Sooners Make Mark on Record Books in Opener

Andie Beene
By Andie Beene
Assistant Director of Communications

HOUSTON – The Oklahoma track and field teams put together an impressive showing at the Leonard Hilton Memorial Invitational on Friday, including a program-record high jump from freshman Vernon Turner and six total top-10 marks.

The Sooners recorded a total of 16 event wins in the first indoor meet of the season. Additionally, returners set 10 personal records on the day.

"For the most part, we did exactly what we set out to do today," OU head coach Jim VanHootegem said. "We wanted execution levels we’ve been seeing in practices while also seeking for everyone to show a love for competition."

In his first collegiate event, Turner cleared 2.23 meters (7-3.75) in the men’s high jump to set an OU indoor record. His mark passed Greg Seay's record, 2.20 meters, set in 1982. Turner earned first place among collegiate competitors in the event.

Joining Turner in the Sooner record books on Friday were throwers Ashley Bryant, Jess Woodard, Cooper Campbell and Bradley Daboub and sprinter Leya Buchanan. In the event-opening women’s weight throw, Bryant recorded a PR of 19.42 meters, the third-best mark in OU indoor history. With the throw, Bryant finished first among collegiate competitors. 

Buchanan ran the 60-meter dash in a personal-record 7.29 seconds to claim the event crown and place fifth all-time in program history.

In the shot put, Woodard placed first with a throw of 16.40 meters, the sixth-best indoor mark in OU history. On the men’s side, Cooper Campbell and Bradley Daboub recorded marks of 17.97 meters and 17.66 meters, respectively. Campbell placed second behind the sixth-best indoor shot put in Sooner records, while Daboub’s PR earned him third place and ranked 10th all-time.

The Sooners earned a total of 35 top-three finishes among collegiate competitors of their events, including 16 event wins. Joining Turner, Campbell and Daboub in the men’s field events were Marcus Mitchell (first place in collegiate triple jump, 14.87 meters), Shon Howard (second place in collegiate high jump, 2.08 meters), Steven Jazdyk (second place in pole vault, 4.60 meters), Thomas Cheval (second place in collegiate long jump, 7.25 meters), Greg Vann (second place in collegiate triple jump, 14.85 meters), Papay Glaywulu (third place in collegiate long jump, 7.01 meters) and Josh Foster (third place in collegiate triple jump, 14.45 meters). 

On the women’s side of field events, Bryant and Woodard were joined by fellow top-three finishers Falyn Reaugh (first place in high jump, 1.68 meters by virtue of attempts), Sydney King (first place in pole vault, 4.00 meters), Meia Gordon (­second place in shot put, 15.72 meters), Makayla Stephens (second place in high jump, 1.68 meters by virtue of attempts), Kenzie Shell (second place in pole vault, 3.85 meters), Nura Muhammad (second place in collegiate long jump, 5.48 meters), Essence Thomas (second place in triple jump, 12.65 meters) and Camille Burge (third place in collegiate shot put, 16.85 meters).

In running events, Sooner men with top-three showings included event winners Heath Warren (first place in mile run, 4:21.70), Bryce Douglas (first place in collegiate 60-meter hurdles, 8:01; first place in collegiate 400 meters, 50.67), Jackson Webb (first place in 200 meters; 22.42) and the 4x400 relay team of Myles Wheeler, Lawrence Murray, Larry Murray and Derek King (first place, 3:23.59).

For the women runners, Buchanan was joined by other top-three finishers Belle Wallace (first place in college mile run, 4:49.52), Camri Austin (first place in 60-meter hurdles, 8.67), Mia Mukes (first place in 400 meters, 55.70), Sabrina Mason (first place in 200 meters, 25.26), Sarah Scott (second place in college mile run, 5:02.90), Stephens (second place in 60-meter hurdles, 8.96), Evette Blanks (second place in 400 meters, 56.26), Ama Pipi (third place in 60 meters, 7.52) and Medinah Spencer (third place in 400 meters, 57.12).

"Ashley Bryant got us off to a great start," VanHootegem said. "She was sick, but competed well enough to miss the school record by only 2 centimeters. Vernon Turner debuted with a school record, so we are glad to see him off to a good start. I was especially pleased with Sydney King. It is always pleasing to see someone who does the right things rewarded with a good result." 

Among male returners, Daboub and Vann’s distances marked a personal best, and Howard’s mark matched his indoor PR. Steven Jazdyk also posted a PR, 8.18 in the 60-meter hurdles.

Among female returners, Bryant, Buchanan, Gordon, King and Burge all recorded personal records. Alexis Barnes also posted a PR on Friday, 7.66 in the 60 meters.

The Sooners continue their indoor season on Jan. 19-20 (Friday-Saturday) as they head to Nashville, Tenn., for the Vanderbilt Invitational.