J.D. Martin Invitational Begins Friday
NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma track and field team hosts the sixth annual J.D. Martin Invitational at the Mosier Indoor Track Facility in Norman Friday, Feb. 3, with combined events competition, through Saturday, Feb. 4.
Among those competing will be athletes from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Barton County, Langston, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts, Tulsa, St. Gregory’s and UT-Arlington, as well as the Pure Speed Track & Field Club based in Stillwater.
Dates: Friday, Feb. 3 (Combined Events); Saturday, Feb. 4 (Track & Field Events)
Times: Friday - 11 a.m.; Saturday - 10 a.m. | Revised Schedule
Site: Mosier Indoor Track Facility | Map
Tickets: Admission is free.
Parking: Friday parking is restricted to the East Duck Pond lot north of the track complex. Because of classes on the Norman campus, only spectators in this lot will not be ticketed. A pedestrian gate at the northeast corner of the John Jacobs Track Complex is open to a sidewalk that directs traffic to the Mosier Indoor Track. Saturday parking is open at all campus parking lots near the track.
Results: A full recap and results will be available online at SoonerSports.com shortly following the conclusion of each day's events.
WHO TO WATCH...RONNIE PINES
Having recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the 60-meter dash last weekend in Albuquerque, junior Ronnie Pines is set on lowering it even further at the site of his best collegiate performance.
At the 2005 edition of the J.D. Martin Invitational, Ronnie Pines won the 60 after flying down the track in 6.64 seconds, establishing a personal best and meet record.
Pines’ mark was only .02 seconds slower than the facility record set by DaBryan Blanton in 2004.
In 2006, the St. Louis, Mo., native ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference in the 60-meter dash and fifth in the 200.
His 6.72 60-meter dash ranks second on OU’s all-time performance list.
GETTING TO KNOW THE NEW SOONER COACHING STAFF
Martin Smith was announced as Oklahoma sixth head track & field coach on June 30, 2005, and quickly assembled impressive staff of assistants to usher in the new era of Sooner track & field.
Head Coach Martin Smith Has coached five national championships teams in 26 years on the Division I level ... Was head coach or assistant on teams that captured 24 conference championships, including Oregon’s 2003 Pac-10 outdoor title.
Women’s Sprints/Hurdles Coach Dana Boone Last two stops were LSU and Texas, the past two women’s national outdoor champions.
Jumps and Women’s Multis Coach Jeremy Fischer The 2005 NCAA West Region Jumps/Multi Events Coach of the Year ... Of Cal State Northridge’s five athletes that qualified for the NCAAs, four were Fischer’s jumpers.
Field Events and Men’s Multis Coach Mark Napier Comes off two seasons of sweeping the indoor and outdoor Big 10 Conference championships while field events coach at Wisconsin ... Coached the 1997 NCAA National Decathlon Champion.
Men’s Sprints/Hurdles Coach Jeff Perkins First coaching position at Tennessee helped produce Justin Gatlin, the 2005 World Champion in the 100 and 200.
Assistant Distance Coach Brett Holts A two-time All-American at Oregon who is in his first coaching position.
IN THE POLLS
The OU men’s dropped out of the Trackwire Top 25 in week two after opening in the No. 25 spot.
Sooner pole vaulter Chip Heuser is No. 7 in the Dandy Dozen. Sprinters Yolanda Goff and Ronnie Pines make their debuts in the rankings. Goff is No. 11 in the 200 and Pines is No. 12 in the 60.
The full Trackwire Top 25 and Dandy Dozen can be viewed at www.trackwire.com.
THE 2006 J.D. MARTIN INVITATIONAL FIELD
Many area colleges and universities will throw their best at OU this weekend. Athletes from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Langston, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Oral Roberts, Tulsa, St. Gregory’s and UT-Arlington are scheduled to compete as well as men and women from the Pure Speed Track & Field Club based in Stillwater.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The University of Arkansas campus may feel like a home away from home by the time the indoor season wraps up in March. Oklahoma will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., four times.
After three weeks on the road, the Sooners finally compete on their home track this weekend. The experience will be short-lived, however, as they return to Arkansas next week for the Tyson Invitational.
The Sooners only host two indoor meets this season the J.D. Martin Invitational (Feb. 3-4) and the Sooner Indoor (Feb. 18).
Arkansas is the host of the 2006 NCAA National Indoor Track & Field Championships.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
The pressure to perform well at home will be the latest ingredient to the Sooners’ recipe for success.
The only Sooner to reach an NCAA provisional qualifying standard at the 2005 J.D. Martin Invitational was pole vault Scott Martin, who had already accomplished the feat during the first week of the season.
Expect the outcome to be different this year as a better team will take to the track Friday and Saturday.
Six Sooners have already established NCAA provisional qualifying marks. At this point last season, only three had done so.
Among those on the verge of earning a provisional NCAA qualifying bid in their respective events are Brayon Brown, Tony Francis, Tydree Lewis, Marcus Pugh and Frankie Wright.
