In the late 90s and early 2000s, the name Bookout was synonymous with high school track and field excellence in Oklahoma. Casey, Kyle and Kevin Bookout dominated prep field events for more than a decade in the Sooner state.
Look out, but now there’s another Bookout making headlines at area track meets.
Maggie Bookout, a sophomore thrower competing with OKC Storm, an athletic organization for home schooled students, is picking up where her dad, Casey, and uncles left off.
Bookout is near the top of this year’s top girls high school performers in Oklahoma with personal bests of 148-4 in the discus and 42-2 in the shot put.
Despite the blessed bloodlines, Maggie (and older brother, Jacob, a freshman pitcher at Oklahoma State) wasn’t forced to compete in sports. She fell in love with competing all on her own.
“My parents, they’ve been so great,” said Bookout. “They were purposeful to not push us at a young age to play. We just kind of found it on our own and it really helped us in the long run. I just never really felt like I had to be this unbelievable player. I’ve never felt pressure that I have to live up to the Bookout name.”
OKC Storm athletes can compete in regular high school meets, but they’re not allowed to compete in OSSAA-sanctioned regional and state championship events. Bookout makes up for missing those big meets by competing in AAU and USA Track and Field events throughout the region.
“I’ll definitely be going to AAU Nationals and USA Track and Field Nationals this summer,” said Bookout. “I have my first outdoor meet next weekend. I’m really excited for that. I should have some great competition.”
Next week’s event, organized by University of Tulsa assistant track coach Caleb Seal, is a USATF-sanctioned event at East Central High School in Tulsa. Many of the country’s top amateur throwers will compete May 22nd and 23rd to try and earn national and Olympic qualifying marks.
With so much throwing experience at her disposal, it makes sense that Maggie would receive guidance and coaching from her accomplished family members.
“My dad is kind of my main coach right now,” remarked Bookout. “Every once in a while, around the holidays, Kevin and Kyle will come out and watch me throw and they’ll come to some meets. They’re so great and supportive. They’ll throw in some tips and tricks sometimes, but my dad is my main guy.”
Back when the Bookout boys were competing, much was made of the homemade shot put ring they had in their backyard. Although her grandparents moved to Edmond a few years ago, Maggie still has a ring all her own at her disposal.
Maggie has discovered that technique matters a lot more in the throwing events than just brute strength.
“Absolutely,” affirmed Bookout. “A lot of times, people look at me as a smaller thrower, so they think of me as an explosion and technique thrower. Technique is so incredibly important because you can be strong, but there’s no way to get to that next level without really honing down and getting into the nitty gritty of the throw.”
While most people are aware of the Bookout name in Oklahoma, some may not know that the other side of Maggie’s family is just as athletically accomplished, or more so, than her dad’s side. Maggie’s mom, Danielle, played volleyball at OU. Her second cousin, Taylor Cornelius, was Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback a couple of years ago. Another relative, Josh Davis, was an Olympic gold medal winning swimmer.
“It’s amazing,” remarked Bookout on the long list of athletes in her family. “I try to give my mom’s side some props. I tell people there’s actually more athletes on the Cornelius side and they’re like, ‘What!’ It’s so awesome growing up in that environment.”
With a family history of representing both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma athletics, Maggie can’t completely commit to choosing a favorite in-state school.
“Oh, that’s hard!” admitted Bookout with a laugh. “I’m an OSU baseball fan, definitely, but I have to say, my allegiance is still to OU football. I can’t part from that!”
The time is quickly approaching when Bookout will begin the college recruiting process. The recruiting dead period expires June 15th and she anticipates getting serious attention from coaches right away.
“I do have some followers on Instagram that definitely keep up with me,” said Bookout on college coaches who follow her on social media. “I kind of have a top five right now but I’m not quite ready to release who they are.”
“My goal is to go as far as the Lord will take me.”