Idabel’s Christian Wortham – Athlete Spotlight Presented By McCurtain County National Bank

Motivated by the final results from a year ago, Idabel senior Christian Wortham had 20-20 vision in anticipation of competing this season for the Warriors track team. But like all other high school spring sports athletes, the season was cancelled due to the health pandemic. 

At last year’s state track meet, Wortham ran against time in the 110m hurdles heat competition. His time, a personal best 16.28 was originally good enough to reach the medal stand before a coaches challenge proved the hurdles were set in the wrong position allowing athletes like Wortham to keep their time or run a second time to better their results. The final results pushed Wortham out of the top six positions.

“To have my medal taken away from me by situations beyond my control was hard to accept,” recalled the 2020 senior who did reach the medal stand in the 300m hurdles. “From that moment, I dedicated my future to do everything I could to get it back.”

Wortham opted to forego cross-country and basketball in his senior year to train for this spring’s competition.

“Christian has been solely focused for running track this spring and winning the hurdles medal,” said coach John Harjo. “We don’t have an all-weather track so he worked on perfecting his starts using the hallways at school at night to get his steps and timing down.”

It’s a work ethic that Wortham admits he learned from his father.

“My inspiration comes from my family. I learned by watching my father. He’s shown all of us that by hard work and a get it done attitude is the only way to achieve success.” 

And according to coach Harjo, Wortham’s dedication to doing things right extends far beyond sports competition.

“Christian is an honor student, he’s a yes ma’am, no sir young man who respects everyone,” complimented Harjo. “This is the kind of guy you want to marry your daughter.”

The end of the school year and forced cancellations of traditional senior events is something that continues to inspire Wortham.

“It’s very emotional for me not getting to do the normal things,” admits Wortham who maintained a 3.85 GPA and winner of the Matt Watson Athletic Scholarship awarded by the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame. “But it’s not in our family to quit. I know I still can achieve my goals.”

While a final decision on college athletics remains, Wortham plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy.

“No matter where he goes or what he does, he’s going to shine,” said Harjo. Christian Wortham will always be a winner because of work ethic alone.”