Feb. 26, 2011
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Oklahoma track and field athletes added four individual Big 12 titles Saturday at the Big 12 Championships as the Oklahoma men finished second with 106 points and the OU women fifth with 76.5 points. Junior sprinter Mookie Salaam led the way as the Big 12 men's high point scorer after sweeping the 60- and 200-meter dash for the Sooners. Salaam finished with 21.25 total points, the third-best total in Big 12 history.
It was a 60-meter dash sweep for the Sooners as Scottesha Miller won the women's event while OU won the women's shot put for the second straight year with Tia Brooks taking the honors this year. Saturday's four titles came a day after Kevin Schwab and K.P. Singh won Big 12 crowns in the 5,000-meter run and weight throw, respectively.
The nation's top athlete in the 60-meter dash, Salaam ran away from the field to defend his 2010 Big 12 title in the event with a time of 6.59 as Texas A&M's Gerald Phiri came in second at 6.64. With the win, Salaam became just the second athlete in Big 12 history to win back-to-back 60-meter dash titles and the first in Oklahoma history. Nebraska's Chris Chandler is the only other Big 12 athlete to accomplish the feat in 2000 and 2001.
Salaam's time Saturday equals his third-fastest of the season as the sophomore from Edmond, Okla., eclipsed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 6.60 for the fourth time this season. With the win Saturday, Salaam, who is undefeated on the season in the event, has now won his last 10 races at the distance with three individual titles this year.
Salaam returned to the track just three hours later for the finals of the 200-meter dash. Running in the sixth lane, Salaam flew down the backstretch to win his second Big 12 title of the day with a time of 20.79. The time is his second best behind his own Oklahoma record 20.76 used to win the event at the Big 12 vs. SEC Challenge on Jan. 29.
Salaam is OU's first ever Big 12 champion in the 200 and the first conference champion in the event since Roxbert Martin's Big Eight win in 1996. The junior is the third runner in OU history to win both the 60- and 200-meter dash Big 12 titles and the first since Trey Harts in 2009.
"Today was a blessing. Today showed that everything I have done and all the hard work has paid off. I was able to execute the race plan that Coach (Matt) Kane gave me. I had an open mind in the race and God is good to me to let me execute my race and win," said Salaam. "I like that everyone out there was healthy and brought their A game. I had good people to run against and everyone did their best. I hope they all have good luck the rest of the year."
Using a strong start and a burst at the finish, Scottesha Miller won her first Big 12 indoor title and second overall after winning the 2007 Big 12 outdoor long jump title. Miller clocked a personal-best 7.25, lowering her previous best of 7.26 run in 2010 and her previous season best of 7.29. Miller's time comes under the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 7.26 and trails just the 7.24 Oklahoma record run by Laverne Jones in 2004. Miller's win is the second Big 12 title for OU in the event after Staneshia Bell's win in 2000.
"I knew that if I got out of the blocks quick, it would throw everyone else off and it did. Once I got up and hit it, I was able to pull away," said Miller. "It feels great, I've been thinking about my entire career here with my first title coming as a freshman and now in my final season I claim another title. It's been a long time coming."
Miller was joined in the finals of the event by Shawna Anderson who finished sixth with a time of 7.38 and Candyce McGrone who claimed eighth with a time of 7.44.
The women's shot put field saw an Oklahoma athlete atop the awards podium for the second straight year although it was a change in names as the sophomore Brooks held off her classmate Karen Shump for the individual Big 12 trophy. Brooks unleashed personal best throws of 57-1.00 (17.40) on both her second and fourth attempt to hold off Shump who had a best of 56-8.75 (17.29) on the day.
"I'm so excited. Our training has been going so well so today I just went after it," said Brooks, OU's fifth conference champion in the event. "I wasn't doing anything different, i've just been more consistent lately. It helps having my teammates in the final because we push each other and cheer each other on. It makes for a comfortable atmosphere almost like we're at home practicing."
Brooks throw moved the sophomore up to No. 4 nationally as she eclipsed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard for the fourth time this season to win her second title. Shump also threw past the NCAA standard for the sixth time this season. With the win, the Oklahoma program became the first in Big 12 history to win back-to-back shot put titles using two different athletes and is just the second school in the Big 12 to have two different athletes win the event in all years. OU's Brittany Borman also scored in the event, finishing eighth with a throw of 50-8.25 (15.45).
The women's sprints returned to the track two hours after the 60 for the 200-meter dash where McGrone ran under the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 23.20 for the second time this season with a time of 23.08 to finish third. Texas A&M took the top two spots as Jeneba Tarmoh ran a World-leading 22.88. Miller also earned three points for the OU women as she came in sixth with a time of 23.56.
After a big night in the men's 5,000-meter run on Friday night, the Oklahoma distance men returned to the track for the 3,000-meter run where all four runners who earned All-Big 12 honors Friday night did the same. Kevin Williams led the way with a third-place finish, clocking a time of 8:08.15. George Alex was next for the Sooners in fifth with a time of 8:09.64 followed by Kevin Schwab in sixth at 8:09.97. Bill Kogel at seventh rounded out the scoring group with a time of 8:10.30.
