May 18, 2001
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas - OU senior Bambi Carson became the first woman to repeat as the Big 12 champion in the discus with her record-setting effort Friday afternoon. Later in the day, freshman Leslie Dunlap won the pole vault title in just her second year as a vaulter.
Through six events, the Sooner women are in fourth place with 34.20 points. The OU men are tied for seventh after four events with 11 points.
Carson got her winning effort on her final throw of the first round. With a strong southerly wind, Carson recorded a toss of 179-7, improving her own school record by more than four feet. The winning toss also was a Big 12 meet record.
"I just felt so good when the competition started," Carson expained. "The wind was really blowing today and you had to keep the discus low. My first throw gave me the lead and that helped me relax for the rest of the competition.
"This is just the next step in the goals I set for myself this season. Getting an automatic mark for the NCAA is big. Now I'm ready to head to Eugene, Ore., and work on becoming an All-American."
First, though, Carson must compete in the shot put scheduled for later Friday night.
Dunlap passed on the first three heights of the competition, then cleared her first attempt at the 11-3 and 11-9. She missed her first attempt at 12-2.75 then sailed over on her second. Alissa Koerner of Nebraska missed all three of her attempts at the height and finished second.
According to Dunlap, it was a bit intimidating to win a title in just her second year of vaulting. "I wasn't very good at the hurdles and the pole vault looked fun. I really thought it was take a higher jump to win but I'm very happy with the victory. I'd hoped to get a better mark for NCAAs. Still, it's been quite a year."
It was a good day for the Sooner women. Senior Jessica Longfors finished fourth in the discus with a personal best of 167-01. Her mark was an NCAA provisional mark, bypassing the mark she recorded in the first meet of the season.
In the pole vault, Lindsey Harris was seventh for the Sooners and Jamie Lillie was tied for eighth.
Senior Janel Hayes saved her best attempt for the last one, jumping 20-9.25, to finish second. The mark broke the NCAA provisional standard, is the second best in school history and ranks her 13th in the country in the NCAA standings.
After Justin Conkling's second-place finish in the decathlon, the Sooner men got points on Friday on Kyle Bookout's sixth-place finish in the discus. His mark of 183-2 was just under his career best of 183-8 posted earlier this season.
Action continues in the conference championship Friday evening with running event prelims and more field event finals with running event finals and the rest of the field event finals scheduled for Saturday