MOORE — Ethan Taylor closed his high school track career in style Saturday at Moore High School.
Taylor set a new school record — breaking the record he held previously — in the 110-meter hurdles on his way to his first state championship. The senior ran the race in 15.07 to beat Jaquwan Blalock of Pryor who finished second in 15.29.
“I woke up Sunday and it felt like it had been so long since the race,” Taylor said. “It’s just starting to sink in a few days later.”
Taylor didn’t pull away until late in race, but knew he was a state champion immediately after it was over.
“They were ahead of me for the first couple hurdles, but towards the end I could feel that I had caught them and passed them,” he said. “When I finished I was so happy that all my hard work had paid off. I was smiling so hard. I thought to myself, ‘that actually just happened.'”
Impressively, Taylor only started to run the 110-meter hurdles competitively last season.
The only downside to the day for Taylor was not being able to pick up another state title in the 300-meter hurdles. Though he was favored to do so, Taylor clipped a hurdle near the turn into the final leg, fell to the ground and couldn’t recover. He finished eighth.
“It’s just unfortunate,” he said. “But whenever I won the 110s, I said anything else can happen and I’ll be happy.”
Taylor said a gust of wind near the back-half of the final curve threw him off enough to cause him to catch the hurdle.
“My steps were a little strange,” he said.
Taylor was set to compete in the Meet of Champions at Moore Tuesday.
On Friday, freshman Blake Cope placed fourth in the 3200-meter run.
“He’s only going to get better, too,” head coach Corey Strahorn said. “He rose to the occasion and had a strong finish. It comes with hard work and he has the body type for it, too.”
Strahorn said the goal he’s set for Cope before he leaves is to win a state title.
“He understands that, too,” Strahorn said.
Colton Lindsey finished 12th in the 3200.
Wortmann places sixth in 100-meter hurdles
Megan Wortmann placed sixth in the 100-meter hurdles, good enough to get her on the medal stand in her first-ever appearance at the state meet.
Much to her surprise, she said.
“I was actually about to cry because I didn’t think I made it,” she said. “It wasn’t my fastest race.”
Because she placed at state, Wortmann was set to take part in Tuesday’s Meet of Champions.
“She’s done a great job. She’s the kind of kid who battles at everything she does,” head coach Jon Bakewell said. “She knows what her goals are and she works her best to try to get to the next level.”
A total seven more Piedmont athletes — Kylie Burris, Sydnei Storts, Lydia Wade, Hannah Thomas, Josilyn Schenk, Anna Jacobs and Ashlyn Hamon — competed at state. All but one — Schenk who is moving to Canada — are set to return next season.
“Just to see them compete was big. Not only did they compete to get there, they worked hard once they were there,”Bakewell said. “It’s so exciting to see.”