TRACK & FIELD: 4 Rogers County athletes clinch state championships

May 7—Although Rogers County is only the 54th largest of 77 counties in Oklahoma, four track-and-field athletes who call it home proved they are among the best of the best.

Sequoyah's Sonny Proctor, Ben Hagebusch and Avery Lawhorn of Chelsea and Foyil's Mason Valliere were all crowned as state champions in their respective events over the weekend, showcasing their speed, athleticism and strength in the process.

Proctor seized victory in the 300-meter hurdles at the Class 3A State Championships in Catoosa, overcoming his second-place standing in the preliminaries with a record-breaking time of 39.32 seconds. His performance not only secured his state championship but also shattered a 30-year school record of 39.82 seconds, previously held by Josh Stowe since 1994.

Proctor also set the school record in the 110 hurdles, placing second in 14.71 seconds. The previous record of 14.78 seconds was set by Pat Clark in 1982.

Hagebusch and Lawhorn dominated the high jump event at the Class 2A State Championships at Western Heights in Oklahoma City.

Hagebusch soared to victory with a height of 6 feet, 4 inches, while Lawhorn secured her title with a jump of 5-06. Both athletes triumphed over their competitors by a margin of 2 inches.

Valliere emerged as another standout performer, claiming the Class 2A shot put state championship with a toss of 57-00 — more than 8 feet further than second place. The achievement added to his previous success, having secured the Class A title in the same event last year with a throw of 50-07.

Additionally, Hagebusch displayed his versatility by clinching third place in the 400 with a commendable time of 51.83 seconds.

Lawhorn's contributions extended beyond individual events, as she played a pivotal role in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays for Chelsea, earning valuable points with seventh- and eighth-place finishes, respectively. She teamed with Jaclyn Draeger, Bryonna Wisdom and Jade Sage in the 4x400, while the 4x800 team included Draeger, Wisdom and Natalie Lopez.

The performances of these four state champions — as well as others — underscored the fact that talent knows no boundaries, regardless of county size. As they bask in the glory of their state championships, they serve as inspirations to aspiring athletes across the area.

Rogers County also boasted several other state placers who showcased their talent and determination on the grand stage.

Notable performances include Emma Young of Verdigris, who secured third place in the 4A girls discus event with a throw of 120-07, and Titus Miller of Catoosa, who clinched fourth place in the 4A boys high jump with a height of 6-02. Braxton Repschlaeger of Catoosa impressed in the 4A boys long jump, securing fourth place with a jump of 21-09.25, while Baylee Schwarze of Chelsea showcased her skills in the 2A girls discus event, clinching fourth place with a throw of 102-09.

Isabella Ludemann of Sequoyah secured fifth place in the 3A girls high jump with a height of 5-00, while Joseph Estes of Inola showcased his speed with a sixth-place finish in the 4A boys 100, clocking in at 11.14 seconds. JR Veysey secured a sixth-place finish as well, finishing the 2A boys 300 hurdles in 43.71 seconds.

The performances of Verdigris' Kylee Dee and Young, who secured eighth place in the 4A girls 100 (12.69 seconds) and the 4A girls shot put (35-09.50), respectively, further solidified Rogers County's presence among the state's top competitors.