Jan. 27, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma Track and Field program returns to College Station, Texas, this weekend for the second time this season in a Big 12 vs. SEC Challenge. The eight-team event will feature four schools from each conference joining together to form two teams in a scored battle of conference supremacy. With the amount of ranked teams in attendance, the meet figures to be the toughest meet to date this season for the Sooners.
Of the teams competing, six on the men’s side are ranked in the nation’s top 25 by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) including three of the nation’s top four teams while the women’s side will see four ranked teams. The Oklahoma women enter the meet ranked No. 12 while the men are No. 23. The Big 12 team consists of Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Kansas State while the SEC team consists of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi. The two-day meet kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. inside the Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium.
OU athletes will square off against some of the top competition to date this season. The women’s 60-meter dash will feature seven ranked athletes including two OU athletes, No. 11 Scottesha Miller and No. 35 Candyce McGrone, while the 200-meter dash has five ranked athletes in the field including No. 7 Miller and No. 14 McGrone. Both events feature the nation’s top-ranked athlete in action. In the women’s 60-meter hurdles, Oklahoma’s Latoya Greaves, ranked No. 11, is one of four ranked athletes in the event.
The women’s shot put will also be a tightly contested battle with five ranked athletes in the field. Karen Shump, ranked No. 3 nationally, and Tia Brooks, ranked No. 9, lead the group of four Oklahoma athletes in the field. No. 7 Jasmine Simmons will face four ranked competitors in the triple jump while No. 24 Ti’Anca Mock takes on a field of 14 including No. 10 Nina Kokot of Kansas State in the women’s long jump.
On the men’s side, 2010 Big 12 60-meter dash champion Mookie Salaam enters the meet ranked 15th nationally in the event and takes on three other ranked athletes. Ranked competition will also face Salaam in the 200-meter dash, an event he is ranked No. 7 in, as he takes to the track in the sixth and final heat against No. 2 Antonio Sales of South Carolina and No. 8 Torrin Lawrence of Georgia.
Salaam will also run on Oklahoma’s No. 10 4x400-meter relay that faces six other ranked teams including three in its own heat. OU will face No. 1 Texas A&M, No. 3 Florida and No. 7 Texas Tech in the third heat of action. Another event with a group of ranked competitors is the 60-meter hurdles where No. 8 Malcolm Anderson faces six other ranked opponents.
In the field events, K.P. Singh is one of five ranked athletes in the men’s weight throw. The 2010 Big 12 champion in the event, Singh enters the meet ranked sixth and will face a field that includes No. 5 Mike Zajac of South Carolina.