Feb. 22, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma’s Karen Shump and K.P. Singh were named Big 12 Athletes of the Week the Big 12 Conference announced Tuesday after both throwers broke their own program records at Saturday’s Sooner Invitational. Shump (shot put) and Singh (weight throw) both hold respective top marks in the Big 12 while Shump is No. 2 nationally and Singh is No. 4 in the NCAA.
Shump's honor is the second straight for the Sooner women after Candyce McGrone won last week's honor and Singh's is the second for the OU men after Mookie Salaam earned the honor on Feb. 1. With the latest honors being the last for the 2011 indoor season, both the OU men and women finish the year as the only teams, on the men's or women's side, to earn multiple Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors.
Shump eclipsed the NCAA automatic qualifying mark for the fifth time this season as she moved to No. 2 nationally and shattered her own program record in the women’s shot put with a winning throw of 58-11.50 (17.97). The throw topped her school record of 56-10.75 (17.34) by over two feet as Shump now trails just Indiana’s Faith Sherrill, 59-0.75 (18.00), for the NCAA lead.
Shump’s top two throws this season have come at home as her previous best won the event at the J.D. Martin Invitational. The defending Big 12 champion, Shump has won four of the five competitions she has entered this season, falling just to teammate Tia Brooks at last week’s Akron Invitational.
Singh became just the fourth athlete nationally to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships in the men’s weight throw with a winning toss of 70-8.50 (21.55). The mark Saturday bested Singh’s previous school record of 69-3.50 (21.12) by over a foot as he moved to No. 4 in the nation. The defending Big 12 champion and current Big 12 leader in the event, Singh led from wire-to-wire with his shortest legal throw measuring at 65-10. (20.08). The win is Singh’s second of the season.
Shump, Singh and the rest of the Sooners now turn to their attention to this weekend’s Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships. The two-day event held in Lincoln, Neb., kicks off Friday.