Plainview vaulter Callihan signs with Sooners
Plainview senior Tanner Callihan has always had a dream of attending the University of Oklahoma. The pole vault has given him that opportunity.
Surrounded by friends and family on Wednesday, Callihan, one of the state’s best pole vaulters, signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Oklahoma. In four years at Plainview, Callihan has accomplished about all he possibly could in the event.
He cemented his career with his dream commitment. Callihan chose OU over Oral Robert University.
“I came to my final decision yesterday (Tuesday),” Callihan said. “What sold me was that it was my dream to go to OU.”
Callihan has been one of the elite vaulters in Oklahoma since his freshman season. A three-time Class 3A regional and Lake Country Conference champion, Callihan is the heavy favorite for the state title this season after winning it as a sophomore and not recording a height as a junior.
After a disappointing end to his junior year, Callihan said it was a state title or bust to cap his high school career. The 3A state meet will be a Ardmore’s Noble Stadium this year, a place Callihan said he loves competing.
“There’s no in-between,” Callihan said of winning the state title this season.
Callihan is coming off of a strong performance at the Texas Relays last weekend, where he and girls distance runner Alex Davis competed in Austin.
Against some of the best competition in the nation, Callihan vaulted 15 feet, 5 inches in the B section of the meet, placing fourth in his division and 14th overall.
He already owns the Plainview school record of 15-6 in the vault, and Indians track and field coach Johni Bell said Callihan will break his own record before season’s end.
She also feels confident that Callihan will regain his state championship.
“That has haunted him, but I feel very confident he will atone for that learning experience,” Bell said.
“I have no doubt he has the work ethic to go anywhere with those God-given abilities. It’s awesome in my line of work to watch a child develop not just physically … To develop the self-confidence he’s developed.”