March 22, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma women’s track and field team begins the 2012 outdoor season ranked sixth in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association rankings, the organization announced today. The men’s team is No. 23 in the preseason poll.
The Big 12 is currently the top women’s conference with 1261.75 ranking points and has seven teams in the top 25. The Sooner women have the highest ranking amongst conference teams with Texas A&M (7), Texas (8), Texas Tech (9) and Kansas (10) all ranked in the top 10. The Big 12 men’s teams are second in the conference rankings with five teams ranked.
Oklahoma returns the 2011 NCAA national champion in the javelin as Brittany Borman looks to make it a three-peat as the Big 12 champion in discus and two straight conference javelin titles. Looking to build off her NCAA shot put championship during the indoor season, Tia Brooks finished runner-up in the event at the NCAA outdoor meet last year. Karen Shump also returns, adding depth to the roster.
That trio is part of 14 individuals considered for the preseason rankings. Joining them on the list includes Alex Acker (pole vault), Shawna Anderson (100m), Kelsey Brown (800m), Shakeeri Cole (800m), Natalie Crain (800m), Jessica Engel (5000m, 10000m), Annie Martin (steeplechase), Claire McConnell (heptathlon), Kristen Rice (high jump), Bailey Wagner (discus) and Sherine Wells (100m, 200m).
Oklahoma’s women finished a program-best fourth at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
The 23rd-ranked men’s team returns seven individuals who were eligible for consideration in the preseason rankings and added one newcomer to the list. Conrad Aaron (shot put), George Alex (1500m, 5000m, 10000m), Luke Bryant (discus), Eric Harasyn (1500m), Bill Kogel (5000m, 10000m), Kevin Schwab (5000m, 10000m) and Kevin Williams (5000m) joined Patrick Casey (800m, 1500m, steeplechase) on the list.
The Sooners are in action this weekend at the Bobby Lane Invitational in Arlington, Texas. The first major outdoor meet of the year will be contested next week at the 85th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin.