For Macksville High School’s Adam Oak, he has always been the groomsman, never the groom at the Class 6-1A state track and field championships.
The senior, who has been a 1A state runner-up on several occasions, will have his last chance for a state title on Friday and Saturday at Cessna Stadium on Wichita State University’s campus.
“I think he’s had about five state runner-up finishes in his career,” Macksville head coach Jennifer Gillespie said. “Being a state champion is definitely his goal.”
Oak, who qualified for the state meet in the 100-meter dash, 200, 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles, is well-aware this is his last chance at a state title, along with his last chance to compete as a high school athlete.
“I’m paying it quite a bit of attention,” the four-time state qualifier said. “It’s my last sporting event as a high schooler, so I just need to go out there and relish the moment and try to compete as hard as I can.
“I finished second five times and some of those were so close. I just need to get over the hump and get it done.”
Last year, Oak finished second in both the 200 behind Moscow’s Osvaldo Granillo, and the 300 hurdles behind South Haven’s Blake Wilkey.
The senior sprinter is seeded third in both events this year. Granillo leads the pack in the 200, and Wilkey is the top seed in the 300 hurdles.
“Osvaldo beat me in the 200, and Blake Wilkey beat me in the 300 hurdles,” Oak said. “They are both back again this year. I think they’re top-ranked in our class. I’ve gotten better since last year, so it should be a good meet.”
Adam is one of three siblings who have competed at the state meet for Macksville. His older brother, Josh, won a state title in the 110 hurdles in 2007, and his sister, Christie, won multiple medals at the state meet, according to Gillespie.
“Adam did break his brother’s school record in the 110 hurdles last year,” Gillespie said. “He beat his own record this year at the same meet in Jetmore.”
Adam, who’s current school record in the 110 hurdles is 14.78, which bested his brothers mark by five-hundredths of a second, said that there is a little competition between the two family members.
“Always has been,” Adam said. “I broke his school record, but his state-champion basketball team had one less loss than ours did, so he always mentions that.
“He never really mentions that he has a state track title, but I’m sure its in the back of this mind.”
Adam said that above all, he just wants to maintain the tradition of Macksville’s hurdlers.
“I think two years ago, Mark Renfro won a state title in the hurdles,” Adam said. “There has been a tradition of great hurdlers here at Macksville, and I just want to keep that going.”