Feb. 28, 2009
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Oklahoma track and field athletes combined to finish with 38 All-Big 12 honors Saturday at the Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championships in College Station. Competing in front of 3,750 fans, the Oklahoma men finished fifth with 66 team points as the OU women finished sixth with 65 team points. OU ended the weekend with one individual title as Ti’Anca Mock claimed the long jump crown in Friday night action.
The men’s triple jump provided OU with 14 valuable points as freshman Will Claye finished second while senior Shardae Boutte took third. Claye, yesterday’s runner-up in the long jump, leapt a personal best and NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 53 feet and 5.75 inches (16.30 meters) on his opening jump. The true freshman was hobbled after suffering a minor injury on his first jump, however, and was only able to take two of his remaining five jumps in an attempt to pass Texas A&M’s Zuheir Sharif’s winning mark of 53-9.00 (16.38).
Boutte, the defending Big 12 champion in the event, closed out his Big 12 career with an NCAA automatic qualifying jump of 53-3.50 (16.24) and now turns his attention to the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in two weeks at the same venue. Boutte leapt his third place jump on his final attempt, literally jumping from eighth place to third with the effort.
The program record holder in the event, Leslie Cole finished second in the 400-meter dash with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 52.64 behind Texas A&M’s Jessica Beard who crossed the line in a time of 52.35. Cole entered the meet with the second-fastest time in the nation, 52.33.
Cole was not the only Sooner to record All-Big 12 honors in the event as freshman Tiara Sims took sixth in the event with a personal best 54.61. The time came one day after Sims jumped to No. 6 on the OU performance list with a time of 54.71 in the event’s prelims.
One hour later Cole turned around and recorded a fifth-place finish in the women’s 200-meter dash with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 23.43. The finish followed her Friday prelims performance where Cole ran the second-fastest 200 in OU program history, 23.34.
Latoya Heath finished second in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.45, crossing the line behind Texas A&M’s Gabby Mayo who won the event with a time of 8.20. Heath entered the meet with the third-fastest time in school history, 8.36, which is an NCAA provisional qualifying time.
The men’s 4x400-meter relay of Eric Bailey, Zach Dawson, Mookie Salaam and Jarell Warren finished fourth with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:09.81. The quartet won their heat as Jarell Warren raced away from the Texas’ anchor leg.
Amy Backel improved on her personal best in the women’s shot put to claim a fourth-place finish in the event. Backel, the No. 3 indoor women’s shot put athlete in OU history, tossed the implement a distance of 50-7.50 (15.43). The finish gave Backel her first All-Big 12 indoor honor since 2007 when the junior competed in the pentathlon.
A day after running the fifth-fastest 600-yard run in the world, Jarell Warren earned All-Big 12 honors in the event with a fourth-place finish, crossing the line in a time of 1:10.55. Warren qualified for the event with a time of 1:10.12 in Friday’s prelims. After Saturday’s finals, the time still stands as the eighth fastest time in the world.
With Saturday’s finals in the mile, Jacob Boone and Kelly Waters each earned their second All-Big 12 honors in as many days after recording top-eight finishes in the distance medley relays on Friday night. Boone ran the third-fastest final lap in the competition, 28.21, to hold off Texas’ Jake Morse and finish fourth with a time of 4:06.01. In a fast race that actually saw two athletes break the previous collegiate record in the women’s mile, Waters finished sixth with a time of 4:50.11.
Paul Gill improved on his finish and height from the 2008 Big 12 Championships in the men’s high jump. After finishing eighth with a height of 6-9.75 (2.08) in 2008, Gill finished fourth Saturday with a height of 6-10.75 (2.10). Gill entered the weekend rated No. 14 nationally in the event with a height of 7-1.75 (2.18).
One day after winning the Big 12 title in the long jump, Mock returned in the women’s triple jump where she finished fifth with a distance of 42-0.50 (12.81) on her third jump. The NCAA provisional qualifying jump is short of Mock’s season best, 42-7.00 (12.98).
Tony Clement finished fifth in the men’s 1,000-meter run with a season-best time of 2:25.78. Clement entered the weekend having not run the 1,000-meter race this season, but does own the second-fastest time in program history, 2:24.08 in 2008.
In the longer 3,000-meter run, Rob Sorrell claimed All-Big 12 honors with a fifth-place finish in the event. The junior from Memphis, Tenn., covered the 15-lap race in a time of 8:07.07 to give Oklahoma four valuable team points.
Improving on her personal best in the 800-meter run, Amanda Mayfield claimed All-Big 12 honors with a fifth-place finish in the event. Mayfield’s time 2:10.54 is the eighth fastest in Oklahoma history.
The women’s 4x400-meter relay of Jalesa Walker, Leslie Cole, Sherine Wells and Tiara Sims ran the eighth-fastest time in OU history to finish sixth in the event with a time of 3:41.44.
Scott Cooper finished sixth in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:50.96. Cooper ran the fastest last lap with his final kick, covering the 200-meter track in a 27.44 split. Cooper entered the weekend ranked No. 16 nationally in the event with a top time of 1:49.66.
Scottesha Miller took seventh in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.48. The sophomore entered the meet as the No. 16 nationally ranked competitor in the 60-meter dash with an NCAA provisional time of 7.37. Miller qualified for the finals after covering the distance in a time of 7.38 in Friday’s prelims.