Arizona, you should be proud of yourself. We had nearly 45,000 votes cast for Billy Orman and Jaide Stepter, and Billy Orman pulled away from Jaide Stepter in the last 3 hours to take 55.75% of the votes over Stepter's 44.25%. We at MileSplit AZ are completely blown away by the interaction this has brought to our audience over the past few weeks and we truly appreciate your support.
And while we know there was some grumblings about who got through to certain rounds of this competition, remember in the end, this was truly for entertainment purposes only.
We couldn't find Billy but his dad sent us a message
We were trying to reach out to Billy over the past couple of days to get a Zoom interview with him, but had no luck. Billy's dad (who is also named Bill) sent us a message though about Billy and his win in what we think encapsulates what we here at MileSplit were trying to do with this Athlete of the Decade poll contest:
Hi David. Billy Orman's dad here. Our daughter was contacted by friends at the Tuba City Chapter House and was told you were trying to contact Billy. He's out in rural Tennessee somewhere visiting a college friend who runs an organic farm, far from phone or internet coverage. We've not been able to reach him either but will let him know to contact you when we are able to contact him.
Thanks on his behalf for conducting the little fan contest and for considering him among the many many fine athletes that have participated in Track and Field over the past decade. Billy is and has always been a very humble kid and I'm sure he would want to express thanks, but also express his fervent hope that all the other athletes and their families and fans take this poll in the spirit that I'm sure it was intended - a fun and somewhat silly diversion from all the very serious difficulties our world is currently facing. Our little town here on the western Navajo reservation has been especially hard hit by COVID. It is hard to find a family that hasn't been affected. So your fan poll had a very positive effect here and allowed Billy's old friends, teammates, and many fans to recall happier days and celebrate something positive. Thank you again for all the work and effort you put into this. And please thank all the many athletes and their families and fans who participated. Stay safe.