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October 29, 2013

Clampitt loves freedom of cross country

DUNCAN — “Freedom” is what Walker Clampitt enjoys about cross country running.

“It’s something I enjoy and I can do when I want,” said the Duncan High School senior. “No one really tells me how to run.”

Demon coach Todd Ledford said Clampitt’s attitude makes him an easy runner to coach.

“He’s put a lot of work ethic into what he does,” Ledford said. “He always does what you tell him to do.”

It helps, Ledford said, that Clampitt is “mechanically sound. He has great mechanics when he runs. There’s not a lot of coaching involved with him.”

Clampitt is among the top runners on the Demon cross country team. He and his teammates will head to Shawnee this Saturday for the Class 5A state meet.

Clampitt knows what he wants — he wants the Demons to come back from Shawnee with a team trophy.

“We’re ranked fourth going into state,” he said. “That’s higher than we were last year when we were ranked sixth. I’m looking for a chance to get up on the podium this year.”

The Demons placed fourth as a team at last year’s state meet.

Ledford said Clampitt’s desire to excel is what makes him a good runner.

“From the first time he came here, his goal was to go to state and to go run in college,” Ledford said. “And he is on the road to achieving every one of his goals.”

Clampitt first got involved in track in the sixth grade when he attended Comanche. As he got older, his cousin Molly O’Kelley got him interested in cross country. Clampitt transferred to Duncan as a freshman for the opportunity to run that sport.

As a sophomore, Clampitt’s best time of the season was 16:35. He improved that time to 16:19 as a junior, placing 13th overall at the state meet.

Clampitt said that, going into regionals last Saturday, he wanted to run a strong time and qualify for state. He did just that, placing third with a time of 16:37 andthe Demons were second as a team. Clampitt said he would like to place in the top three at state, but is mostly concerned about posting his best time of the year.

“I at least would like to get my time down to the low 16’s,” he said.

Ledford noted that Clampitt puts a lot of work in on his own time, a testament to his desire to get better.

“He’s just a competitor,” the coach said. “It’s fun to watch kids like that, when you can tell that their goal is to run well. He’s very dedicated.”

Clampitt said he believes the Demons have a good group of runners who can do great things at state.

“Based on the past few years, this group has been the most successful,” he said. “We are kind of building up the bases for the grades coming up.”

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