Feb. 22, 2001
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NORMAN, Okla. - The University of Oklahoma Sooner track and field teams are in Lincoln, Neb., preparing for this weekend's Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championship.
Action begins with the combined events at 9 a.m. on Friday. The men's heptathlon 60-meter dash is the first event. The women's pentathlon will open with the 60-meter hurdles at 9:45 a.m.
Field event finals will begin Friday afternoon with the men's weight throw at 1:45 p.m. The women's pole vault will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday. Other field event finals on Friday are the women's long jump, the women's weight throw and men's long jump. Running event prelims begin at 1 p.m. Friday and events continue on the track until 8 p.m. There will be prelims and semifinals throughout the afternoon and evening Friday. Four finals will be run on Friday, including the men's and women's 5,000-meter run and the men's and women's distance medley relays.
Action will continue on Saturday with the final three events of the men's heptathlon. Field event finals will begin at 1 p.m. and running finals will start at 2 p.m. The men's 1600-meter relay will be the final event of the championship and it is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Saturday.
A Talented Field
All 12 conference members sponsor indoor track and field teams. The conference meet features a number of team ranked in the top 25. On the men's side, Baylor is ranked eighth, Texas is ninth, Kansas is tied for 10th, Texas A&M is tied for 17th and Nebraska is tied for 20th. On the women's side, Kansas State is ranked fifth and Texas is ranked eighth.
Marks posted at this meet may be used toward qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championship to be held March 9-10 in Fayetteville, Ark.
The Last Time Out
For the second time in three weeks, OU senior Alesha Peel dropped her own career-best time in the 60-meter hurdles to lower the school record to 8.19. The time was posted at OU's final indoor home meet of the season, the Sooner Indoor held Feb. 17 at the Mosier Indoor Facility.
Peel got a great start out of the blocks and led throughout most of the race only to see Nicole Hoxie of Texas slip past her just short of the finish line. Hoxie posted a meet and facility record time of 8.14. Hoxie's time was an NCAA automatic qualifying mark and Peel's time was just .02 off the automatic qualifying time, nearly guaranteeing her a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships March 9-10.
Hoxie's NCAA automatic time was the only one posted but five provisional marks, including Peel's, were recorded. OU's Michael Westlund won the pole vault with an NCAA provisional mark of 17-4.5.
Other Sooners who picked up victories were Aisha Stringer, who posted a season-best 1:25.54, and Jessica Longfors who posted a 46-0.75 in the shot put.
Staneshia Bell, Bambi Carson, Alesha Peel, Janel Hayes, Leslie Dunlap, Ernest Lewis, Michael Westlund and the men's 1600-meter relay have posted NCAA provisional qualifying marks. Bell had a 7.44 in the 60-meter dash and Carson had a 48-10.75 in the shot put to beat the NCAA provisional standard on Dec. 2 at the Oklahoma All Comers Meet. Peel posted her first provisional mark (an 8.33 in the 60-meter dash) on Jan. 20. She dropped that mark to an 8.23 at the J.D. Martin Invitational on Feb. 3, then had a season (and career ) best time of 8.19 in the Sooner Indoor on Feb. 17. That time is just .02 from the automatic qualifying time. Westlund's first provisional mark (17-6.5) came on Jan. 20 at the Reno Summit. Carson improved her provisional mark to 51-8.25 Feb. 3 while Westlund improved his provisional mark to 17-8.5 in action on Jan. 27. Lewis got his provisional mark in the 400 at the ISU Classic on Feb. 10 and ran the opening leg of the provisional qualifying 1600-meter relay team which included Moses Washington, Raoul Harvey and LaBoris Bean.That quartet posted the NCAA provisional time at the ISU Classic on Feb. 10. Hayes joined the list of provisional qualifiers with her 20-3.75 mark at the ISU Classic. Dunlap got her provisional mark with her victory in Ames in the pole vault with a mark of 12-9.5.
Peel was the Sooner to lower her previous best mark at last Saturday's meet.
The Sooners are coming off a great year with the women finishing fifth in the Big 12 Indoor and the men finishing eighth. The Sooners had four indoor All-Americans and two, senior LaBoris Bean and junior Raoul Harvey, are back. The two were members of OU's second-place NCAA 1600-meter relay team. OU also crowned one Big 12 Indoor champion. Staneshia Bell, the first Sooner woman to win a Big 12 indoor title, is back in the sprints. Her title came in the 60-meter dash.
Nebraska won both the men's and women's team titles at the 2000 Big 12 Indoor meet.
Nebraska has won three Big 12 Indoor men's titles and two Big 12 Indoor women's team titles. Texas is the only other school to win Big 12 Indoor titles. The Longhorn men have one title and the UT women have won two conference indoor titles since the first meet in the 1996-97 academic year.
OU student-athletes who are trying to improve NCAA standing will participate in several NCAA Qualifier meets next weekend. The first will be Friday at Iowa State with the second on Saturday in Nebraska. In addition, senior Staneshia Bell will travel to the U.S. Indoor Nationals next weekend