Feb. 25, 2011
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Oklahoma senior weight thrower K.P. Singh won his second straight Big 12 title while Kevin Schwab won OU's first ever 5,000-meter run conference title Friday in the first day of two days of competition at the Big 12 Championships. Schwab and Kevin Williams swept the top two spots in the men's 5K to lead the 15 OU athletes who earned All-Big 12 honors as the Oklahoma men sent nine runners to Saturday finals and six OU women advanced. After one day of competition, the defending Big 12 champion men sit in first with 40 points while the OU men are currently sixth with 12 points.
In a race that saw a pack of OU runners at the front throughout its entirety, the men's 5,000-meter run saw two Oklahoma runners cross the finish line before anyone else as both Schwab and Williams broke the Bob Devaney Center facility record. Schwab was first with a time of 13:50.31 while Williams came in just behind at 13:51.05, the third-fastest time in program history. Both ran under the nine-year old Bob Devaney Center facility record of 13:51.32.
"It feels sweet. We scored all four guys we entered. I'm not going to lie, that's sweeter than winning the title," said Schwab. "I think Coach (Martin) Smith has done a great job in practice in getting us mentally tough so that it doesn't matter what enters our mind during the race. We turn around in the 3,000-meter run tomorrow and our goal is to be aggressive, put our foot down and try to establish ourselves as the best distance program in the conference."
Echoing Schwab's goal, Oklahoma placed two other runners in the top seven of the men's 5K with Oklahoma record holder George Alex finishing fifth with a time of 13:53.51 and Bill Kogel claiming second with a time of 14:04.76. In all, the group gave the Sooner men 24 points in the team race.
Already the program record holder in the event, Singh won the event with a throw 65-11.75 (20.11). Despite a self-described subpar night, Singh successfully defended his 2010 title as the nation's No. 4 thrower entering the weekend has a season-best throw of 70-8.50 (21.55). The senior from Clovis, Calif., took over the lead on his third attempt with a throw of 65-2.00 (19.86) before improving on his fifth attempt and finishing with his winning distance on his sixth and final attempt.
"I didn't feel any pressure as the defending Big 12 champion, my body just didn't feel right. I didn't get the throws I wanted to get, but a win is a win so I'm happy with that," said Singh.
The win is Singh's third of the season and second in as many weeks. Singh is the fourth Big 12 athlete to win back-to-back weight throw titles and the first OU athlete to win back-to-back conference titles since Ryan Kite accomplished the feat in the 600-yard run in 1996 and 1997.
In the longest event on the track, Jessica Engel held a steady pace in the front of the field of the women's 5,000-meter run before using a strong kick to claim second in the event with a time of 16:19.05, the second-best time in Oklahoma history. A 2010 NCAA qualifier in the outdoor 5K, Engel's time trails just the 16:05.00 Oklahoma record set by Monique Ecker in 1991. Engel was just five seconds behind the winning time of 16:14.96 from Iowa State's Betsy Saina.
The men's distance medley relay of Colin Slattery, Daniel Nix, Chris Sweeney and Frezer Legesse closed out the night with six points for the Oklahoma men with a third-place finish with a season-best time of 9:51.42.
In her last Big 12 Indoor Championships, senior Ti'Anca Mock claimed fifth in the women's long jump with a distance of 20-1.75 (6.14). Mock's best effort came on her first of six jumps as she took the lead in the first round of jumps before eventually slipping to fifth. The jump is Mock's second best behind her 20-8.00 (6.30) at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational on Feb. 4. With Saturday night's finish, Mock has now earned All-Big 12 honors in the event in all four years of competition.
Both the men's and women's 60-meter dash finals will have Oklahoma runners involved as Mookie Salaam qualified on the men's side and Scottesha Miller, Candyce McGrone and Shawna Anderson all advanced for the OU women.
The defending Big 12 champion in the 60, Salaam automatically qualified for the finals of the event by winning the first heat with a time of 6.62, the prelims' top time, coasting the final 10 meters with an easy win. The race was Salaam's fourth of the season to run under the NCAA automatic standard. Like Salaam, Miller ran away with the first heat of the women's 60, equaling a season-best time of 7.29. McGrone followed Miller across the line in the first heat with a time of 7.35. Anderson managed to grab the final qualifying spot in the event's eight athlete final with a time of 7.40.
