Wister track and field star Coda Ollar signed with Southwest Christian University for track and field on Wednesday, advancing his career at the oval with the NAIA school.
“Coming from a small school in Wister, Oklahoma, that seems very important,” Ollar said. “I hope to pass my track events and maybe even make it to the professional level.”
Ollar won the 300-meter hurdles at the Class 2A state meet in May in a time of 40.07 seconds. He placed second in the 110 meters hurdles in 15.44 seconds, 0.17 seconds behind the winner. He also won the 300 meters at the Meet of Champions a week later, finishing in 40.04 seconds, beating big-school competitors like John Marshall, Coweta and Inola.
In 2021, Ollar competed in the 100-meter, 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles, with a first-place finish of sixth in the 300-meter hurdles.
Ollar accomplished this despite Wister not having his own lead. While others train on a rubber or synthetic track, Ollar worked the hurdles on the sidewalk and in the grass.
“[It’s been] lots of shin splints on grass, on the road or on concrete. It was difficult, but I managed,” he said. “Most of our obstacles are held together by zip ties and screws.”
Ollar said training on less forgiving surfaces made him want to win the medals even more.
“Poteau and Heavener were very kind. We did some practice on their tracks. It’s always tough to go after school, get everyone together and drive here,” he said. .
Regularly working on a track could make a big difference, he believes.
“I think by going to a college with real resources and a track, I think I could achieve even more than what I already have,” he said.
Southwest Christian University track coach Matt Parent said the sky was the limit for Ollar after training with just four hurdles at school.
“If he can do it with four hurdles and no track, who knows what he can actually do with one track and one setup?” Parent said, adding, “because I know from speaking with him, he has a lot of determination.”
Considering Wister only had a track and field program for four years, being a state champion with a chance to win another title means a lot to Ollar.
“It only started recently, so being the first state champion in the history of the program was really special and it brought more attention. It’s not just a baseball school. We also have other things,” he said.
Parent noticed not only the explosiveness with which Ollar runs, but also how he finishes.
“When he’s got that final stretch, it basically feels like he’s shifting into another gear,” Parent said. “Other things would be intangible. He’s a great student. Every time I’ve spoken to him, he speaks well. He just seems like a self-determined person. When you combine that with when I met him and his trainer [Natalie Ford]I thought he was someone we really wanted to have here.”
Parent also noticed that Ollar had sound mechanics, that he didn’t lean in any direction.
Parent said Ollar could also compete in the sprint and 400-meter relay events.