Record Crowds Gather at USAO's Spring Triad

Jessica Zuccarelli with her butterfly chalk drawing
More than 830 artists competed for top honors and bragging rights in this year's Montmartre Chalk Art Festival at USAO, including Altus High School student Jessica Zuccarelli, who won a Judges Choice award in the high school division. The chalk contest was part of the annual Spring Triad, which includes the statewide high school Scholastic Meet and Droverstock music festival. This year's event drew more than 2,500 visitors.

CHICKASHA -- In what may be the largest Spring Triad to date, record numbers of high school students and visitors flocked to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma April 3 for the annual campus event.

Despite morning fog, cool temperatures and the threat of rain, more than 2,500 students participated in the Montmartre Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival, the statewide high school Scholastic Meet and the Droverstock music festival.

The chalk art festival drew more than 830 artists from elementary schools, high schools and colleges across the state. More than 330 original works of art were created in four hours as student artists created six-foot square drawings canvassing the entire oval. Students represented nearly 70 Oklahoma schools.

More than 1,000 students representing nearly 50 communities competed in the Scholastic Meet. In its 28th year, faculty presented testing in more than two dozen categories and awarded the top five students in each. Four high schools took home trophies for having the most students win awards in the meet.

Mustang High School won first place for academic achievements, followed by Moore at second place. Lawton High School scored third place and Minco took small school honorable mention.

Dr. Darryel Reigh, coordinator of the Scholastic Meet, was mindful of all who made the Triad a success. " The cooperative spirit of the students, staff, faculty and administration that is necessary for this event to occur demonstrates again why USAO is such a special institution," he said. " The Spring Triad creates an impression of USAO for the students and sponsors who attend the events that clearly represents why a student should attend USAO."

With the threat of rain early that morning, the Droverstock music festival was moved indoors, where students gathered in the Te Ata Memorial Auditorium throughout the day for live music and entertainment. Student club booths offered food and special activities while bands from across the state and nation rocked the stage with more than 12 hours of live music.

Local bands The Breathren and Shelby Phelps shared the stage with Oklahoma staple Shortt Dogg and Nashville cover rocker Natalie Stovall. A night crowd grew as headliners Hush Hush Commotion, Rockwell Social and Midnight 2 Twelve took the stage starting at 6 p.m.

In the Montmartre Chalk Art Contest, University of Central Oklahoma students Alex and Cynthia Gerasimov took home the Best of Show award for the day.

Judges Choice awards were given for four different age groups.

The college/adult division award went to three entries. USAO art students Miguel Herrera of Sapulpa, Chelsea McClanahan of Oklahoma City, James Greenlee of Tulsa and Crystal Mayes of Duncan tied with USAO alumnus Andy Myers from the University of Dallas and Kenny Hobbs from Lawton.

The high school division awarded six pieces. Weatherford High School students Odessa Teboe and Naveenah Kumar won alongside Altus High Schooler Jessica Zuccarelli. Representing Plainview High School in Ardmore were Kory Atcuson, Danielle Hacker and Dai Jung, with Jessica Brown and Jhanee Carlton winning for Mountain View-Gotebo.

Carlos Barbara, Seth Bowerman, Cody Hopwood and Clint Wardlow from Yukon High School took home awards, as did Moore High School students Madeline Miller, Skylar Smith, Annie Koeninger and Mechiel Tran.

Three entries scored awards in the junior division, with Altus Junior High School students Dalton Latham and Matt Wilhite each earning awards alongside Anadarko High School students Anna Mayall and Dani Reynolds.

The 6th grade and younger division award was given to Kaleb Lopez from East Grand Elementary School in Anadarko.

The Spring Triad event is held every first Thursday in April at USAO.