The sprinters returned to the track three hours later where McGrone and Miller both advanced to the finals of the women's 200-meter dash with time of 23.26 and 23.70, respectively. McGrone's time is her second fastest of the season behind the 23.01 at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 12. Like he did in the 60, Mookie Salaam led the qualifying field in the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.95, his second-best time of the season.
The finals of the men's 800-meter run will have two Sooners in action as Scott Cooper used a dive at the finish line to grab the third and final automatic qualifying spot in the event's first heat and freshman Taylor Wardall ran a personal best in the event to claim an automatic spot in the second heat. Cooper's time of 1:51.06 is his second best of the season while Wardall's lowered his PR to 1:52.37.
Alex Muntefering nabbed the final spot in the finals of the men's mile as he came in eighth with a time of 4:08.55. The sophomore has a season best of 4:05.75. Ross Larimer finished 12th overall with a time of 4:13.01. Oklahoma State's German Fernandez led all qualifiers with a time of 4:06.55.
Remuro Henry clocked the fastest 400-meter dash by an OU athlete this year and personal best as he qualified for the finals of the event with a time of 47.50.
Both Frezer Legesse and Malcolm Wankel qualified for the finals of the men's 1,000-meter run as they clocked times of 2:26.01 and 2:29.80, respectively. Legesse's time is the sixth bext in Oklahoma history.
Shelleyeka Rolle qualifed for the finals of the women's 600-yard run with a season-best time of 1:22.50 while Eric Bailey advanced in the men's 600 with a time of 1:10.36.
Oklahoma Final Results
Men's 200-Meter Run: 16. Marcus Anderson 22.07
Men's 400-Meter Run: 11. Daniel Nix 48.20
Men's 600-Yard Run: 10. Trayvion Jones 1:11.94
Men's Mile: 11. Ross Larimer 4:13.01
Men's 5,000-Meter Run: 1. Kevin Schwab 13:50.31; 2. Kevin Williams 13:51.05; 5. George Alex 13:53.31; 7. Bill Kogel 14:04.76
Men's 60-Meter Hurdles: 11. Nathaniel Winfrey 8.20
Men's Distance Medley Relay: 3. Colin Slattery, Daniel Nix, Chris Sweeney, Frezer Legessee 9:51.42
Men's Long Jump: 14. Alex Madkins 22-3.50 (6.79)
Men's Weight Throw: 1. K.P. Singh 65-11.75 (20.11)
Women's 60-Meter Dash: 12. Sherine Wells 7.49
Women's 200-Meter Dash: 15. Sherine Wells 24.09; 17. Shawna Anderson 24.30
Women's 800-Meter Run: 9. Kelsey Brown 2:11.24; 12. Natalie Crain 2:12.33; 16. Shakeeri Cole 2:13.87
Women's 1,000-Meter Run: 11. Annie Martin 2:54.27
Women's 5,000-Meter Run: 2. Jessica Engel 16:19.05
Women's 60-Meter Hurdles: 9. Jesica Ejesieme 8.72; DNF Latoya Greaves
Women's Distance Medley Relay: 8. Annie Martin, Shelleyeka Rolle, Kelsey Brown, Molly Ferguson 11:56.90
Women's Long Jump: 5. Ti'Anca Mock 20-1.75 (6.14); 9. Jasmine Simmons 19-3.25 (5.87); 15. Kristen Carson 18-6.00 (5.64)
Women's Weight Throw: 11. Angel Togafau 56-11.25 (17.35); 15. Bailey Wagner 56-11.25 (16.58)
Oklahoma Finals Qualifiers
Men's 60-Meter Dash: Mookie Salaam 6.62
Men's 200-Meter Dash: Mookie Salaam 20.95
Men's 400-Meter Dash: Remuro Henry 47.50
Men's 600-Yard Run: Eric Bailey 1:10.36
Men's 800-Meter Run: Scott Cooper 1:51.06; Taylor Wardall 1:52.37
Men's 1,000-Meter Run: Frezer Legesee 2:26.01; Malcolm Wankel 2:29.80
Men's Mile: Alex Muntefering 4:08.55
Women's 60-Meter Dash: Scottesha Miller 7.29; Candyce McGrone 7.35; Shawna Anderson 7.40
Women's 200-Meter Dash: Candyce McGrone 23.26; Scottesha Miller 23.70
Women's 600-Yard Run: Shelleyeka Rolle 1:22.50