April 20, 2001

The Sooner track and field teams head south for the Michael Johnson/SW Bell Classic in Waco, Texas, on Saturday. Meanwhile, senior Justin Conkling and junior Sand Swaby are the leaders after the first day of the multi-event competition at the Mt. Sac Relays in Azusa, Calif., and another OU athlete competing unattached, Taylor Cates, finished fourth at the Kansas Relays in the heptathlon.

The Schedule
Field event finals in Waco begin at 9 a.m. Saturday while running preliminaries begin at noon on Saturday. The running event finals are scheduled for Saturday night and will begin about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the preliminaries.

The Competitors
Joining the Sooners and host Baylor in the meet are men's and women's teams from Dallas Baptist, Mississippi State, Mt. St. Clare College, Northwood, Sam Houston State, Seton Hall, South Plains College, Southern Arkansas, Southwest Texas, Southwest Christian, Southern Methodist, Texas A&M, Tulsa, Houston, New Mexico, Texas-Arlington, Texas-El Paso, Texas-Pan American, and Texas-San Antonio and the women's team from New Mexico State.

The Multi-Event Competitors
After the first day of the multi-event competition at the Mt. Sac Relays, Justin Conkling had nearly a 100-point lead in the Invitational A decathlon and Sand Swaby had the lead by nearly 200 points in the California Invitational. Meanwhile, Taylor Cates, competing unattached while sitting out this year as a transfer, finished fourth in the Kansas Relays in the heptathlon. Conkling had season bests in two of the first five events to take the early lead. He posted season bests in the 100-meter and 400-meter dash. It's Conkling's first decathlong competition this season. He opened the Texas A&M Invitational, then had to pull out following an injury. He is coming off a Big 12 title in the indoor heptathlon. Swaby had season bests in two of the first four events and tied a third one. Swaby finished 13th in the College Station Multis in the opening meet of the season. For Cates, it was the second top-five finish of the season. She finished second in the College Station Multis in the first meet of the outdoor season.

The National Rankings
The Sooner men are ranked 26th in the country and the women are ranked 27th in the latest USTCA Power Rankings. The Team Power Ranking is a unique system of ranking teams on the basis of quality of athletic performance, team depth, and dual meet scoring potential. The system rates teams in the same fashion as decathlete or heptathlete. Points are assigned for two athletes in each event contested in a dual meet and points assigned on the basis of quality of performance. The top person in each event has his/her points doubled to adjust for the value of the number one performer on each team in a dual meet. The points for all events are then totaled for the ranking score.

The Last Time Out
OU senior Bambi Carson won two events with NCAA provisional marks to lead the Sooners in the 32nd annual John Jacobs Track and Field Invitational last Saturday. Battling rain, strong swirling winds and dropping temperatures, the Sooners had seven NCAA individual provisional marks posted and got another one in the men's 1600-meter relay. Sooner qualifiers included Jimyria Hicks in the women's 200-meter dash, Alesha Peel in the 60-meter hurdles, Carson in the shot put and discus, Leslie Dunlap in the women's pole vault, Joey Scott in the 110-meter hurdles, Michael Westlund in the men's pole vault and the 1600-meter relay of Scott, Ernest Lewis, Raoul Harvey and LaBoris Bean. In addition to Carson, Sooner winners included Stephanie Webb in the 3000-meter run, Peel in the hurdles, Dunlap in the pole vault, Aldwyn Sappleton in the men's 800-meter run, Brandon Kissack in the 5,000, the men's 440-meter shuttle hurdle relay, Westlund in the pole vault, and Kyle Bookout, who won the men's discus with a throw that was just short of an NCAA provisional mark.

NCAA Update
OU had eight provisional qualifiers in the John Jacobs Invitational. First-time provisional qualifiers included Joey Scott (13.84 in the 110 high hurdles), Jimyria Hicks (23.27 in the 200), the men's 1600-meter relay, Scott, Ernest Lewis, Raoul Harvey, LaBoris Bean, (3:06.06) and Bambi Carson (175-9 in the discus). Carson also improved her previous provisional mark in the shot put to 51-2.25. Other provisional qualifiers for the Sooners this season included Leslie Dunlap (13-3.5 in the pole vault at the Texas Relays), Michael Westlund (17-10.50 in the pole vault at the Texas Relays), LaBoris Bean (50.23 in the 400 IH at Texas), Alesha Peel (13.34 in the 100 hurdles at Texas), the women's 400-meter relay, Peel, Jimyria Hicks, Janel Hayes, Staneshia Bell, (44.81 from the Texas Relays), Scott (a 50.74 in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles from the Jim Click Shootout), and Jessica Longfors (165-8 in the discus at the College Station Relays).

NCAA Update
Following are the rankings for OU's provisional qualifiers in the latest NCAA qualifier's list (as of April 19):

  • Joey Scott (13.84 in the 110 high hurdles) -- 17th
  • Scott (50.74 in the 400-meter IH) -- ninth
  • Jimyria Hicks (23.27 in the 200) -- fourth
  • Bambi Carson (175-9 in the discus) -- sixth
  • Carson (51-2.25 in the shot put) -- 11th
  • Leslie Dunlap (13-3.5 in the pole vault) -- eighth
  • Michael Westlund (17-10.50 in the pole vault) -- eighth
  • LaBoris Bean (50.23 in the 400 IH) -- third
  • Alesha Peel (13.34 in the 100 hurdles) -- 14th
  • Jessica Longfors (165-8 in the discus) -- 18th
  • the men's 1600-meter relay (3:06.06) -- 12th
  • the women's 400-m
eter relay (44.81) -- 16th

The 2000 Outdoor Season
The Sooners produced 10 NCAA All-Americans during the 2000 outdoor season. The men's 1600-meter relay team (LaBoris Bean, Michael Jackson, Raoul Harvey and Michael Blackwood) finished fifth and the women's 1600-meter relay team (Staneshia Bell, LaKisha Robinson, Alicia Emanuel and Jennifer Fontenot) finished eighth. Individuals earning All-America honors included Blackwood in the 400, Fontenot in the women's 400 and Michael Westlund in the pole vault. The Sooner women finished sixth in the Big 12 while the men finished seventh. OU produced conference champions in women's discus (Bambi Carson) and the men's 400-meter run (Blackwood).

Next Up
The Sooners will split up next weekend. In addition to hosting its own Sooner Outdoor, OU will send athletes to the Penn and Drake Relays. The meets mark the seventh of an 11-weekend outdoor slate that will end with the NCAA Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Ore., May 30-June 2. The Sooners will compete every weekend but May 25-26 and will often have student-athletes at multiple meets.

Contact
For more information on Sooner track and field, contact track SID Debbie Copp at (405) 325-8367.

2001 Outdoor Schedule

April 21 (Sa)at Michael Johnson Invitational
April 26-28 (Th-Sa)at Penn Relays
April 25-26 (W-Th)at Drake Relays Combined
April 27-28 (F-Sa)at Drake Relays
April 28 (Sa)Oklahoma Outdoor10 a.m.
May 5 (Sa)at Texas Tech Dual
May 12 (Sa)at Abilene Christian Inv.
May 16-19 (W-Sa)at Big 12 Championships, College Station, Texas
May 30-June 2(W-Sa)at NCAA Championships, Eugene, Ore.