By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Charles Page High School senior and Oklahoma State University-commit Cheyenne Walden is not only the most heavily decorated high-school athlete in town history, she accounts for a third of all track and field medals in city history, and that's including all three high schools. Already holding three Spring Track State Championships, Walden added her fourth Fall Cross Country State Title Saturday at Edmond Santa Fe High School. Her seven total State Titles radically outpace any other Sandite in history, and she still has half of her senior year left to compete.
Only one other Sandite in town history has accounted for four State Championships; Shawn Gilton. Gilton won four medals in three years in various Track and Field competitions. She won the Long Jump in 1980 and 1982, the 220 yard dash in 1981, and the 440 yard dash in 1982. We also have two three-time State Champions in Wrestling: David McGuire and Daton Fix. Fix has the opportunity to win a fourth State Title this Winter.
Walden's seven State Titles account for a third of all track and field Championships in town history, but if you limit it to running only, it's nearly half. Sand Springs has fifteen State Championships in running competitions, and Walden is the only Sandite to ever win a Cross Country Title. Her achievements are not only remarkable among Sand Springs athletes, but even on the State-wide level.
Only five other runners have ever won Cross Country titles in all four years of their high school careers. Natalie Gray of Cascia Hall accomplished the feat from 1990-1993, followed by Amanda Jordan of Bishop McGuinness from 1997-2000. Plainview High School holds a special place in history; they had two four-time State Champions, and both were at the same time. From 1998-2001, Jesse Gordon won it for the girls and Patrick McGuire won it for the boys. The last time anyone pulled it off was in 2004 when Brooke Edsall of Lomega won her fourth Title.
At Friday's meet, Walden finished with the fifth-best time of her career, but her fastest State Championship performance. In 2013 she won the State Title in a 3200 meter run by eleven seconds with a time of 11:19.50. In 2014 she won the State Title in a 5K run by fifteen seconds over teammate Morgan Long with a time of 17:56.3. Long is a two-time State Champion in Track. In 2015 she won the 5K run by 53 seconds with a time of 17:57.9. This time she finished the 5K in 17:55.6, 41 seconds ahead of Bartlesville's Shay Stayton.
Walden and teammate Alexis Davis are the only two Sandites in school history to qualify for the State meet all four years. The two helped bring their team with them three of those four years, and qualified as individuals last year. Davis tied her previous-best at State with a 21st place finish. As a freshman she finished in 59th place with a time of 13:01.48 in the 3200 meter run. She took 21st place in 2014 with a career-best 19:53.6. Last season she came in 45th place with a time of 21:02.5. This year she finished in 20:21.0.
Junior transfer Tiqvah Soap, formerly of Jenks, came in 25th place with a time of 20:29.5. This was her first State appearance, and she was only three seconds away from beating her previous personal-record of 20:27.93. Sophomore Sara Abbet came in 88th place with a time of 23:01.5. Sophomore Elizabeth Watts placed 95th with a time of 23:25.6. Freshman Chezney Kelley placed 96th with a time of 23:29.2. Freshman Kaitlyn Walden, Cheyenne's sister, finished in 106th with a time of 26:28.2.
As a team, the Lady Sandites finished in eighth place of fourteen teams with an average time of 21:02.7. They also placed eighth in 2014, and tenth in 2013.
Sophomore Aden Baughman is working on qualifying for State all for years as well, and posted his fifth-best performance with a time of 17:36.7 for 44th place. Last year he came in 69th place with a time of 17:53.5. He was the only Sandite boy to qualify.