May 16, 2001

The Sooner track and field teams are in College Station, Texas, for the fifth annual Big 12 Track and Field Championship. Action begins on Wednesday with the first day of the decathlon and heptathlon. The multi-events conclude on Thursday and the focus will shift to the hammer and 10,000-meter run. Finals in other field events are scheduled for Friday and Saturday with prelims for running events set for Friday. All other running finals are set for Saturday. A complete schedule with OU's entries is included in this release.

The National Rankings
The Sooner men are ranked 34th in the country and the women are ranked 35th in the latest USTCA Power Rankings. Both teams are fifth among the Big 12 schools in the rankings.

The Team Power Ranking is a unique system of ranking teams on the basis of quality of athletic performance, team depth, and dual meet scoring potential. The system rates teams in the same fashion as decathlete or heptathlete. Points are assigned for two athletes in each event contested in a dual meet and points assigned on the basis of quality of performance. The top person in each event has his/her points doubled to adjust for the value of the number one performer on each team in a dual meet. The points for all events are then totaled for the ranking score.

Among the Best in the World
OU freshman Leslie Dunlap is currently ranked third in the world in the junior division (19 years and under) in the pole vault. Her vault of 13-3.50 at the Texas Relays on April 6 earned her a spot on the prestigious list.

Sooner volunteer coach Kurt Hanna moved into the world rankings with his 18-10.25 vault at the Abilene Christian Open Classic on May 10. Hanna is ranked fifth in the world with that jump.

Making Their Mark
Several Sooners show up in the latest U.S. Rankings produced by Track and Field News (June 2001 issue). These rankings list all US competitors reagrdless of affliliation. Senior LaBoris Bean is eighth in the 400-meter hurdles. The men's shuttle hurdle relay (Bean, Jonas Lusk, Ryan Clarke, Joey Scott) is sixth. Senior Justin Conkling is 10th in the decathlon and junior Jimyria Hicks is 10th in the women's 200.

OU in the Big 12
The Sooner men finished fifth in the first Big 12 Championship, held in 1997. OU was fourth in 1998, ninth in 1999 and seventh last year. The Sooner women were 10th in 1997, eighth in 1998, seventh in 1999 and sixth last year.

Three of the Big 12 records, heading into the 2001 meet, are held by Sooners. Michael Blackwood set the mark for the 400-meter dash last year with a 44.69. Omar Brown set the record in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1998 and the men's mile relay team set the mark in that event in 1997.

At the 2000 meet in Columbia, Missouri, OU produced conference champions in women's discus (Bambi Carson) and the men's 400-meter dash (Blackwood).

Conference Rankings
OU has a number of student-athletes ranked among the top 10 in their events in the final Big 12 ranking list prior to the meet. They include: L'eron George, sixth in the 200, Raoul Harvey, ninth in the 200 and fifth in the 400, Ernest Lewis, sixth in the 400, Aldwyn Sappleton, eighth in the 800, Joey Scott, fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles and fifth in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, LaBoris Bean, third in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, the men's 400-meter relay, fifth, the men's 1600-meter relay, second, Michael Westlund, third in the pole vault, Mike McNamara and Robin Hanna, tied for seventh in the pole vault, Kyle Bookout, fifth in the discus, Justin Conkling, tied for first in the decathlon, Staneshia Bell, second in the 100, Jimyria Hicks, third in the 200, Aisha Stringer, 10th in the 800, Alesha Peel, fourth in the 100-meter low hurdles, the women's 400-meter relay, third, the women's 1600-meter relay, fourth, Sand Swaby, tied for ninth in the high jump and ninth in the heptathlon (will not compete in that event at Big 12 meet), Leslie Dunlap, first in the pole vault, Lindsey Harris, third in the pole vault, Janel Hayes, third in the long jump, Shayla Austin, eighth in the triple jump, Bambi Carson, fourth in the shot put and first in the discus, and Jessica Longfors, seventh in the shot put and fourth in the discus.

The Last Time Out
OU - Texas Tech Dual: Joey Scott won the 110-meter high hurdles and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and Jessica Lonfors was a double winner, taking the shot put and hammer throw events, as OU had a strong showing in a dual on May 5 with Texas Tech.

The Sooner women won 10 events and the men won eight. The Texas Tech women won seven and the Red Raiders won seven events on the men's side.

OU posted four NCAA provisional marks including a first-time mark for Staneshia Bell who finished second in the 100-meter dash with an 11.51. The women's 400-meter relay also improved its NCAA provisional time, finishing second with a season-best time of 44.60. Jimyria Hicks had a provisional time in the 200 to win the event and Scott's winning time in the 110-meter high hurdles also was an NCAA provisional time. Both have better times already this season.

The Sooners also did well in the middle distance events, sweeping the top three spots in the women's 800 and taking the top two spots in the men's 800. Aisha Stringer won the women's title, followed by Kelli O'Rourke and Michelle Thomas. Aldwyn Sappleton edged OU teammate Moses Washington in the men's race.

Other winners for the OU men included Raoul Harvey in the 400, the 400-meter relay, Mike McNamara in the pole vault, Justin Conkling in the long jump and Devon Brabham in the triple jump. The other winners for the women included Alaina Dearman in the 1500, Amanda Luksetich in the 5000, Alesha Peel in the 100-meter hurdles, Sand Swaby in the high jump, Leslie Dunlap in the pole vault and Janel Hayes in the long jump.

