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2004 Jenks Track Team Revisited – Presented by Restore Hyper Wellness

20th Anniversary of the Jenks Boys Track State Championship

By Brad Heath

The 2004 boys track team pushed themselves to greatness by winning the state championship for the sixth year in a row. Jenks won state titles in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003. Each team seemed to get better, but they all offered something unique. The ’04 squad were like rockstars on tour. One the leaders of this band of brothers was Marcus Pugh. Pugh said one thing that still stands out to him was the realistic goal of setting records. Which they did.

“That year I remember myself, Jay Cooper, and Paul Johnson wanted to break every single record indoor and outdoor to leave our lasting mark on the state of Oklahoma. The previous year we had one state by a record amount of points. We knew we lost a ton of points from that team to graduation. We knew it was going to be heavily relied on us three winning the relays and going one and two in 100 and 200. That team had a mixture of athletes that had to play a very impactful role in order for us to repeat for the sixth time in a row,” said Pugh.

Pugh felt his toughest competition was the guys he was practicing with, not an opponent from another school.

“I was a man on a mission. I knew my best competition was in my own camp. All I needed was a healthy year to prove who I was as an athlete and as a leader. My sophomore year I had a spinal cord injury in football and a hip flexor injury in track. My junior year I broke my foot in our playoff loss against Westmore and then hurt my hamstring in track at our conference meet. So, after coming off the state championship in football and being healthy going into indoor, I told coach Patterson watch what I do this year. The rest is in the history books, literally,” said Pugh.

The relay teams were dominant whatever the lineup was heading into a meet. If there had been a 4×200 at that time, Pugh believes they would have dominated that as well.

“Our 4×100 and 4×400 consisted of three track D1 athletes and two D1 football players. Paul Johnson, Jesse Meyer, Andrew Brewer, and Jay Cooper. I wish we had a 4×200 when we were in high school. I put our team against any team ever in Oklahoma high school track history and don’t think they beat us in a head-to-head race. We rarely had to finish races because our leads would be that big. We used to call, it “Shutting down and clowning.” If we didn’t travel out of state, we probably never get pushed to run as fast as we did. It was amazing being part of that team,” said Pugh.

So where did the pressure come from to repeat for the sixth time in a row? The answer lied within the athletes.

“We were extremely aware since the football streak ended, we didn’t want ours to end as well. It wasn’t something that we talked about because we felt we were going to win, we just had some unfortunate things happen to us that year where we lost vital points because of injuries. Plus losing Jay at the regional meet made it even harder for the team because you now lost the second fastest person in 100 and 200 and the anchor leg to the 4×100 and the third leg to the 4×400. I remember the night before the final round of the state championship we always had a team meeting and after the team meeting was over coach Patterson had myself and Paul Johnson stay in the room. He told us we have to win the 4×100 and we’re probably going be behind when I get the baton at anchor, but if Paul can keep us within 10 meters, I’ll catch whoever’s in front. And if it was crunch time coach Patterson would always put me at anchor for the 4 x 400, but this time he said I would have to do the most work and run second leg because we had to put an 800 runner, I believe it was David McVay, as our first leg. I got the baton and either second or third, handed it off in first and threw up six fingers to coach Patterson, the crowd, and my team. Like I was having my own Michael Jordan moment,” said Pugh.

The run of titles came to an end in 2005, but in 2014 the Trojans returned to dominance winning their seventh state title. One of the coaches on that team was Marcus Pugh.

“I was extremely surprised that there weren’t any titles won since I had left high school. However, Jenks went through multiple coaching changes during those 10 years. That team was interesting because we had no standout leaders. However, after going to the Kansas Relays that year the boys team took a turn toward dominance. Athletes took pride in winning and wanting to win,” said Pugh.

The team went on to represent Oklahoma at the High School National Championships in New York. They all returned as All-Americans. Pugh was named USA Today All-American, Adidas Outdoor All-American, and was a qualifier for the world junior championships in Grossetto, Italy to represent the United States before heading off to college at the University of Oklahoma. While a Sooner, Pugh achieved All-American status, won two Big 12 individual titles and was part of the first team title for OU in 29 years.  

By the Numbers

100-Meters – 1st Marcus Pugh 10.47

200-Meters – 1st Marcus Pugh 21.12

400-Meter – 1st Paul Johnson 48.72

400-Meter – 4th Jesse Myers 50.62

1600-Meters – 5th Zach Taylor 4:24.49

3200-Meters – 4th Zach Taylor 9:37.98

3200-Meters – 6th Brandon McCarthey 9:53.85

4×100-Meter Relay – 1st 41.86

4×400-Meter Relay – 1st 3:18.66

4×800-Meter Relay – 4th 8:04.06

Pole Vault – 4th Matt Swezey 13-03.00

Long Jump – 6th Trey Hill 21-03.50

Jenks 94

Ed Memorial 80

Union 62

Mustang 52

Ed Santa Fe 42

Bartlesville 36

The Jenks girls finished 2nd in 2004 behind Broken Arrow.

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