March 23, 2001

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After opening the 2001 outdoor season in fine fashion at the College Station Relays, the OU men's and women's track teams will head to Tucson, Ariz., for the Jim Click Shootout on Saturday, March 24. OU will join host Arizona, Georgia and Nebraska in the four-team scoring meet. The meet is part of the U.S. Collegiate Track and Field Series and will have team scores for men's and women's team and a trophy for the team with the best combined team score.

The Schedule
Competition in the field events begins at 11 a.m. (MST) with running events scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Arizona is the defending champion of the Jim Click Shootout which is held at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.

The Last Time Out
Sophomore Michael Westlund and seniors Bambi Carson and Jessica Longfors led the Sooner effort at the Texas A&M Relays. The trio posted NCAA provisional marks in their first outdoor meet of the season. The Sooner women finished second in the team standings, behind host Texas A&M, while the OU men were third behind A&M and Prairie View.

Carson won the shot put with a career-best throw of 49-10. She also finished third in the discus throw with a 161-5. Westlund cleared 17-6.50 to finished second in the pole vault.

The big story for the Sooners may have been Longfors' effort. She won the discus throw with a career-best mark of 165-8, six feet better than any throw she posted last season and nearly five feet better than her previous career mark. That mark had been posted her freshman year. She also broke the school record of 165-6 which had been set last year by Carson.

Other Sooner winners included Joey Scott who took the 400-meter IH title, just edging teammate LaBoris Bean. Scott also finished fourth in the 110-meter high hurdles. Jimyria Hicks finished second in the women's 200-meter dash and took third in the 100, just behind teammate Staneshia Bell.

OU also got points from Alesha Peel, a 2001 NCAA Indoor All-American, with her second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, Aisha Stringer and Alaina Dearman, who finished second and fourth respectively in the 800, Robin Hanna, who finished fourth in the pole vault after redshirting the 2001 indoor season, Raoul Harvey, who was third in the 400, Janel Hayes, 2001 Big 12 Indoor long jump champion, who finished fifth in the long jump, Leslie Dunlap and Jamie Lillie, who were third and seventh in the pole vault respectively, Mary Waytula, who tied for fifth in the high jump, LaKisha Robinson, who was second in the 400, and Jenny Ledford who was fifth in the 3000-meter steeplechase.

OU also did well in all the relay events, winning the men's 4 x 400 and the women's 4 x 100 and finishing second in the men's 4 x 100 and the women's 4 x 400.

At the Texas &M Multis (held March 15-16), junior Sand Swaby opened the 2001 outdoor season with a career-best performance, finishing 13th in the gold heptathlon with 4,714 points. Swaby posted four career bests in the event's gold division, including her two-day point total.

Swaby was in fifth place after the first day of action with 3,186 points. She posted that number with a career-best 14.08 in the 100-meter low hurdles and a another career mark with a 33-8.50 in the shot put. She also scored well in the high jump with a 5-7 and in the 200-meter dash with a 25.78. Neither were career marks. On Friday, she added a career best in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:42.88.

Taylor Cates, a transfer to OU from Oklahoma State who is sitting out this year as a transfer, finished second inthe bronze heptathlon while competing as an unattached athlete. Cates was third after the first day with 2,805 points, picking up solid points in the 100-meter low hurdles, the high jump and the 200-meter dash. On the second day, she added significant points in the long jump with a 17-4 and in the 800-meter run with a 2:27.79.

Senior Justin Conkling was scheduled to compete in the men's gold decathlon. The 2001 Big 12 indoor heptathlon champion, Conkling injured his hamstring in Thursday's 100-meter dash, the first event of the decathlon, and was unable to finish the competition.

NCAA Update
As mentioned, OU got three provisional qualifiers in the outdoor season-opening meet. Bambi Carson is ranked sixth in the shot put among the provisional/automatic qualifiers through March 21. Jessica Longfors is ranked fourth in the discus throw and Michael Westlund is ranked second.

The 2000 Outdoor Season
The Sooners produced 10 NCAA All-Americans during the 2000 outdoor season. The men's 1600-meter relay team (LaBoris Bean, Michael Jackson, Raoul Harvey and Michael Blackwood) finished fifth and the women's 1600-meter relay team (Staneshia Bell, LaKisha Robinson, Alicia Emanuel and Jennifer Fontenot) finished eighth. Individuals earning All-America honors included Blackwood in the 400, Fontenot in the women's 400 and Michael Westlund in the pole vault. Other qualifiers for the NCAA Outdoor for the Sooners last year included Michael McNamara in the pole vault, Bean in the men's 400 IH, and the women's 400-meter relay (Janel Hayes, LaToyia Hinds, Jimyria Hicks and Bell). Of those qualifiers/placers, the Sooners return nine, losing only Blackwood, Jackson, Fontenot and Hinds.

The Sooner women finished sixth in the Big 12 while the men finished seventh. OU produced conference champions in women's discus (Bambi Carson) and the men's 400-meter run (Blackwood).

Next Up
The Sooners will head to Gainesville for the Florida Relays next weekend. Competition is scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The meet marks the third of an 11-weekend outdoor slate that will end with the NCAA Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Ore., May 30-June 2. The Sooners will compete every weekend but May 25-26 and will often have student-athletes at multiple meets.