ACU Open Classic: University of Oklahoma pole vaulters dominated the event at the Abilene Christian Open Track and Field Classic held May 10. Freshman Leslie Dunlap won the women's title with a 12-6, an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, and volunteer coach Kurt Hanna won the men's title with an 18-10.25. Sophomore Michael Westlund cleared a season-best 18-0.5 to finish second in the men's pole vault. That mark was also an NCAA provisional mark.

Robin Hanna finished fourth with a season-best of 17-4.5 and Mike McNamara, continuing his comeback from knee surgery, cleared a season-best 17-4.50 in the under 16 qualifying then finished fifth with a 17-0 in the over 16 competition. The 17-4.5 marks for Hanna and McNamara beat the NCAA provisional qualifying mark, the first time for each to bypass the mark this season. Freshman Jamie Lillie tied for fifth in the women's pole vault with a 10-6 vault.

Moses Washington finished second in the men's 800-meter run with a 1:52.29. Alaina Dearman finished third in the 800-meter run with a 2:17.84.

NCAA Watch
OU posted four NCAA provisional marks in the Texas Tech dual including a first-time mark for Staneshia Bell who had a season-best 11.51. The women's 400-meter relay also improved its NCAA provisional time to 44.60. Jimyria Hicks had a provisional time in the 200 and Joey Scott had an NCAA provisional in the 110-meter high hurdles. Both have better times already this season.

The Sooners added four more NCAA provisional marks at the Abilene Christian meet. Michael Westlund cleared a season-best 18-0.5 to improve his NCAA provisional mark. Robin Hanna and Mike McNamara cleared season-bests 17-4.50 to beat the NCAA provisional qualifying mark for the first time this season. Freshman Leslie Dunlap also had an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the pole vault but did not improve on her season best.

NCAA Update
Following are the rankings for OU's provisional qualifiers in the latest NCAA qualifier's list (as of May 14): LaBoris Bean (50.23 in the 400 IH - April 7) -- eighth Justin Conkling (7,367 in the decathlon - April 19-20) -- T-11th Robin Hanna (17-4.5 in the pole vault - May 10) -- T-17th Mike McNamara (17-4.5 in the pole vault - May 10) -- T-17th Joey Scott (13.84 in the 110 high hurdles - April 14) -- 19th Joey Scott (50.74 in the 400-meter IH - March 24) -- 15th Michael Westlund (18-0.5 in the pole vault - May 10) -- T-sixth the men's 1600-meter relay (3:06.03 - April 27) -- 16th Staneshia Bell (11.51 in the 100 - May 5) -- 36th Bambi Carson (175-9 in the discus - April 14) -- eighth Bambi Carson (51-2.25 in the shot put - April 21) -- 13th Leslie Dunlap (13-3.5 in the pole vault - April 6) -- 10th Jimyria Hicks (23.27 in the 200 - April 14) -- 11th Jessica Longfors (165-8 in the discus - March 17) -- 22nd Alesha Peel (13.33 in the 100 hurdles - April 28) -- 15th The women's 400-meter relay (44.60 - May 5) -- 20th

Sooners on 2001 Big 12 All-Academic Team
Senior Stephanie Webb was one of 18 University of Oklahoma track and field athletes named to the Big 12 All-Academic team today. Webb, who is from Bartlesville, has a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and is majoring in mechanical engineering.

First-team honorees had to have at least a 3.20 grade point average and second-team honorees had between a 3.00 and 3.19 GPA.

To qualify student-athletes must maintain a 3.0 grade point average or higher either cumulative or in the last two semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of his/her team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all criteria except percent of participation are eligible.

Other first-team Sooner honorees included Mike McNamara, junior, marketing, Tulsa, Okla., Alaina Dearman, junior., zoology, Dallas, Texas, Alicia Emanuel, junior., communication, Houston, Texas, Sarah Harvey, senior., physical therapy, Ardmore, Okla., Janel Hayes, senior., marketing, Denver, Colo., Corrie Hussar, senior, economics, Mustang, Okla., Sara Justice, sophomore, university college, Pauls Valley, Okla., Kelli O'Rourke, sophomore, psychology, Jenks, Okla., and Arianna Wertheim, sophomore, health and sports science, Fort Sumner, N.M.

Second-team honorees for the Sooners included Marcus Bivines, senior, sociology, Midwest City, Okla., Robin Hanna, junior, marketing, Monahans, Texas, Cecil Rose, junior, management, Missouri City, Texas, Shayla Austin, senior, advertising, Edmond, Okla., Lindsey Harris, senior, health and sports science, Edmond, Okla., Jimyria Hicks, junior, elementary education, Arlington, Texas, Sinead Holt, senior, sociology, Dublin, Ireland, and Jessica Longfors, senior, health and sports science, Erhard, Minn.

Webb was one of seven student-athletes to be named to the team with a 4.0 grade point average. A total of 196 student-athletes were named to the first team and 69 were named to the second team.

Next Up
Those who qualify will head to Eugene, Ore., for the NCAA Outdoor Championship May 30-June 2. The NCAA will announce the complete field on Thursday, May 24, after 9 p.m. central time.