Brock Appiah Chasing National Recognition At Great Southwest Classic

Brock Appiah is chasing a few last things at the Great Southwest Classic.

The Edmond North High athlete, who lost just one race over the last three years in Oklahoma, is largely considered the best sprinter in his state, but what's eluded him is national recognition.

He will get a chance to enter the discussion Saturday at the University of New Mexico track in Albuquerque, where he'll compete against arguably the nation's premier sprinter, Tyrese Cooper, in the 200m. Appiah is also racing in the 100m against New Mexico standout Jordan Byrd and Texas' Roman Turner.

"Part of it is that he wants to make the next step on a bigger stage," said Steven Evans, who has coached Appiah over that span. "He's often had to answer the question: Do you belong with those guys or not?"

Appiah, an University of Oklahoma signee in track, finished his high school season with state championship wins in the 200m, 4x100 and 4x200 relay, though he was disqualified in the 100m during state qualifying action, which prevented him from taking home four golds.

Performance wise, Appiah does have the times that back up his enormous potential. He ran a career best and US No. 16 time of 21.04 seconds in the 200m at the Oklahoma Championships with a negative wind.

And he also tied a state record in the 100m with an FAT time and US top 50 all conditions effort of 10.37 in the 100m

But while Appiah, who will likely move on to become a collegiate sprinter in the 100m and 200m and potentially the 4x400, is one of the most accomplished sprints in Oklahoma, what also eludes him, oddly enough, is the requisite honors at Edmond North.

"He's frustrated because he's had this incredible career, but he doesn't have his name on the records that he really wants," Evans said.

Mookie Salaam set the school record in the 100m in 2008 with a time of 10.32 at Great Southwest -- state records don't county if you log them outside the state -- while Terrance Wakefield owns a breathtaking performance of 20.37 seconds in the 200m, which he recorded in 1997.

"I definitely want that 20-point," Appiah said. "I want to make sure I get there. I remember over the offseason when MileSplit asked for our goals. My goal was to run a 20.8."

Appiah's DQ in the 100 in state qualifying action also motivated him to perform up to his career best expectations at Great Southwest.

"There's a good chance he breaks 21 at Great Southwest, which would put them right up there with some of the top guys in the nation," Evans said. "Brock knows he's there, but that competition is also going to put him right in the mix."

Appiah's career timeline has changed slightly over the years. In earlier seasons he went from being a strong 400m runner -- with a 48.09 second PR -- to a straight line sprinter in the 100m and 200m.

"He started this season with the goal of increasing his track speed," Evans said. "Both his start and his top end speed. And it paid off a great deal for what he wanted to do."

Appiah, who also was a standout cornerback over his career with Edmonds and may have an opportunity to walk-on to the Sooners football program if he so chooses, recorded six times under 10.62 seconds this season alone.

No competitor was within a half a second of Appiah in the 200m this season, Evans said. Appiah currently is one the school record board in the 4x100 and 4x200 relay.

But individual honors are what's pushing Appiah as he closes out his career.

"You have great competition at Great Southwest," Appiah said. "That's where I can find it."

Evans thinks Great Southwest will provide a great launching pad for the soon-to-be college sprinter.

"He's able to hold his top speed longer than any athlete I've ever had," Evans said.

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