Jan. 18, 2012
Another new face on the Oklahoma staff is jumps and multi events coach Chris Huffins. The two-time Olympian brings a multitude of experience to Norman. He inherits a group of jumpers and multi-event athletes that are mostly underclassmen and have the potential to be strong contributors. The group’s expectation is simple – score its fair share of points for the overall success of the team.
If you were to list all of her track accomplishments, they’d take up an entire page. But, Ti’Anca Mock is not done just yet. The Navasota, Texas, native enters her senior season as one of the top jumpers in the country. This season, Mock is fitter, stronger and faster and on a mission. Mock has the potential to battle for outdoor titles at the Big 12 Conference Championship and NCAA Championship in the long jump.
Entering her final season, Mock has earned five All-America honors, the most recent coming in the long jump after finishing second in the event at the 2011 NCAA Division I Championship. She earned second team honors as a member of the 4x100-meter relay last season as well. Mock won the indoor and outdoor Big 12 long jump titles in 2009 and has a combined 10 All-Big 12 selections.
In addition to her conference and national awards, Mock holds Oklahoma program records in the indoor and outdoor long jump and 4x100-meter relay.
Clare McConnell has improved in several of areas and is ready to step up in 2012. Described as the team’s “Rock of Gibraltar”, McConnell’s work ethic will help her progress this year. The Klein, Texas, native earned All-Big 12 honors in the heptathlon last year.
Kristen Rice expects to have a breakout year in the high jump. A native of Flower Mound, Texas, Rice is ready to take the next step and qualify for nationals. She’s training well and is ready to improve on her All-Big 12 performances indoor and outdoor last year and indoor in 2010.
Senior Alisa Jenkins has the potential to score at the Big 12 meets after scoring in the heptathlon and javelin at the 2011 Big West Track and Field Championships while at Cal State Northridge. The Sacramento, Calif., native could also bring some points on the national side and has the potential to be OU’s top hurdler. Jenkins is a versatile athlete, having competed in the multi events at Northridge. Houston, Texas native Whitney Johnson transferred to OU after a stop at LSU. Johnson has had a good fall and has potential in both horizontal jumps.
The lone senior on the men’s side is Midwest City product Alex Madkins. Madkins hopes to have a resurgent year in 2012 and has a chance to make the NCAA meet. He’ll compete in horizontal and vertical jumps and hopes to build off the success he had in fall practice. Madkins earned All-Big 12 honors in the outdoor long jump in 2010.
Sophomore Landon Sharp has gotten stronger since his freshman season. The Piedmont, Okla., native has a huge upside and his improvement should help him score in the high jump at the Big 12 Championships and possibly even the NCAA meets.
Sophomore transfer Seth Lewandowski comes to Oklahoma after one year at Oral Roberts University. The Tulsa native finished sixth in the decathlon at the 2011 Summit League Outdoor Championship and could help OU in the event down the road.
A pair of walk-on freshmen from Ada, Okla., will provide Oklahoma with some depth in the high jump. Christian Johnson, who continues to develop and get better, has the potential to score at the Big 12 meets, while Nick Anderson’s strong work ethic gives the rookie promise in the event.
In his first season working with Oklahoma’s pole vaulters, coach Tim Sullivan led the group to an impressive showing with two women ranked in the top 20 nationally in the event, including one All-American.
In her first season as a member of the Oklahoma program, Alexandra Acker certainly made noise. The Erie, Pa., native and transfer from West Virginia, has just one year of outdoor eligibility left. After placing third at the Big 12 Outdoor Championship last year and capturing both the indoor and outdoor Oklahoma program records in the pole vault, Acker plans to make an assault toward a Big 12 title and earn All-America honors this year.
Junior Jacy Bennett looks to rebound after suffering an injury last year. The Mesa, Ariz., native has made great strides and has her eyes set on making the awards stand at the conference meet.
Sophomore Morgan Nicholls, also having Big 12 scoring ambitions this year, is one to watch. The Ennis, Texas, native has made vast improvements and could be considered the most improved of the group.
Freshman Katie Adair is considered an exciting addition to the Sooners program. The Graham, Texas, native has incredible potential and will contribute significantly to the team’s success both this year and the future.
Sophomore Jake Huddleston of Broken Arrow enters his this year with much optimism after committing last season to adjusting his technique. Huddleston will certainly turn some heads as the indoor conference meet approaches.
An addition to the group is sophomore transfer Caleb Gagliardi. The Fresno, Calif., native transferred to OU from his hometown school Fresno State, where he finished eighth at the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Championship.