The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

April 6, 2013

Don’t dare bet against Ahearn

OKLAHOMA CITY — Ninety-two-point-seven-two seconds and not a dry eye in the place.

Well, something like that.

Norman High’s Patrick Ahearn ran Friday afternoon. Not for the first time but for the first time in front of the masses and for the first time in uniform and for the first time, as he so often says, “as a Tiger.”

He took off slowly and didn’t get a whole lot faster, but that was all right. Indeed, it was better than all right because it gave everybody time. And, Friday, everybody meant everybody.

Hundreds of athletes and tens of coaches and managers and support personnel milling around the infield moved over to crowd the home stretch several bodies deep; like punters rooting home their horse, which, come to think of it, isn’t a bad analogy, because if you have to bet on somebody you can’t go wrong with Ahearn.

Eight months previous to the day he lost most of the lower half of his left leg when the personal watercraft he was directing struck a boat before he struck the boat’s propeller.

Five months ago, he began to walk again on a prosthetic. Two weeks ago, he received a prosthetic made for running. Friday, he competed.

“Just finally being back with my team and not watching everything from the sidelines,” he said was the best thing about the day.

That, and “just being a Tiger again.”

His last 150 yards or so had to be way up there, too.

Ahearn was about halfway through his 400 meter heat when the PA announcer alerted everybody he was running in lane seven, quickly summarized the Tiger senior’s story and saluted him for being a role model. And by the time everybody understood what was going on a stunningly awesome site prevailed.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock How Paris got her groove back

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014