state meet, pressure buckles a lot of people — kids and teams," Shamley said. "I just told them to go out and continue to do what we've been doing all year and put the pressure on those other teams to do something they're not used to doing."

The 4x400 relay team was one of five gold medals the Cougars brought home.

Ada's 4x200-meter relay team — consisting of Camariee Richardson, Tremain Gray, Gavin Hamilton and Xander Rhynes — surprised the field by winning that race. They finished with a state-record time of 1:26.33. Wagoner was second at 1.27.88 and Heritage Hall won the copper medal with a time of 1.28.07.

"They broke the state record by almost two seconds. Those kids ran extremely well. Any time you can break a state record, that's always great," Shamley said. "That was a big relay for us. That gave us four more points than we were projected to get."

Junior Gavin Gunter won the discus throw with a school-record toss of 173'-3". Montiel Crane of Clinton gave Gunter a run for his money, finishing second with a distance of 172' even. Zavier Freeman of Heritage Hall finished third at 161'-2". Ada's Dawson Mathews ended up fifth with a throw of 153'-6".

"Gavin's a kid that has worked extremely hard on his craft. We would come back at night over the last month and work on some things," Shamley said. "He's not a real Rah Rah guy but he's going to handle his business. You have to be at your best when your best is needed and he was."

Carter Colombe won a state championship in the high jump after clearing the bar at 6-6. Teaguen Collins of Muldrow and David King of North Rock tied for second with jumps of 6-4. Ada teammate Millian Riley finished in a tie for sixth after a jump of 5-10.

"In a normal situation, Carter would have been a two-time state champion. But he was runner-up to his teammate, Andrew Hughes, last year," Shamley said.

"Obviously, everyone knows about Andrew and the success that he's had and the impact he's had on this track team for the last two years," he continued. "I was proud of Carter. He's been battling a foot injury ... but he stayed the course and made the jumps when he needed to."

Once again, Ada senior track standout Xander Rhynes proved he had no equal in the 400-meter dash. He repeated as state champ — he won the gold medal in Class 5A last year — with a time of 47.95. Greydon Howell of Broken Bow was second at 48.89 and Atticus Thompson of Clinton finished third at 49.15.

Rhynes finished the state meet by earning three gold medals and contributing 50 points to Ada's overall team score.

"He won three gold medals at the state meet. It's hard enough to win one, let alone three. I'm so proud of the success he's had over the last two years. He's a big part of why we're state champions and he's going to go down as one of the better athletes to come through the Ada track program," Shamley said.

Junior Deanate Lindsay was runner-up in the 300-meter hurdles and finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles.

In the 300-meter race, Lindsay finished with a time of 39.79. Maddox Motley of North Rock Creek won the event with a time of 38.94 and Keidon Holt of Dewey finished third at 40.21.

Lindsay finished the 110-meter event with a time of 15.42. Motley also won that hurdles race with a time of 14.45. Holt was second at 14.81 and Major Sharp of Tuttle finished third with a time of 15.27.

In the long jump, Caron Richardson earned points for the Cougars with a seventh-place showing after a leap of 20'-10.5". Atticus Thompson of Clinton won the gold with a jump of 23'-5.28". Connor Muldowney of Cache was second at 22'-3".

Senior Fisher Marr helped the AHS cause with an eight-place finish in the shot put after a heave of 47'-4.75". Braden Garrison of Dewey was the champion with a distance of 64'-4.57".

Shamley again gave big credit to all his Ada High track athletes for putting in the work and performing well to earn the state title.

"I tell them all the time, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. I've used that as an analogy a lot for our track team. I told them 'Guys, I can get you in shape and can do all these things for you, but at the end of the day you have to go perform,'" he said.

"They're going to be state champs for the rest of their lives. Nobody can take that away from them," he continued. "Whenever they're struggling in life, hopefully, they can go back and remember all the hard work they put in to have this success. and maybe that will help them continue through their lives in a positive manner."


May 3-4


Class 4A State Meet

At Catoosa High School

Team Standings

1. ADA 102.50

2. Heritage Hall 93

3. Cache 81

4. Sulphur 62

5. Wagoner 40

6. North Rock Creek 39

(tie) Clinton 39

8. Bethany 36

9. Bristow 34

10. Tuttle 33

11. Plainview 28

12. Madill 26

13. Dewey 24

14. Perkins-Tryon 21

15. Chickasha 30

16. OK Christian 19.50

17. Bridge Creek 15

18. Checotah 14

19. Broken Bow 13

20. Woodward 11

21. Poteau 10

(tie) Catoosa 10

23. Muldrow 8

24. Byng 7

25. Pauls Valley 6