Daniel Wayne "Pug" Roper (2009)
Stamps HS and Southern State College (SAU)
In 1961, Wayne began running for Raymond (Rip) Powell in the 8th grade and later ran for Vernon Hutchins until graduating from Stamps high school in 1965. Stamps teams were the 1962, 1963 and 1964 State Class B runner-up and Class B State Champions in 1965.
Wayne won every 880- meter race during his junior and senior years in high school except for a 3rd place finish in the Meet of Champions in 1964 and a 3rd place finish (1:53.0) at the Golden West Invitational at Sacramento, CA in 1965. He set the overall high school state record of 1:53.6 at the Meet of Champions as a senior in 1965; the record stood until 1970. He is still tied for seventh in the 800-meter all time best high school track performances in Arkansas.
In 1965 he was selected Arkansas track athlete of the year for his classification. Wayne ran for Southern State College now Southern Arkansas University. In 1966, he was undefeated in the AIC and set the conference record of 1:53.3 at the conference meet. The next year he had one loss in the AIC at the conference meet but managed to set the school record of 1:52.9.He was All Conference in 1966 and 1969 and was selected captain his junior and senior year.
After college, Wayne returned to athletic competition at the age of 33 and started running road races from 5,000 meter distances to marathons. From 1980 to 1995, Wayne ran in 127 5K races and placed 1st in his age group 104 times and in the top three in his age group 17 other times. Wayne also placed in the overall top 3 in 51 of those races.
He ran 36 10K’s from 1980 to 1994 and won his age group in 18 of those races and placed in to top three of his age group in another 11 races. He posted his best 10K time of 33:34 at the age of 38, and a personal best of 16:09 in the 5K at age 40. At age 57, he started competing in the Northwest Louisiana District Senior Olympics, winning 1st place overall in the 400 and 800 meter events in 2005, 06 and 07.