By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Cheyenne Walden is quickly becoming one of the most heavily decorated athletes in school memory. The Charles Page High School junior is already a three-time State Champion in Cross Country, and she now holds three State Championship medals in Track as well.
The 2016 season came to a close Saturday afternoon at Moore High School with Walden standing high atop the podium hand in hand with her fellow medalists, a place quite familiar for the extraordinary runner.
This past fall Walden went undefeated for the entirety of the Cross Country season with nine first-place finishes. At the Regional Championship she smashed her personal record with a 17:35.02 finish and went on to win her third-straight State Championship.
Walden also went undefeated in the 3200 all season long in Track and only failed to win the 1600 once. She won fourteen events and expanded her resume to include the 800 and the 4x800 relay. At the Regional track meet she won the 1600 and 3200 and placed 3rd in the 800 while also helping her teammates to a fourth-place finish in the relay. She became the first Lady Sandite ever to qualify for State in four different events in the same year, and also became a member of the first ever 4x800 relay team to qualify for State from Sand Springs.
Friday afternoon the relay team, which included Nia Byrd, Alexis Davis, and Elizabeth Watts, placed thirteenth with a time of 10:28.63. Walden defended her 3200 State Championship with a 10:55.99 finish and an incredible thirty-eight second lead on her closest competitor.
Saturday she competed in the 800 and took fourth place, a mere six seconds behind the Champion with a career-best 2:17.58 time. She later competed in the 1600 and won her first State Title in that event with a career-best 5:02.46.
Walden now holds six State Championship medals as a junior. This past November she traveled to The Woodlands, Texas South Regional and improved to a sixth place finish, earning her way to the Nike Nationals in Portland, Oregon where she placed 59th with a time of 18:19.
Walden quickly made her mark on the field her Freshman year when she won her first two-mile run and went on to rack up seven more by the end of the season, including Conference, Regional, and State Championships and a post-season win at the Meet of Champions. Not only did she win State by an eleven-second margin, but she did it with a nineteen second improvement over her personal best.
As the Spring Track season came around Walden didn't slow down a bit, coming in runner-up in her first two 3200 meter runs and winning the next four. She also began competing in the 1600 and placed top-five in three meets. She won Conference and Regional Championships and qualified for State in both events, placing third in the 3200 and eleventh in the 1600.
Her sophomore Cross Country season saw five first place medals and Walden defended her Conference, Regional, and State Championship titles. After beating teammate and University of Oklahoma-bound Morgan Long by fifteen seconds for an incredible 11:19.5 5K State Title, Walden traveled to The Woodlands, Texas for the Nike South Regional where she placed 22nd.
Walden went undefeated in the 3200 during her Sophomore Track season, winning eight meets and setting a new career best of 10:54.63. She also picked up a win in the 1600 and qualified for State in both events. She won her first State Championship in the 3200 and came in Runner-Up in the 1600.