Q&A: Noble hurdler puts education first

By Michael Kinney

Spencer Simpson came into his senior season at Noble with a few goals in mind.First and foremost, wanted to be his school's valedictorian.

However, a close second for Simpson is to end his career with the school record for the 300-hurdles.

Simpson's chances to put his name in the record book are dwindling. After placing fourth in the 300-meter hurdles at the Putnam City 5A Regional, he earned a spot in this weekend's state championship meet.

Simpson's senior year has been an eventful one, on and off the track. He took time to speak with Oklahoma Mile Split about what this year has been like and some of the goals he has set for himself.


Michael Kinney:                First of all, overall how would you say the season has been going for you?

Spencer Simpson:            It's had its ups and downs but I think it's progressing pretty well. I had a hamstring injury at the beginning of the year but I've worked through that.

Kinney:                                 A hamstring injury,  especially for a runner, is tough. How were you able to work your way through that?

Simpson:                             I rehabbed properly. Made sure I went to my trainer every day. Didn't over push myself but at the same time didn't want to slack around. The moment I had the chance to get back on the track I got back on there and went every day, hard as I could.

Kinney:                                 Coming into the season, what were your expectations?

Simpson:                             My expectations were to get sub 40. (300-hurdles). So I wanted to try to put work in every day, get in the gym, get in the weight room, get on the track as much as possible. Just do what I could to win. That's the goal, going to state.

Kinney:                                 What your best time so far?

Simpson:                             Best time is a 41.26.

Kinney:                                 What is the school record you're going for?

Simpson:                             It's a 39.5.

Kinney:                                 What's it going to take for you to be able to make that happen?

Simpson:                             I think perfecting my form over the hurdles. Making sure I have the endurance to a keep my foot from clipping and basically pick up my pace in between. I think really I need to make sure I have the endurance to finish out on the last two hurdles, that's where I have my troubles. I catch them with my toe and then I stumble a little bit. I think that's my issue. If I can fix that I think I can get those times.

Kinney:                                 What would that mean to you to be able to end your career with the record?

Simpson:                             It would mean everything to me. It would just literally be what I worked for since seventh grade to get. I think really that's what it is. Working since seventh grade on hurdles, ever since I was introduced to it. It would mean literally the world.

Kinney:                                What attracted you to the hurdles?

Simpson:                            It's different. It's not just running in a circle on the track, but it's competitive. It's definitely harder than most things I would think. My friend, in seventh grade, is who introduced it to me. I just kind of fell in love with it. I thought it was interesting. I thought it was fun. I could work on form anywhere. Anything that was a ledge that could act as a hurdle, that's what I did. It really interested me. I liked it.

Kinney:                               You are also the Valedictorian of your class. How do you make that work?  How do you put that all together?

Simpson:                             I think the best way to put it together is a be dedicated. Don't slack off.  School work is more important, it's definitely is, so you've got to get that done before you get out and do your athletics and whatever that is. So, that's what I think is really important, to make sure your priorities are straight.

Kinney:                              What are your future plans?

Simpson:                             I'm looking at the University of Arkansas or the Oklahoma Christian University. Oklahoma Christian would be as a student-athlete. It would be to go run. Arkansas would be for Electrical Engineering.