May 30, 2001
EUGENE, Ore. - University of Oklahoma senior Bambi Carson threw a career-best 180-6 to finish fourth in the discus at the first day of competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Carson earned All-America honors with the finish and produced five team points for the Sooners in action Wednesday.
In other first-day action for OU, sophomore Michael Westlund cleared 17-4.5 to finish eighth in the pole vault and earn All-America honors for the second time this season and second consecutive time in NCAA Outdoor competition. Junior Michael McNamara finished 10th with a vault of 17-4.5 and Robin Hanna was 15th with a 16-10.75.
Senior Justin Conkling had the best first-day total of his career in the decathlon. He stands fifth with 3,877 points. That point total is better than what he had when he won the Mt. Sac decathlon title in April and is nearly 60 points better than his first-day total at the Big 12.
Conkling had better marks in the 100 dash, the long jump and the shot put in his first effort in NCAA Championship competition. Stephen Harris of Tennessee has the lead with 4,248 points. The decathlon will finish on Thursday.
Janel Hayes was 10th in the long jump with a leap of 20-1.25 as the only other Sooner to compete in a final today.
LaBoris Bean advanced to the 400-meter intermediate hurdle final on Friday with the fourth fastest qualifying time, a season best 50.14. Jimyria Hicks finished fourth in her heat and 20th overall in the 200 with a time of 23.53.
On Thursday, Carson will compete in the shot put, Conkling will finish the decathlon, Alesha Peel will compete in the trials of the women's 100-meter hurdles and the men's 1600-meter relay, made up of Raoul Harvey, Ernest Lewis, Aldwyn Sappleton and Bean, will compete in the semifinals.
Freshman Leslie Dunlap will be the final Sooner to start competition when she hits the runway for the women's pole vault final on Friday. Bean's hurdle final will also be on Friday as well as the semifinals for the 100-meter hurdles should Peel advance. The finals for the 100-meter hurdles and the 1600-meter relay are scheduled for Saturday.