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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Where Are They Now? Update on Tiger Rose

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Contributed by Coach John Mackey

Catching Megan Rose during her years as a competitive racer was something very few could do. Just over six years ago, the former Mansfield distance runner became the only four time individual cross country conference champion in MHS school history. On the heels of that success, she spent the next four years setting records while running for Southeastern Oklahoma State University. 

Now, in what might be her most noteworthy achievement thus far, we catch up to the legendary Lady Tiger to find all is still well with the 2018 Mansfield graduate. Her newest victory came this past Friday, May 3 in an arena beyond the realm of running. This time around the award was in the form of a Master’s Degree in Education and School Counseling. She earned her newest degree on the same SOSU campus that she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education just two years ago while making university history running records.

“Staying disciplined is the easiest thing you can do for yourself whether it’s running or school,” expressed the obviously proud Rose one day after the Spring Commencement Ceremony at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, Oklahoma. “I stayed determined to get my degree. I just continued into my masters program, never taking a break or a summer off. I wanted to keep the momentum going.”

Inside the Savage Storm basketball arena, a very large audience along with university faculty, staff, invited dignitaries, family, and friends packed into the building to witness over 440 graduate degree recipients receive their diplomas and hoods. Among the many, Rose was excited to announce that up to 14 members of her own immediate family and friends were able to attend.

“It was kind of nice,” confessed Rose. “This was also the first time my fiance’s (Adam Decker) parents and my parents actually got to meet.”

Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, the 21st President of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, announced during his opening remarks at the commencement exercises that the Spring 2024 graduating class was the largest in school history. There were 823 students that were to graduate over the weekend with 349 baccalaureate degree recipients, 442 graduate degree recipients, and 32 certificate recipients. Amazingly, the recipients hailed from 41 states, 18 countries, and 15 sovereign tribal nations to populate the record number.

Rose was able to complete her graduate degree while working full time as a 5th grade English and Social Studies teacher at Durant Intermediate School. 

“I used my conference hour and my PLC (Professional Learning Community) time to shadow counselors and serve students as a counselor myself,” recalled Rose in regard to her latest college experience. “That fulfilled my 100 practicum hours as part of the required 48 hours of graduate coursework.”

Undoubtedly, Rose followed a disciplined path in regard to her graduate and undergraduate studies at Southeastern Oklahoma. According to her own moral compass, it’s simply what she expected of herself. All-Academic honors from the Great American Conference for three consecutive years (2020 – 2022) certainly epitomized that line of thinking. Truth be told, her status upon the All-Academic Team could have easily been for four consecutive years but according to the college athlete turned teacher, “freshmen weren’t allowed on that particular conference awards list.”

When you hear Rose speak, her sense of value, spiritual commitment, and hard work comes out with ease. Perhaps in the context of a runner’s mentality, it’s as fluid as producing three of the university’s top 5000 meter race times of all times. The best in SOSU history was Rose’s 18:52.87 clocking established at a Southern Baptist University hosted event in Missouri on April 2, 2022. To this day, it still sits atop the Savage Storm Track and Field records board.

“It’s easier to follow 100 percent of the rules than to follow 99 percent and slack on the one,” reflected the 24 year old, second year school teacher. “That one percent requires damage control. I want to be a better example to my kids than that.”

When asked if her current students realized her passion for running, her response was quick and decisive. 

“Oh yeah! I can still outrun any of my kids on the playground,” explained the still physically fit athlete turned teacher. “I still run three days a week after school, getting three to five miles each time out. Twice a week my roommate and I go to the gym at 5:30 in the morning to lift weights.”

After four years of running cross country and track at SOSU, Rose retired her competition shoes holding three university records. Two involved separate relay teams while the other was the 5000m individual distance race at Southern Baptist in her senior track season.

In 2021, the DMR (distance medley relay) team of Rose, Alexis Longoria, Skye Summers, and Jesse Sanchez set the new school standard running 13:36.47 for the 10 lap specialty event. Rose started the relay with a 1200m leg, followed by Longoria’s 800m run, Summers’ 1600m mile equivalent, and Sanchez’s 400m closing sprint. The record was produced at Emporia State during Rose’s junior year. It was the second fastest time at the meet.

In 2019, Rose’s freshman season, she joined Skye Summers, Regan Romas, and Rebekah Christman in the award-winning 4x800m relay. By Rose’s modest account, it was only a 10:35.65 timing. It held up as the Savage Storm standard for four years until the quadrupling of Madison Rowe, Aliya Carrizales, Alexis Longoria, and Arden Kesterson reeled off a 9:53.82 in 2023.

While in high school, Rose was an award winning cross country runner and track athlete. She landed on multiple lists with All-Conference, All-District, All-Star, Player of the Year, and Athlete of the Year recognition. Her last high school cross country race gave her the second fastest 5K time ever produced at the prestigious River Valley All-Star XC Race hosted that year in Magazine. That high school mark of 19:52 was remarkably within one minute of her college school record.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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