The Edmond Sun


June 7, 2013

Athletes push hard in competitions

Endeavor Games kick off on UCO’s campus

EDMOND — In the UCO Endeavor Games for athletes with physical disabilites Friday afternoon, powerlifter Kelsey Haase had control of the barbell in the bench press.

Arms cocked, weight ascending, but she just couldn’t quite straighten out her arms.

Haase, 20, out of Lake Forest, Ill., had one more shot at 125 pounds in the 62-kilo weight class.

Again, Haase had a chokehold on the barbell, but the elbows gave out and the poundage never made it to the top of the rack.

“It just wasn’t going up,” Haase stated.

“When I was 11 or 12, coaches told me I should be a weightlifter,” she said, despite being born with spina bifida. “Now, I want to get to the Paralympics in 2016 (in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).”

Though Haase’s day wasn’t Friday, her coach Dianna Lewis believes she can make it.

“Next year, we expect to do a lot better,” Lewis stated. “We’ve had trouble finding benches for her. We tried putting two together, but then it was too wide and she couldn't bend her arms back.”

Lewis has coached Haase for the past 4 1/2 years and has seen Haase throw up 155 pounds, which would be highly competitive in the Paralympics.

Last year in the National Junior Disabilities Meet in Mesa, Ariz., Haase set the national record with a 136-pound press in her class.

Archers hit the mark at Endeavor Games clinic

They might not stand on an international podium adorning a gold medal like USA Paralympic archer Jeff Fabry, but bull’s eyes were being struck consistently at Thursday morning’s archery clinic by Sean Stephenson and Kevin Messner, a pair of University of Central Oklahoma Endeavor Games clinic participants and someday Team USA Paralympic archery hopefuls.

“I absolutely love it,” said Stephenson, a competitive 45-year-old archer from Portland, Ore. “After having an injury, it is a great opportunity to get up out of the chair and out of the house to compete.”

Stephenson, who has a knee replacement, two herniated discs and an injured neck stemming from 27 years in the military, most recently Afghanistan, was not only hitting the bull’s eye, but actually shooting around his arrows within the yellow marking.

“I’ve come a long way with my shooting,” said Stephenson, who has been shooting competitively for eight months and was lighting up the target at Thursday’s clinic. “But, in competition, it could be a whole different animal.”

Archery competition with a compound bow for the UCO Endeavor Games for athletes with physical disabilities begins at 9 a.m. today at the Central Oklahoma soccer practice fields, directly north of Wantland Stadium. Recurve bow shooting will follow at 1 p.m.

“He makes it look easy,” 13-year-old Messner said of Stephenson’s exactitude.

Messner himself showed to be a marksman and has been competing with his bow and arrow for seven years. He has a prosthesis for his lower right leg and came out from Phoenix, Ariz., to also battle in swimming and track.

“It’s fun,” Stephenson said. “I’m getting great coaching. I’m getting training you can’t get anywhere else.”

Stephenson made it as an alternate for the Warrior Games — an archery competition between the armed forces including the Coast Guard and some British competitors — held recently in Colorado Springs.

“The clinics are for competitive archers warming up or someone may want to come down from powerlifting and experiment with archery,” said USA paralympic archery head coach Randi Smith. “Our team has been to Italy, China and in London in 2012, we picked up a gold and a silver medal.”

Fabry, from Tulare, Calif., struck gold with a compound bow and Matt Stutzman, born in Kansas City without any arms, nabbed a silver with a compound. Compound bow distance is 50 meters with a smaller target than a recurve. Recurve competitors fire from 70 meters out.

Now in its 14th year, the UCO Endeavor Games is a nationally recognized multi-sport, multi-disability event for athletes of all ages. Competition will wrap up Sunday.

The UCO Endeavor Games is sponsored by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee. UCO is an official U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site.

TO REGISTER for participation, volunteer or view a schedule of this year’s UCO Endeavor Games, visit   


Text Only
  • spts-DC Brock Ruminer dive TD catch.jpg Deer Creek 2nd largest in Class 5A

    With the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association releasing enrollment figures, Deer Creek stands as the second-largest school in Class 5A with 1,252 students.
    Lawton Eisenhower, which had been a very strong football program in 6A, is now tops in 5A with 1,281 students.
    Schedules in football classification still remain the same until 2016-17. Del City will move back into 6A beginning in 2016.
    The statistics will not be deemed official until pending approval at the OSSAA’s board meeting next month.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson, Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins.
    The moves were made to aid OU’s defense. They could benefit both in the future.

    July 28, 2014

  • spts-OSU Yurcich.jpg Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.
    Yurcich and most of the Cowboys’ coaching staff attended the annual media golf outing  Wednesday at Karsten Creek. He, along with the other assistant coaches, talked about the upcoming season.
    “Every offense is going to be a little bit different from year to year, depending on the personnel,” Yurcich said. “I think you learn a little bit more about the players, because you know them for a longer time. You know a little bit more about the coaches you work with because you’re around them a little bit longer. All of those things factor into one more year of experience.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-EN Jaci Smith long backhand.jpg Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist

    The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored  Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.   
    Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Hershey Mary McKey.jpg McKey to compete in North American final

    Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet  June 28.
    McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
    McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter      champion.
    The North American final will run Aug. 2           in Hershey, Pa.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners

    The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
    “That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
    So, the answer is no.

    July 25, 2014

  • Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens

    During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
    After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
    Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.

    July 25, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint

    The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
    Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur

    OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.

    Qualifying Players
    Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
    Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135

    1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
    2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo