Photos by Michael Kinney (@EyeAmTruth)
By Michael Kinney
The longest standing record in Oklahoma track and field is the boys 300-meter hurdles. Victor Moore of Bixby ran a 36.80 at the 1983 5A State Track and Field Championships, which at the time was the biggest class in Oklahoma.
Exactly 10 years later, Raymond Austin of Lawton Eisenhower came close to etching his name at the top of the list when he posted a 36.88 at the 1993 6A State Track and Field Championships.
In those 35 years, no one has been able to beat Moore in any class.
Shawnee's Darrius Blackshire will be the latest hurdler to make a run at the record this weekend at the 5A/6A State Track and Field Championships at Yukon.
Blackshire comes into the meet with the best time in the state this year at 38.27. Only he and Corey Smiley of Midwest City have gotten below 39 seconds in class 6A.
Blackshire was one of the favorites to win the 5A title his junior season, but he went down in the prelims. Along with teammate Kylan Hernandez, they were the favorites to sweep the 110 and 300 hurdles this year in class 6A.
But after Hernandez failed to advance out of Talequah regionals, Blackshire will be competing alone in both events.
Blackshire took some time to talk to Oklahoma Mile Split about this season, what it will take to break the record and who has pushed him throughout the season.
Michael Kinney: What do you think is the best you can do in the 300-meter hurdles?
Darrius Blackshire: I think I can run a 37.9.
Kinney: You're getting close to that. What's it going take for you to be able to get that?
Blackshire Maybe for me to push harder on the last hurdle and keep my form over the hurdles.
Kinney: I know the state record's like 36.8 and the state meet record's like a 36.88. Do you think you can get that?
Blackshire: It'd be nice but if I had some more years, I could.
Kinney: Coming into this year, what were you expecting out of yourself?
Blackshire: I was expecting to win state. I was expecting to go out and win state.
Kinney: You think you're on the way to be able to do that?
Kinney: How would you describe your career?
Blackshire: It's been a decent career. It's been good. I've made improvements over the years since my freshman, sophomore year. I didn't run freshman year. I'm just improving, getting better and better.
Kinney: What do you think has been the key for you to have this type of improvement?
Blackshire: My hard work and coaching.
Kinney: What's it like having a teammate like Kylan Hernandez to be able to push you like that in the 300?
Blackshire: It feels great because it's my own teammate. We practice with each other, and then we just come out and execute in races, and push each other. It just means everything.
Kinney: If you were able to end your career with a state championship, just how special that be for you?
Blackshire: It'd mean everything.