Less than 24 hours after finishing second in the 5,000-meter run, Jessica Engel returned to the track for the women's 3,000-meter run where she claimed fourth with a time of 9:24.41. The time was just off the junior's season best of 9:23.06.
The men's 4x400-meter relay of Eric Bailey, Remuro Henry, Salaam and Daniel Nix clocked the fastest 4x4 of the season for the Sooners with a fourth-place finish with a time of 3:08.09.
Scott Cooper used a strong finish at the end of the men's 800-meter run to jump from the back to a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:50.57, his second-fastest time of the season. Running his fastest 800 of the year, freshman Taylor Wardall clocked a time of 1:51.45 to finish seventh.
Bailey ran just a hundreth of a second off his personal best in the 600-yard run as he took fourth with a time of 1:09.88. Bailey ran a PR of 1:09.87 in Friday's prelims of the event.
Kristen Rice cleared a personal-best height of 5-8.50 (1.74) to finish fourth in the women's high jump. Rice cleared 5-4.50 and 5-6.50 on her first attempts before clearing 5-8.50 on her third attempt. Chenale Smith also cleared 5-8.50 (1.74) but finished eight after taking three attempts to clear 5-6.50.
Conrad Aaron hit a PR in the men's shot put as he finished fifth with a throw of 57-6.50 (17.54). The throw is seven inches better than his previous best of 56-11.50 (17.36) and is the seventh best in Oklahoma history.
The women's triple jump saw Jasmine Simmons claim fifth in the event with a jump of 42-0.50 (12.81). The jump is Simmons' third best of the season as the senior picked up four team points for the Sooners.
The women's 4x400-meter relay of Shakeeri Cole, Candyce McGrone, Shelleyeka Rolle, Jesica Ejesieme clocked the fifth best time in OU history, 3:39.38, to finish sixth in the event to close out the day for the Sooners.
Rolle clocked a personal best in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:21.36 to finish sixth in the event. Rolle's previous best entering the day was the 1:22.50 in Friday's prelims.
In the men's 400-meter dash, Henry avoided a collision between Texas and Texas A&M runners at the beginning of the second and final lap to finish sixth overall with a time of 48.60.
Sarah Pappas used an indoor personal best in the pole vault to capture seventh in the event. Pappas cleared 12-10.25 (3.92) on her first attempt after doing the same at 12-6.25 (3.82). The height is the fifth best in Oklahoma history.
Sophomore Alex Muntefering grabbed two points for the Oklahoma men as he finished seventh in the mile with a time of 4:09.65.
Oklahoma Final Results
Men's 60-Meter Dash: 1. Mookie Salaam 6.59
Men's 200-Meter Dash: 1. Mookie Salaam 20.79
Men's 400-Meter Dash 6. Remuro Henry 48.60
Men's 600-Yard Run: 4. Eric Bailey 1:09.88
Men's 800-Meter Run: 4. Scott Cooper 1:50.57; 7. Taylor Wardall 1:51.45
Men's 1,000-Meter Run: 6. Frezer Legesse 2:26.21; 7. Malcolm Wankel 2:27.19
Men's Mile: 7. Alex Muntefering 4:09.65
Men's 3,000-Meter Run: 3. Kevin Williams 8:08.15; 5. George Alex 8:09.64; 6. Kevin Schwab 8:09.97; 7. Bill Kogel 8:10.30; 22. Richard Renteria 8:29.92
Men's 4x400-Meter Relay: 4. Eric Bailey, Remuro Henry, Mookie Salaam, Daniel Nix 3:08.89
Men's High Jump: No Height - Landon Sharp
Men's Shot Put: 5. Conrad Aaron 57-6.50 (17.54)
Women's 60-Meter Dash: 1. Scottesha Miller 7.25; 6. Shawna Anderson 7.38; 8. Candyce McGrone 7.44
Women's 200-Meter Dash: 3. Candyce McGrone 23.08; 6. Scottesha Miller 23.56
Women's 600-Yard Run: 6. Shelleyeka Rolle 1:21.36
Women's 3,000-Meter Run: 4. Jessica Engel 9:24.41
Women's 4x400-Meter Relay: 6. Shakeeri Cole, Candyce McGrone, Shelleyeka Rolle, Jesica Ejesieme 3:39.38
Women's High Jump: 4. Kristen Rice 5-8.50 (1.74); 8. Chenale Smith 5-8.50 (1.74)
Women’s Pole Vault: 7. Sarah Pappas 12-10.25 (3.92)
Women’s Triple Jump: 5. Jasmine Simmons 42-0.50 (12.81); 12. Ti’Anca Mock 39-5.75 (12.03)
Women’s Shot Put: 1. Tia Brooks 57-1.00 (17.40); 2. Karen Shump 56-8.75 (17.29); 8. Brittany Borman 50-8.25 (15.45); 12. Bailey Wagner 49-5.50 (15.07)