Mountainburg’s Stephen Stearman is a man of modern convenience. An Internet connection was all he needed to win gold in the shot put at the 2A State Track and Field Championships Wednesday at Rowland Stadium.
Stearman won the boys shot put with a throw of 50 feet, 5 inches. It was his first championship after back-to-back runner-up finishes.
A standout football player for the Dragons, Stearman admitted videos he found on the Internet helped him get better at the shot put, something he didn’t try until his freshman year of high school.
"YouTube is the best coach on earth for the shot put — for 2A, it is," Stearman said. "I finished second my sophomore and junior years, so I had that for motivation, too."
The Dragons finished a respectable 15th out of the 33 schools represented. Junction City won the overall team title with 103 1/2 points. Magazine finished 12th and Union Christian scored six points.
"At Alma I threw 51-11," Stearman said. "At Alma, I had competition and I feel like competition makes you throw a little bit better. I was down when I threw (at Alma), so it made me throw further. Here, I knew I was going to win. I didn’t have the motivation I had at Alma."
England’s Curtis Rogers broke the 2A state record in the 100 meters, eclipsing Javaria Forbes of Foreman’s 2006 mark of 10.90 with a time of 10.83. Fred Rose of Texarkana holds the overall state record of 10.52 set in 2007.
Magazine’s Lee Simmers (127-10) finished third overall in the boys discus. Stearman failed to score in the discus after throwing 107-06, good enough for what amounted to ninth.
The Rattlers’ Charly Moua was fifth in the 110 hurdles and sixth in the 300 hurdles. Mountainburg’s Lonnie Campbell was seventh in the triple jump and teammate Frank James placed eighth (11.47) in the 100 meters.
Magazine’s Shelby Gordon won the 800 with a time of 2:37.11, blowing away Murfreesboro’s Leigha Gills by four minutes plus, and helping the Lady Rattlers finish fifth overall with 44 points.
Murfreesboro won the girls team title with 94 points. Union Christian finished ninth overall with 26 points.
Gordon was second (5:54.37) and teammate Kaitlynn Ryan eighth in the 1,600.
Magazine’s Arielle Loyd was fifth in the girls 400 meters. Kelsey Nelson of Mountainburg was fifth in the 300 hurdles seventh in the 100 hurdles and Union’s Makaela Swinney was fifth in the long jump and seventh in the 100.
The Lady Eagles’ Ashlyn Peach and teammate Miranda Wilson placed fourth and sixth, respectively, in the pole vault. Magazine’s Beth Forst was seventh in the pole vault.
Union’s Jayde Flake finished fifth in the triple jump.
Johnson County Westside’s Delanei Hurt and Sara Stewart finished fifth and seventh in the shot put.