By Michael Kinney
YUKON- Aidan Edwards was not happy. After the Mustang junior failed to defend his state title in the 110-meter hurdles, he was motivated by the time his next event at the 6A State Track and Field Championships arrived.
Edwards used that fire to hold off some stiff competition in the 300-meter hurdles to grab the state title Saturday at Miller Stadium.
“I always want to win,” Edwards said. “So, when I got second, I was pretty upset. I’m a very competitive person.”
The coemption was tight throughout the race. As they approached the final hurdle, Edwards was neck and neck with Xavier Simpkins and Nathan Aryeequaye, who are both from Westmoore.
However, while Edwards was able to get over the final hurdle cleanly, Simpkins had issues.
Edwards was able to edge out Aryeequaye at the line as he posted a time of 37.33, which is his best time of the season. Simpkins fell after clipping the hurdle, but got up to seemingly finish in third.
However, after a long discussion between meet officials and coaches, Simpkins was eventually disqualified for going out of his lane and interfering with Owasso’s Boone Barrett.
Aryeequaye took second with a time of 37.40. Barrett finished in third with a 38.83.
It was Simpkins who dethroned Edwards in the 110-hurdles. Once again the race came down to the very end, with Simpkins having a little stronger kick to the finish line.
“I was doing pretty good halfway and at the end I clipped one hurdle and he got me right there,” Edwards said. “But it was a good race the whole time. I think I did pretty good. I wanted to get first because I was trying to defend my title. I beat him (Simpkins) last year. So obviously I wanted to do it again.”
Simpkins’s time of 14.24 was the best time in class 6A this season. Edwards, who ran a 14.37, also set a new season best for him in the event as well.
The 6A state championship meet record for the 300-meter hurdles is held by Lawton Eisenhower’s Raymond Austin. His record time of 36.88 was set 30 years ago in 1993.
The overall state record belongs to Bixby’s Victor Moore, who ran a 36.80 in 1983. It is the longest-standing record in the state.
However, Edwards already has designs on returning for his senior year to not only defend his title in the 300-hurdles and retake his 110-hurdles crown but also break a couple of records in the process.
“I want to beat my school record and might as well try to get the state record,” Edwards said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, eating healthily and putting my mind to it.”
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Great job Aidan Edwards on winning the state title for the 300-meter hurdles! You showed determination and perseverance throughout the race.