CLAREMORE - You could argue Baylor Harvey is as great an athlete as Rogers State University has ever had, leaving the Hillcats with school records in every cross country distance and every track event he ran in.
Maybe his greatest accomplishment as an athlete, though, has been using sports to fill a big void in his life. Harvey, who grew up mostly in the Tulsa area before attending high school in Cleveland, OK, has never met his biological father and doesn't know who he is. Growing up that created some tough moments for Baylor, but ultimately he decided to not let it derail him from going for his dreams.
"I mean sure I did have them but they weren't like, 'Oh man, where is this guy?' said Harvey. "I was more like, 'Oh man, where is this guy - he's missing out on a lot.'"
Baylor's thankful for several coaches who've stepped up to be great male role models for him. At Rogers State University, Baylor's run of role models continued with RSU cross country and track head coach Chris McCormick.
"(He's) probably the best role model I've ever had," said Harvey.
Together the two men have teamed up and helped Harvey become a three-time All-American runner, the first NCAA All-American for the Hillcats since they joined Division-II.
With Harvey graduating this May and moving towards a career in physical therapy, McCormick is reflecting on how proud he is of Baylor.
"Baylor Harvey's a great representative of an Oklahoman," said McCormick. "(He) quietly made himself into somebody that any dad would be proud of."
Harvey knows he's not the only kid to ever grow up without knowing their dad. His message is simple.
"No matter what happens just be positive," said Harvey. "Be focused and have fun with life."
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