Yolanda Goff, Ronnie Pines and Dermillo Wise will attempt to best their previous provisional marks and earn others in different events.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
The OU women’s distance medley relay competes Friday night, Feb. 3, at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City at The Armory Track.
Scheduled to run are Kristi Cook, Jessica Eldridge, Tijahnni Newton and Catherine Odell.
NEXT ON THE CALENDAR
Oklahoma splits squads between the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., and the Iowa State Classic in Ames. Both meets run Friday, Feb. 10, through Saturday, Feb. 11.
COLE THE MARK OF IMPROVEMENT
Freshman sprinter Leslie Cole is the type of trendsetter coaches like. The Idabel, Okla., native is adapting quickly to the performance needed from a Divison I athlete.
In just three weeks, Cole has cut almost two-tenths from her 60-meter dash time and eight-tenths off her 200. She already ranks No. 11 on OU’s all-time performance list in the 60 meters.
These efforts are providing valuable company to junior Yolanda Goff, who is a favorite to sweep the short sprints wherever she goes.
At the current rate, Cole could provisionally qualify for the NCAA Championships this weekend at the J.D. Martin Invitational.
RUN RONNIE RUN
Ronnie Pines is making a quick impact among the Sooners’ sprint corps. The junior college transfer was the only Sooner to make the 60-meter finals in the first two events of the season and has finished first and second among OU athletes in the 200-meter dash.
His season best 60 of 6.72 seconds is second all-time by a Sooner.
Pines’ personal best 60 came last season at the J.D. Martin Invitational. Then with Barton County Community College, Pines set the meet record at 6.64 seconds. The time was just .02 seconds off the Mosier Indoor Facility record of 6.62 set by former Sooner DaBryan Blanton in 2004, who won the national championship twice before leaving OU.
OU'S WISE MAN
Dermillo Wise may soon be bringing gold to the OU trophy case.
After winning the NJCAA national penathlon championships as a freshman and sophomore at Cloud County (Kan.) Community College, the junior won’t rest on laurels now that he is at OU.
Wise long jumped to an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 24-5.75 (7.46 meters) at the season-opener in Fayetteville, Ark., and returned the next week to run the best 60-meter hurdles time by a Sooner this season and sixth all-time.
Wise is so impressive, in fact, that coaches are unsure exactly how they will use the Floridian in the Big 12 Championships because of his ability to score points in so many different events.
18 AND LIFE
Senior pole vaulter Scott Martin turned heads in 2005 when he cleared 18-0.50 (5.50 meters) at the NCAA National Indoor Championships.
The performance earned him fourth place, second all-time in the OU records books, as he became just the sixth Sooner pole vaulter to earn All-America status.
After failing to post a height at the season-opening Arkansas Invitational, Martin wasn’t disappointed as much as relieved at his performance. According to Martin, he usually has one “no height” each season and was “happy to get it out of the way early.”
Martin capitalized on his second opportunity to post an NCAA provisional qualifying mark when he cleared 17-0.75 (5.20) at the National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., Saturday, Jan. 28.
The Tulsa native looks to contend for a national title again this season and with the help of teammate Chip Heuser, the podium at nationals may sparkle with Crimson and Cream in 2006.
CHIP ON HIS SHOULDER
After breaking his wrist and missing the entire 2005 season, sophomore pole vaulter Chip Heuser is ready to deliver on what is expecting to be a promising collegiate career.
Heuser, the 2004 USA Junior National champion, won the season-opening Arkansas Invitational after clearing 17-6.50 (5.35 meters), an NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
While attempting to clear a height of over 17 feet at the National Pole Vault Summit (Jan. 18), Heuser was so high he actually kicked the bar off its supports with his foot.
The Louisville, Ky., native holds the Kentucky state high school and national Catholic high school indoor and outdoor records. The 2003 Kentucky High School Athlete of the Year also led his high school, St. Xavier, to three straight state track & field titles.
Heuser and teammate Scott Martin will be two of the favorites to win the Big 12 and national titles in 2006.
ODELL COMING OF AGE
If you need one sure thing, count of Catherine Odell. Last season, the Enid, Okla., native had no signs of a sophomore slump as she became the Sooners’ most improved distance runner and qualified for the national outdoor championships in the 1500-meter run.
After redshirting during the cross country season while getting used to new head coach Martin Smith’s training program, Odell was on fire to begin 2006, putting the pressure on six-time national qualifier Jessica Eldridge during the first two meets of the season.
She currently ranks sixth in the Big 12 in the 800 (2:12.56) and seventh in the 1,000 (2:55.19) and has marks in OU’s all-time top 10 in both events.
Odell, who celebrated her 21st birthday Friday, Jan. 27, will run on OU’s distance medley relay squad headed for New York on Friday night as they make their first attempt at an NCAA qualifying mark in 2006.
COOKING UP SUCCESS
Among the surprising performances to come out of the Razorback Invitational was junior Kristi Cook’s sixth-place run in the 800 meters.
