ANNA – A large crowd of friends, teammates, coaches and family were on hand Thursday in the Anna High School library to witness Lady Coyote sprinter Tamaya Tutson sign her national letter of intent to attend Rogers State University.
Anna’s school-record holder in the 400-meter dash and fresh off a silver medal at the Class 4A state meet in Austin, Tutson added a bit of suspense, choosing not to reveal her school choice until the signing.
“I’m really excited because I’ve been waiting; I’ve been holding it in,” Tutson said. “Everybody has been asking me where I wanted to go and I’ve been, like, ‘Wait till the signing.’ I wanted to share the moment with all of them. I’m really happy that it turned out to be the way I wanted it to be.”
Rogers State, an NCAA Division II school located in Claremore, Okla., competes in track and field in the Great American Conference. Tutson said she was impressed with everything at RSU, including Hillcats head coach Chris McCormick.
“The people are great and the team there is very excited. They already were telling me, ‘We’ll see you soon,’ like they just knew I was going to sign with them,” she said. “They had faith in me coming there. I loved the school.”
At the 4A state meet earlier this month, Tutson posted a 400 time of 57.59 seconds, missing gold by less than a second. She preceded that race with a winning time of 57.73 seconds at the Region II meet at Texas A&M-Commerce.
For her final season at Anna, Tutson concentrated on the 400 and also anchored the regionally-qualifying 1,600 relay team, which she’s run her entire Lady Coyotes career. Also during her time at Anna, she has excelled in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and in the 800 relay.
Tutson lists her father, Alonzo, as a big role model in her life, as well as Lady Coyotes’ assistant track coach Tomika Crosby and former head track coach Hoot Jones.
“They’re the ones that got me interested in track when I move here [in seventh grade],” Tutson said.
She also credits Anna first-year head coach Scott O’Connor for helping her get to the next level her senior year.
“He knew the new workouts that needed to be done to help me get to where I needed to be,” Tutson said.
“I’m extremely happy for her,” O’Connor said. “She’s had a lot of colleges contact her and she’s been going back and forth. To see her happy with her decision, it means the world.”
He added that RSU is “a great institution” that will provide “a great culture and a great family of a track team.”