Hope in Action at the 2024 Kansas Relays

Apr 26, 2024

Fields & Futures Blog John Marshall Relay Teams Kansas Relays Feature Image

For John Marshall’s 2023 5A state champion sprint relay teams, an unexpected trip to the 2024 Kansas Relays was more than just a reward for their accomplishments; it was a vivid demonstration of “Hope in Action.”

Thanks to the Simon Greiner Program, eight talented student-athletes and four coaches from Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) were given a life-changing opportunity to compete on a national stage at one of the oldest and most prestigious track meets in the country, the Kansas Relays, celebrating its 101st anniversary.

The Kansas Relays, held from April 18-20 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS, are a beacon of athletic excellence, drawing top high school and collegiate talent from across the nation. For the student-athletes of John Marshall High School, participation in such an event was made possible by the generous support of the Simon Greiner Program and community partners committed to ensuring OKCPS track & field athletes have access to quality facilities, equipment, and coaching.

This support is not just about funding. It’s about opening doors to experiences that these young athletes might never have had. It’s about equipping them with not only the physical tools but also the emotional and social empowerment that comes from competing at such a high level. Fields & Futures believes deeply in creating these benevolent childhood experiences (BCEs) that pave pathways of hope and help guide children toward happier, healthier lives.

Fields & Futures Blog John Marshall Relay Teams Kansas Relays Story Image

Junior Chloe Threatt, the 2023 Oklahoma 5A 100-meter state champion and 200-meter runner-up, proved she belongs on the big stage by finishing 5th in the girls’ 100-meter dash.

On the boys’ side, James Allen, also a junior and the reigning Oklahoma 5A champion in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, notched an impressive 7th-place finish in the boys’ 100-meter dash. 

Fields & Futures Blog John Marshall Relay Teams Kansas Relays Story Image

Traveling to another state, competing in a stadium filled with top athletes, and performing to the best of their abilities in such an environment, provided invaluable lessons about the importance of preparation, teamwork, and belief in oneself. The teams’ participation and individual successes at the Kansas Relays demonstrate how sports serve as a conduit for personal growth and accomplishment and prove that our collective efforts are working!

“Attending the Kansas Relays really opened up these athletes’ eyes to what their destiny could be.” — Edith Vickers, John Marshall High School Girls’ Track & Field Head Coach

We call these experiences and moments “Hope in Action.” They are what Fields & Futures strives to provide every day. By creating access to youth sports and providing kids with experiences and opportunities they may not get otherwise, we can educate, equip, and empower kids to live their best lives.

As we continue to support young athletes in Oklahoma City and OKCPS through programs like the Simon Greiner Program, we remain committed to the vision that every child should have the chance to play, compete, and thrive. This trip to the Kansas Relays is just one of many stories that inspire our work, remind us of our mission, and reinvigorate our efforts to ensure that for these young athletes, their best days are always ahead.

Beyond 500: Coach Patrick Cudjoe Teaches Winning On and Off the Court

John Marshall boys basketball coach Patrick Cudjoe recently eclipsed 500 career wins, a milestone only a dozen other active coaches have reached. With deep roots in Oklahoma City Public Schools as a student, athlete, educator, coach, and parent, his impact on the OKCPS community continues to extend far beyond the court.

Cheering on Our Cheer Captain, Mandi Dotson

Mandi Dotson has been part of the Fields & Futures story since the very beginning, loyally and enthusiastically cheering for us through our biggest wins. Now, it's our turn to cheer on our resident cheer captain as she continues to grow the sport in her role as Director of Cheer & Youth Sports Advocate.

A Spring In Our Step: OKCPS Spring Sports Clinics

With spring sports in the air, Fields & Futures sprang into action to host a series of spring sports clinics for OKCPS athletes and coaches. This March featured three key events: the Spring Break Goalkeeper Clinic, the OKCPS Golf Coaches Clinic, and the Simon Greiner Program Field Events Clinic.

Fields & Futures