Poteau Pirate hurdler looks to leap way to state titles

A season ago, Poteau senior hurdler Dakota Clark suffered an ankle injury, which sidelined him for the majority of his junior seasons for both track and soccer.Now injury free, the Pirate hurdler looks to win state in either or both the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles at this weekend's Class 4A State Meet — which will be Friday and Saturday at Ardmore's Noble Stadium.“I came from soccer practice last season, and I stepped into the long jump pit and I hurt my ankle — and was out for the rest of the season,” Clark said. “So, I feel that this trip to state is a sort of redemption for last year. I'm looking forward to it (state meet).”Now Clark is injury free.“I was really confident going in (at the Class 4A Regional Meet in Stroud),” said Clark, where he was the 300 hurdles regional champion and the 110 hurdles regional runner-up. “I was concerned with how my ankle would hold up going in, but it did fine.”As a sophomore, Clark made state in Ardmore in 2010, which was a whole new experience for him. He's hoping his experience will pay of for him this weekend's state meet.“I made state my sophomore year, but I was really scared and nervous. Now, it's my senior year, and I think I'll do well.”If things work out in his favor, Clark could have a pair of state hurdle championships.“It would be awesome,” he said. “I've never won anything big like that before. It would be really exciting. I'm looking forward to it.”