March 12, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Oklahoma women’s track and field team recorded a program-best sixth-place finish Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships as the men’s and women’s teams combined to add four All-Americans to the four earned Friday night. Tia Brooks led the way for the Sooners with a second-place finish in the women’s shot put while Scottesha Miller broke her own day-old school record in the 60-meter dash. The Sooner women totaled 25 points while the Oklahoma men finished 13th overall with 14 points.
Brooks and Karen Shump provide each other plenty of competition day in and day out at practice and the two who entered the weekend ranked in the top five nationally and gave the Oklahoma program two athletes in the finals of the women’s shot put, the only school to place two in the nine-woman final.
It was Brooks, the 2011 Big 12 champion in the event, who staked her claim as the top Sooner thrower Saturday however as she finished second overall with a personal-best throw of 57-1.00 (17.40) on her second attempt. Brooks opened the competition with a throw of 54-8.75 (16.68), the fifth best in the opening round, before improving and tying the mark she used to win the Big 12 title in the event on Feb. 26. Brooks entered the weekend ranked fifth nationally in the event and improved on her 2010 fifth-place finish in the event.
The 2010 Big 12 champion in the shot put, Shump earned All-American honors in the event for the second consecutive year with a top of throw of 55-4.75 (16.88) on her fourth attempt to finish seventh. Shump opened with a throw of 54-10.00 (16.71) to begin the competition in fourth. Shump improved to 55-1.00 (16.79) on her second attempt but slid to sixth. The sophomore from Media, Pa., dropped to seventh in the third round and remained there for the remainder of the competition.
The two become the first athletes in Oklahoma history to earn multiple All-America honors in the shot put.
Miller closed out her Oklahoma Track and Field career with a sixth career All-American honor as she took fourth in the 60-meter dash with a personal best and Oklahoma record 7.20. One day after breaking the Oklahoma record with a time of 7.22 in the event’s prelims, Miller, who has no remaining collegiate eligibility, defeated four athletes who entered the meet ranked ahead of her. Miller came into the weekend ranked 10th nationally in the event with a time of 7.25.
The All-American honor in the event is Miller’s second in as many years as she became just the second athlete in Oklahoma history to accomplish the back-to-back All-American feat, joining Laverne Jones who did so in 2003 and 2004. Miller finished seventh in the event at the 2010 NCAA Championships.
One day after winning the NCAA title in the 200-meter dash, Salaam returned to the track at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in an attempt to become just the third athlete in NCAA history to sweep the 60- and 200-meter dash titles, a feat he accomplished two weeks ago at the Big 12 Championships.
A tweaked left hamstring denied the junior from Edmond, Okla., that opportunity, however, as he finished eighth with a time of 6.92. Salaam struggled to get out of the blocks with the impairment as Florida’s Jeff Demps became the first athlete since Oklahoma alum DaBryan Blanton to win back-to-back title in the event with a time of 6.53. Salaam entered the weekend with the nation’s top ranking with a time of 6.54 and left with a world-leading time in the 200-meter dash. Salaam is the first athlete in Oklahoma history to earn All-America honors in both the 60- and 200-meter dash.
Jasmine Simmons earned second-team All-American status in the women’s triple jump as she finished 14th with a top jump of 41-5.25 (12.63). Simmons was seventh after one round with a jump of 41-1.75 (12.54) before improving to her final mark on third attempt. The senior was unable to to qualify for the finals in the event as the cutoff for the nine-woman final was 42-2.00 (12.85).
Like Simmons, K.P. Singh earned a second-team honor as he finished 13th in the men’s weight throw. The two-time Big 12 champion in the event, Singh finished with a top throw of 65-3.50 (19.90). The senior entered the meet ranked fifth nationally in the event and was only able to record one legal throw after fouling on his first two attempts.
Oklahoma Final Results:
Men’s 60-Meter Dash: 8. Mookie Salaam 6.92
Men’s Weight Throw: 13. K.P. Singh 65-3.50 (19.90)
Women’s 60-Meter Dash: 4. Scottesha Miller 7.20
Women’s Triple Jump: 14. Jasmine Simmons 41-5.25 (12.63)
Women’s Shot Put: 2. Tia Brooks 57-1.00 (17.40); 7. Karen Shump 55-4.75 (16.88)