Pawhuska track program preparing for busy season

Mike ErwinJ-C Sports Writer
Pawhuska track program preparing for busy season

Mark Frye has the kind of problem that most coaches hope for.

With more than 100 Huskie and Lady Huskie athletes (from grades seven through 12) expected to turn out, the Pawhuska track-and-field head coach is anticipating a busy spring at Ormand Beach Stadium.

Last week, local track-and-field athletes helped raise funds for the upcoming season by hosting a baked potato dinner and silent auction. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward the purchase of equipment and at least 60 warm-up suits, as well as for paying entry fees and other meet costs, Frye said.

The event “was vital to fund the 2015 season,” according to the coach.

There were 244 tickets sold and more than 45 items auctioned off at the fundraiser, which was held Tuesday, Feb. 24, at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Many individuals and businesses helped to make the evening a success, said Frye.

Donations for the auction were made by Buffalo Joe’s, Subway, Sonic, Simple Simon’s, The Prairie Dog, Triangle Serum, Benson Lumber, Weigant Pharmacy, Big County Pawn, Moore’s Hardware, Tall Grass Prairie Flowers, Mudpies, Monger Bros Auto, Pawhuska Hometown Foods, Front Door Salon, Head to Toe Salon, O’Reilly’s, Pawhuska Tire, Signtech and The Tolson Agency.

Bartlesville-area businesses also donated merchandise and gift certificates for the auction. They included Walmart, Tate Boy Tires, Rib Crib, Hideaway Pizza, Bath and Body Works and Starbucks. Additionally, Honda of Bartlesville made a $500 cash donation to the program.

Coach Frye expressed gratitude to First United Methodist Church for use of the facility and to the ESA women who provided desserts for the dinner.

Pawhuska High School’s track season will open Thursday, March 12, at Hominy. Ormand Beach Stadium is to be the site of the annual Junior High Invitational on Tuesday, March 24, and the Pawhuska High School Invitational on Tuesday, April 7.

A year ago, 10 PHS track-and-field athletes qualified for the Class 3A State Meet and five of them earned medals. Three of the 2014 medal-winners return. Lady Huskie Sarah Phillippi, who is now a junior, placed second in the 300-meter hurdles. Haley Mouser added a third-place medal in the high jump after finishing second in the event at the 2013 championships.

Three members of the Lady Huskies’ fifth-place 1,600-meter relay team— Phillippi, Mouser and freshman Heather Conner — also are back.

A strong group of PHS underclassmen that heads into this season includes sprinter Warren Graves of the Huskies, a sophomore who narrowly missed a state berth last year.

MOUSER WINS OU MEET

Haley Mouser recently added to her already-impressive high jumping resume with a championship at the Oklahoma High School Indoor Invitational.

The PHS junior cleared a height of 5 feet, 4 inches to win the event, which was held Feb. 13 at the University of Oklahoma’s Mosier Indoor Facility in Norman. Her top jump was four inches better than the runner-up effort by Abbie Winchester of Marietta and Perry’s Carley Calhoon, who finished third. Seven other competitors represented Jenks, Edmond, Midwest City, Norman and Plainview.

Last summer, Mouser cleared a career-best 5 feet, 7 3/4 inches at an under-18 meet in North Carolina. Mouser’s sixth-place finish at the national event earned her the designation as a High School All-American.