Track and Field Preview: Sprints/Hurdles

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
JANUARY 17, 2012

Jan. 17, 2012

A new face comes to Norman to lead Oklahoma’s sprints and hurdles group as Marvin Gibson joined the staff after six seasons in the same capacity at his alma mater, LSU. The goal of the group this season is to make an overall contribution to the success of the team. The potential for success is there, and, while the women’s team is comprised of all veterans, the men’s group is a good balance of veterans and youth.

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Senior Evan Pierson should have a good year this season and has been working hard to prepare for his final year at OU. The Olathe, Kan., native will run the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Pierson is a two-time All-Big 12 honoree in the 4x100-meter relay. Pierson boasts personal bests of 6.84 in the 60-meter dash, 21.48 in the indoor 200-meter dash, 10.57 in the 100-meter dash and 21.91 in the outdoor 200-meter dash.

Malcolm Anderson has only one year of indoor eligibility left and plans to make the most of it. He earned All-Big 12 honors in the 110-meter hurdles in 2011 and 2010 and earned the same distinction in the 4x100-meter relay and indoor 60-meter hurdles in 2010. He ran his personal best of 7.76 in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2010 New Balance Invitational.

Junior Marcus Anderson of Owings, Md., is expected to have a role this year, having run the 60-, 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes previously. Also expected to contribute this year is redshirt sophomore Jeremy Rankin. The Aurora, Colo., native hopes his training pays off this season.

Redshirt freshman Ethan Baker transferred home to Oklahoma after spending one season at Nebraska. The Oklahoma City native prepped at Southmoore High School and is one to watch in the 400-meter dash after running 47.75 in the event in high school. Transfer Eric Cray (San Antonio, Texas) competed in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA East Regional three times while at Bethune-Cookman.

Jamel Wood (McDonough, Ga.) will run the 400-meter dash and was a National Junior College Athletic Association All-American in the event at Iowa Western Community College. Another transfer expected to contribute in the future is Tulsa native Matt Wicks. Wicks comes to OU after a season at Cowley County Community College. The hurdler competed at the 2011 NJCAA Track and Field Championships.

The only true freshman on the roster for the men is Oklahoma City native Michael Ervin. Ervin is expected to run the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Ervin posted personal best times of 10.47 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 21.32 seconds in the 200-meter dash at Millwood High School.

The quartet of seniors on the women’s side provides the group veteran leadership across the sprints area. The group remains committed, strong and unified to carry out individual and team goals this season.

Sherine Wells is  valuable to the group because of her versatility. Wells has run 4x100-, 4x200- and 4x400-meter relays and the 60-, 100- and 200-meter dashes. The Toronto native earned second team All-America honors last season as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team. Wells also earned All-Big 12 outdoor honors in the 100-meter dash and 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays.

She previously garnered All-Big 12 honors in the outdoor 100- and 200-meter dashes and the 4x400-meter relay and the indoor 60-meter dash and 4x400-meter relays. Wells was also a part of the 2009 4x100-meter relay team that earned All-America honors and set the program record in the event. Wells also ran on the school record-setting 4x200-meter relay team in 2009. She holds personal bests in the 60-meter dash (7.41), indoor 200-meter dash (24.09), 100-meter dash (11.53) and outdoor 200-mtere dash (23.58).

Shelleyka Rolle is a student of the sport who continues to prepare and ask questions in order to become better. The 400- and 800-meter specialist may also compete in the 400-meter hurdles. The Freeport, Bahamas, native earned All-Big 12 honors in the indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relay last season as well as the 600-yard run, an event where she set a personal best in during the 2011 meet (1:21.36). She also added to her personal bests list last season with a 55.17 in the 400-meter dash at the Michael Johnson Classic and 1:01.34 in the 400-meter hurdles at the John Jacobs Invitational. Her personal record in the 800-meter run is 2:13.40.

A pair of Clearendon, Jamaica, natives round out the women’s sprints group. Shawna Anderson was a member of the women’s 4x100-meter relay team that earned second team All-America honors last year. Anderson earned All-Big 12 honors in the outdoor 4x100-meter relay and indoor 60-meter dash. Her personal records include a 7.33 in the 60-meter dash, 24.22 in the indoor 200-meter dash, 11.31 in the 100-meter dash and 23.78 in the outdoor 200-meter dash.

Shakeeri Cole will run in the 400-meter dash and is one who could potentially help the Sooners. Cole will see action in the 800-meter run, an event she’s set a personal best of 2:11.98 in indoors and 2:06.53 outdoors. She was a member of last season’s All-Big 12 indoor 4x400-meter relay team.

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