Feb. 15, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. — Both the Oklahoma men and women’s track and field teams reached their highest national rankings Tuesday as the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its latest national rankings. The Oklahoma women moved up to No. 9 while the OU men climbed to No. 10. Both teams also hold the No. 1 ranking in the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional rankings.
The moves come in the first USTFCCCA rankings of the season that only feature marks captured in the 2011 indoor season. Prior to Tuesday’s rankings, the USTFCCCA also included season-best marks from 2010.
The rise in the rankings come the week of Oklahoma’s final home meet of the 2011 indoor season with this Saturday’s Sooner Invitational. Action at the event inside the Mosier Indoor Facility is slated to begin at 10 a.m. and admission is free. The following weekend, OU will turn its attention to the Big 12 Championships in Lincoln, Neb., where the Oklahoma men will attempt to defend their 2010 Big 12 title.
Among Big 12 Conference programs, the Oklahoma men are third behind No. 4 Texas A&M and No. 8 Texas while the Oklahoma women trail No. 3 Texas and No. 5 Texas A&M. The Big 12 leads the nation with six teams ranked in the top 25 of each division.
The No. 9 women are bolstered in the rankings by six athletes who account for seven top-10 individual rankings. Candyce McGrone leads the way with the No. 4 ranking in the 200-meter dash and a tie for the No. 10 national ranking in the 60-meter dash with teammate Scottesha Miller.
Two Sooners place inside the top five of the women’s shot put as the defending Big 12 champion Karen Shump is No. 3 while fellow 2010 All-American Tia Brooks is No. 5. Both horizontal jumps have a Sooner in the nation’s top 10 as Ti’Anca Mock is No. 8 in the long jump and Jasmine Simmons is No. 10 in the triple jump.
On the men’s side, Mookie Salaam accounts for the majority of Oklahoma’s point total in the rankings as the nation’s No. 1 athlete in the 60-meter dash and the No. 5 athlete in the 200-meter dash. The new OU record holder in the 5,000-meter run, George Alex ranks No. 8 in the event, one of three Sooners in the top 15 of the event, joining No. 11 Kevin Schwab and No. 15 Bill Kogel. Defending Big 12 weight throw champion K.P. Singh ranks No. 6 nationally in the event.