Oklahoma Baptist University

Faculty, Family Seize Sandcastle Competition

OBU professors Dr. Tony Litherland and Dr. Lucrecia Litherland have a family passion not often associated with the Sooner State. They are award-winning sandcastle engineers.

The Litherland family’s sand-sculpting team, the Sooner Sandtrappers, received third place in the “Castles of Your Mind” category at the 30th Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition Aug. 7-8 at Imperial Beach, Calif. The event drew 350,000 spectators from all over the country to witness the variety of team talents, which are divided into masters and amateurs. The competition was only one of several aspects of the weekend celebration, which included a “Sandcastle Dance” and a family-oriented parade.


OBU professors Dr. Tony Litherland (center, left) and Dr. Lucrecia Litherland (center, right) and their family earned third place in the "Castles of Your Mind" category at the 30th Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition Aug. 7-8 in Imperial Beach, Calif.


The Sandtrappers’ third-place castle, “Bridges Between Friends,” contained seven bridges and seven towers, was surrounded by mountains, and covered an area of nearly 30 feet by 30 feet. Litherland described the competition as a “continuous battle from sandcastle to water.” The masterpiece took five hours for the nine-member team to construct. At one point, a judge questioned the team’s method in bridge-building and forced the team to rebuild all seven bridges.

The Litherland family enjoys vacations to San Diego, Calif. After seeing advertisements, they planned this year’s trip to overlap the competition.

“It turned out to be a great family day, and everyone wants to go back and do it again in 2012,” Tony Litherland said.

Dr. Tony Litherland is a professor of political science at OBU, and Dr. Lucrecia Litherland is a professor of language. They have four children who participated in building the sandcastle: Heidi, Kelly, Raquel and Eric. Two grandchildren, Edan and Jordan, also participated.

For more information about the 30th Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition, click here.

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