Oklahoma Baptist University has signed four more athletes for the 2008-09 season, including three from Texas.
Alexis Thurmond of Wichita Falls, Texas, Katy Palmer of Bowie, Texas, and Gunnar Sewell of Holliday, Texas, join Okemah's Kayla Smith as freshmen next season.
Thurmond, a hurdler, competed for Wichita Falls High School and the Wichita Falls Track Club. She is the daughter of Jill and Randy Thurmond and a three-time regional qualifier in the 100 and 300 hurdles. She also is a regional qualifier in the 4x400 relay squad that holds the school record. She was named Wichita Falls High School's Outstanding Track Athlete as a junior.
In addition to her exploits on the track Thurmond also excels in the classroom as she is in the Top 10 percent of her graduating class and a member of the National Honor Society. "Knowing Coach Kennedy, I was really attracted to [OBU]," Thurmond said. "Plus it's really close to home."
Palmer, a distance runner, competed for Bowie High School and the Wichita Falls Track Club. The daughter of Brenda and Larry Palmer, Katy is a three-time regional qualifier in cross country and a two-time regional qualifier in the 4x400 relay.
She is also a two-time TAAF regional champion and state qualifier in the 800 and 1600 as a member of the Wichita Falls Track Club. A member of the 2007 Academic All State cross country squad, Palmer is also National Honor Society President and is ranked #1 in her class with a 4.0 GPA.
"The track teams have a history of being successful and I want to be somewhere I can reach my potential as an athlete and a student," Palmer said. "OBU is that place."
Also hailing from the Wichita Falls Track Club is Bison signee Gunnar Sewell from Holliday High School. Sewell, who runs the 400 and relays, was 2007 District and Regional champion and also a state qualifier in the 4x400 relay. Individually, he was a 400 meter regional finalist and also a two-time state qualifier in the 400 meter as a member of the Wichita Falls Track Club.
A multi-sport athlete, Sewell is a three-year letterman in football and basketball, as well as track. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has a 4.0 GPA.
"I had a great time as OBU's summer track camp," Sewell said. "I look forward to receiving a great education and continuing to do something I love, running track."
The Lady Bison also added Kayla Smith, who looks to have an immediate impact competing in the high jump. Smith, out of Okemah High School, is a three-time conference champion and a three-time regional and state qualifier including finishing runner-up as a junior in the high jump.
"I chose OBU for the superior track program," Smith said. "I'm excited about being at a good school where I can be successful. I really enjoyed my time here over the summer at track camp. I enjoyed getting to work with the coaches and experiencing the community type atmosphere."