Her 2:13.32 run was over three seconds faster than her previous personal best and exactly five seconds better than she ran on the same track one week earlier.
The run put three Sooners in the top six of the 800 at the meet and in the top 10 of the Big 12 performance rankings.
OKLAHOMA'S NCAA QUALIFIERS
Six Sooners have already established either provisional or automatic NCAA qualifying marks during the 2006 indoor season. At this point last season only three -- DaBryan Blanton (60-meter dash), Scott Martin (pole vault) and Jason Stanley (60-meter hurdles) -- accomplished the feat. The following is a list of those qualified in 2006 with their national rank in parenthesis:
Men’s 60-Meter Dash
Ronnie Pines (14), 6.72P, Jan. 28
Men’s Pole Vault
Chip Heuser (4), 5.35mP, Jan. 13
Scott Martin (11), 5.20mP, Jan. 28
Men’s Long Jump
Dermillo Wise (16), 7.46mP, Jan. 13
Women’s 60-Meter Dash
Yolanda Goff (19), 7.42P, Jan. 28
Women’s Pole Vault
Jennifer Plank (6), 4.00mP, Jan. 21
THE NEW MEXICO INVITATIONAL REVISITED
Junior Yolanda Goff won the women’s 60-meter dash, running a personal best and NCAA provisional qualifying time of 7.40 seconds. Goff set another PR on her way to winning the 200 in 23.97.
Freshman Leslie Cole also set personal bests in the 60 and 200, sprinting to fourth place in 7.56 and fifth in 24.53, respectively.
Tijahnni Newton, in her first action of the season, won the women’s 400-meter dash (55.21) by the slimmest of margins, defeating Florida’s Dominique McLeggan by .01 seconds. Her mark ranked fifth on OU’s all-time list.
The Sooner men dominated the men’s 60-meter dash, placing all five Sooner entries in the top six.
Junior Ronnie Pines won the race, establishing an NCAA provisional qualifying mark with his 6.70 run. The time ranks second on OU’s all-time performance list.
Pines was followed by Marcus Pugh in second (6.85), Josh Scott in fourth (6.93), Daniel Bridges in fifth (6.94) and Chason Lane in sixth (6.94). The times were season bests for Scott, Bridges and Lane.
Pines also finished runner-up in the 200 (21.71).
Dermillo Wise and Frankie Wright placed 1-2 in the men’s long jump, leaping 24-3.75 (7.41 meters) and 23-8.0 (7.21), respectively. Tydree Lewis finished sixth with a jump of 22-11.0 (6.98).
Lewis also placed third in the triple jump with a mark of 49-3.50 (15.02).
The women’s long jump saw Portia Nash set the third best mark all-time by a Sooner. Nash, in her first outing with OU, took runner-up honors with a leap of 19-9.50 (6.03).
NATIONAL POLE VAULT SUMMIT REVISITED
All-American Scott Martin established an NCAA provisional qualifying mark with his 17-0.75 (5.20) jump, placing fourth overall.
Sophomore Chip Heuser just missed clearing 18 feet, but was so high over that he kicked the bar of the supports with his foot on his descent.
Jennifer Plank took sixth in the college women’s divison after clearing 12-3.25 (3.75). Jessica and Joan Brown both cleared the opening height of 10-6 (3.05).
OU'S J.D. MARTIN INVITATIONAL ENTRY LIST
Daniel Bridges (So.), 60-meter dash
Tony Francis (Sr.), 60-meter hurdles
Chip Heuser (So.), pole vault
Chason Lane (So.), 60-meter hurdles
Tydree Lewis (So.), long jump and triple jump
Scott Martin (Jr.), pole vault
Ronnie Pines (Jr.), 60-meter dash
Marcus Pugh (So.), 60-meter dash
Tony Rayburn (So.), heptathlon
Josh Scott (Sr.), 60- and 400-meter dash
Shea Shelby (So.), high jump
Dermillo Wise (Jr.), 60-meter hurdles and long jump
David Wright (Jr.), heptathlon
Frankie Wright (Jr.), long jump
Amy Backel (Fr.), shot put, weight throw and pentathlon
Jessica Brown (Fr.), pole vault
Joan Brown (Fr.), pole vault
Leslie Cole (Fr.), 60-meter dash and 4x440-yard relay
Yolanda Goff (Jr.), 60-meter dash and 4x440-yard relay
Ashley Harris (So.), 60-meter dash
Ashley Harvey (Fr.), 800-meter run and 4x440-yard relay
Myria Houlihan (Sr.), high jump
Katherine Johnson (Fr.), high jump
Portia Nash (Jr.), long jump and triple jump
Jessica Pekah (Jr.), shot put and weight throw
Jennifer Plank (Sr.), pole vault
Toni Smith (Jr.), long jump and triple jump
Larica Urbina (Jr.), 60-meter dash
Terrika Warren (Sr.), 400-meter dash and 4x440-yard relay
Ashley Williams (Fr.), mile run
OKLAHOMA, 4x440-yard relay