Westmoore long jump trio could be something to watch this season

Westmoore's William Graham attempts a jump during the long jump event on March 24 in the Gregg Byram Classic at Norman High.

Westmoore's long jump team is already having fun this season, and it's not likely to stop anytime soon.

The Jaguars finished first, second and third in the event at the Gregg Byram Invitational at Norman High in March. It's a pattern they want to continue throughout this season. William Graham took the top spot, leaping 22'08” but Anthony Riley and Mike Hotckins were right on his tails with marks of 22'01” and 22'00”. They weren't exactly at the top of their game, but with so much potential, it's exciting to think about what could be.

“It's great being with my two close friends, doing something we all love doing,” Graham said. “We've created a bond. That's the plan going into every track meet, go 1-2-3. We feel like we're the best three out there.”

All talented athletes, they each compete in other sports as well. Graham was the starting point guard for the basketball team that reached the state tournament for the first time since 1995 this year. Riley's also on the team, but his season was ended early with an injury. He's somewhat glad to just be competing again so soon.

It makes it even better to spend every meet with his teammates, especially with the competitive drive shared by the group.

“(Graham) pushes us a lot,” Riley said. “He makes us work harder and harder because he has that determination to win.”

Hotckins shared the starting running back duties with Braxton George on the Westmoore football team last fall. He rushed for 821 yards on 125 carries with eight touchdowns. He's the only senior of the three. Graham and Riley are juniors.

“It's definitely fun coming out here, but we don't want to come out here with too big of heads,” Hotckins said. “Our mindset in practice and into the meets is always 1-2-3.”

The trio is taking aim at finishing 1-2-3 at state. There's a long way to go, but it seems like a possibility. It would be a special moment to stand on that podium together. In a sport that's more individualized than many others, that would be an ultimate team moment.

“We all have the same mindset,” Hotckins said. “We want to be first, but at the end of the day, we're still a team. As far as us three go, we're going to be competitive against each other and go hard every single time. We all push each other to each other's limits.”

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jmckelvey@normantranscript.com

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