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Two OHS track athletes sign grants to Coffeyville CC

Posted on Friday, June 23, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Talyssa Gatlin and Nydaiyah Pickett will compete in track at Coffeyville CC in Kansas.

By Rick Pedone
Sports Editor
It never hurts to have connections, and Osceola High track standouts Talyssa Gatlin and Nydaiyah Pickett each had two of them.
The teammates leaned on knowledge provided by their sisters, and from Lady Kowboys Coach Eric Pinellas, when they decided to sign with Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
They made their decisions official at the OHS gym with their families and friends.
Gatlin, a multiple conference and district champion in the sprints, said that her older sister, Diana, enjoyed her stay at Coffeyville. That made her decision to go there more comfortable, she said.
“She liked it there,” Gatlin said.
Pickett was more influenced by Coach Pinellas, she said, even though Jonel Brown, her sister, also competed at Coffeyville.
“I didn’t talk to her about it much,” Pickett, who runs sprints and middle distance races, said.
Both athletes competed at the recent Class 4A state meet.
Pinellas, who has sent several athletes to the Kansas community college, said that his good relationship with Coffeyville Coach Craig Perry smoothed the recruiting process.
“I called him and told him I had two girls who were ready to go, and he said ‘send them both, I’ll take them,’” Pinellas said. “Coach Perry does a real good job with that program.”
Pickett said that track is the only sport she has an interest in.
“I’ve been doing it since the seventh grade,” she said.
Gatlin, who competed for St. Cloud High until her senior year, said that she also competed in weightlifting but that it wasn’t her favorite sport.
“Not at all,” she said.
Both athletes are undecided about their major.
“I think they are both more comfortable with the idea of going to a community college, both for the academic and the athletic opportunites to improve,” Pinellas said. “Nydaiyah has been working at it a long time and she is gradually improving each year. Talyssa has always been talented as long as I’ve known her.”