April 6, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. — This weekend will feature the toughest tests to date this outdoor season for the Oklahoma Track and Field program as it splits to meets in Arizona and Austin, Texas. The majority of the program including the No. 4 women’s team will travel to the Phoenix area where it will compete in the Mesa Classic on Friday and the Sun Angel Track Classic on the campus of Arizona State University of Saturday. The distance group for the No. 17 Oklahoma men will be in Austin, Texas for the 84th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. All three meets feature a number of ranked opponents.
The Sun Angel Track Classic will mark the opening javelin competition of the season for OU’s Brittany Borman, currently ranked second nationally after earning runner-up honors in the event at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Borman will face four ranked opponents in the event. The meet is also the planned opening for the nation’s top-ranked long jumper in Oklahoma’s Ti’Anca Mock. The three-time All-American will be competing outdoors for the first time since 2009 when she won the Big 12 title in the event.
Borman will also throw in the women’s discus, an event she is ranked No. 5 nationally in and will be joined by ranked teammates in No. 7 Karen Shump, No. 31 Bailey Wagner and No. 44 Kelsey Poljansek. The four will face off against three other ranked opponents including the nation’s top ranked athlete in the event, Anna Jelmini of Arizona State. Jelmini will also provide stiff competition in the shot put for OU athletes as No. 4 Tia Brooks and No. 7 Shump take on the nation’s No. 2 athlete in the event.
The throws ring will feature highly ranked competition involving OU athletes on the men’s side as well. Hammer thrower K.P. Singh enters the weekend ranked No. 9 nationally after breaking his own program record last week at the Texas Tech Open and will face six ranked opponents. Singh will also compete in the discus where he is ranked No. 18 along with No. 4 Luke Bryant of OU. The duo faces two ranked opponents in No. 5 James Plummer of Rutgers and No. 13 Andres Rossini of Northern Arizona.
Both the men’s and women’s 4x100-meter relays will be in action over the weekend with the No. 15 Oklahoma women leading their field and the No. 20 OU men the second-highest ranked team in the competition behind No. 15 Arizona State. Relay action continues for the Sooners in the 4x400-meter relay where the women will look to take down two ranked opponents while the No. 17 men face off against No. 8 Arizona State and No. 11 Iowa.
Two ranked men’s sprinters will be making their 2011 outdoor debut as the 2011 NCAA Indoor 200-meter champion, Mookie Salaam, takes to the track for the first time of the outdoor season. The junior is ranked No. 14 in the 100-meter dash and will be joined on track by Eric Bailey, No. 10 in the 400-meter hurdles.
Making her 2011 debut in her premier event, the 200-meter dash, Candyce McGrone enters the weekend ranked No. 3 nationally, a number that leads the field.
The men’s distance group at the Texas Relays will feature three athletes running individually while eight others compete in the 4x800-meter relay and the 4x-1,500-meter relay. Alex Muntefering, Jacob Boone, Chris Sweeney and Scott Cooper will team together in the shorter relay while Kevin Williams, Kevin Schwab, Bill Kogel and George Alex run a leg each in the longer relay.
Ross Larimer and Rob Sorrell will each compete in section A of the 1,500-meter run while Patrick Gomez runs in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.