April 26, 2001

NORMAN, Okla. - The Sooner track and field teams are split in three ways this weekend with the throwers and vaulters heading to the Drake Relays, relays heading to Penn Relays and everyone else staying in Norman for the Sooner Outdoor. Competition at the Penn Relays began today while the competition at Drake starts Friday. The Sooner Outdoor will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the final event tentatively set for 4:35 p.m. After declarations today (Thursday, April 26), the schedule could be adjusted for a lower numbers of entries.

At The Penn Relays
Co-head coach Rodney Price and assistant coach Shanon Atkinson took OU's relay entries to Philadelphia. Scheduled to compete are the men's and women's 400-meter relays, the men's and women's sprint medley relays, the men's and women's 1600-meter relay, the men's shuttle hurdle relay and individual entries in the high jump, long jump, 100-meter dash and 400-meter intermediate hurdles. Competition started Thursday and will continue through Saturday.

At The Drake Relays
Assistant coaches Pete Kron and Tom Williams took the group to Des Moines for the Drake Relays. Competing in that event are the women's 3200-meter relay, the men's and women's shot put and discus throwers and the men's and women's pole vaulters. OU opens competition on Friday and the meet ends on Saturday.

The Sooner Outdoor
Joining the Sooners for the Sooner Outdoor will be athletes from Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Oral Roberts, Southern Nazarene, Oklahoma Christian, Southern Methodist, Texas-Arlington, Wayland Baptist and Bacone. The field events are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. with the javelin. The first event on the track, the men's 3000-meter steeplechase, is scheduled for 1 p.m. and all events are finals.

The National Rankings
The Sooner men are ranked 28th in the country and the women are ranked 30th 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
For the second week in a row, senior Bambi Carson won the shot put and the discus to lead the Sooner track and field team at the Michael Johnson/SW Bell Classic. Carson won the shot put with a 52-2 and the discus with a 173-01. Both were NCAA provisional marks for Carson and the shot put mark was a season- and career best for the Marlow senior.

At the Mt. Sac Relays in California, OU senior Justin Conkling scored 7,367 points to win the decathlon title. In the process, he posted seven career best marks and met the NCAA provisional qualiyfing standard by more than 200 points.

Conkling earned Big 12 Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors April 23, one week after Carson became OU's first weekly winner on April 16.

Conkling posted career bests in the 100-meter dash, 1500-meter run, 110-meter high hurdles, pole vault, shot put, javelin and decathlon total. Conkling closed the 2001 indoor season by winning the Big 12 heptathlon title, the first produced by a Sooner in Big 12 history.

His point total in the decathlon and Sand Swaby's total in the heptathlon ranked as the third best in school history.

OU posted a total of six NCAA provisional marks at the meet in Waco, all by athletes who have met provisional standards earlier this season. Those who posted provisionals, in addition to Carson's double, were Alesha Peel, who won the 100-meter low hurdles with a 13.38, the women's 400-meter relay, Joey Scott in the 110-meter high hurdles and LaBoris Bean in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. All have established better marks this season.

The Sooners also had several other event winners in addition to Carson's and Peel's victories. LaKisha Robinson posted a season best of 55.52 to win the college 400-meter dash. Scott won the college 110-meter high hurdles with his time of 13.88.

Swaby, who led after the first day of competition, finished eighth in the California Invitational division of the heptathlon at Mt. Sac. She finished the two-day event with 4,877 points, a career best.

Swaby built a big lead on the first day while competing in her primary events. She scored 891 points in the high jump, 916 in the hurdles and 924 in the 200-meter dash. In addition to the one in the final point total, she established career best marks in the 200-meter dash, the shot put and the javelin.

NCAA Watch
OU had one provisional qualifier in the Mt. Sac Relays and six in the Michael Johnson/SW Bell Classic. Senior Justin Conkling got a provisional mark of 7,367 points in the decathlon Carson also improved her previous provisional mark in the shot put to 52-2 at the Michael Johnson/SW Bell Classic. Other Sooner provisional qualifiers last weekend included Carson in the discus, Alesha Peel in the 100-meter hurdles, Joey Scott in the 110 high hurdles, LaBoris Bean in the 400 IH and the women's 400-meter relay. All of those provisional qualifiers had better marks earlier this season.

NCAA Update
Following are the rankings for OU's provisional qualifiers in the latest NCAA qualifier's list (as of April 25):
LaBoris Bean (50.23 in the 400 IH - April 7) -- third
Justin Conkling (7,367 in the decathlon - April 19-20) -- eighth
Joey Scott (13.84 in the 110 high hurdles - April 14) -- 19th
Joey Scott (50.74 in the 400-meter IH - March 24) -- 11th
Michael Westlund (17-10.50 in the pole vault - April 7) -- ninth
the men's 1600-meter relay (3:06.06 - April 14) -- 14th
Bambi Carson (175-9 in the discus - April 14) -- fifth
Bambi Carson (51-2.25 in the shot put - April 21) -- 11th
Leslie Dunlap (13-3.5 in the pole vault - April 6) -- eighth
Jimyria Hicks (23.27 in the 200 - April 14) -- ninth
Jessica Longfors (165-8 in the discus - March 17) -- 21st
Alesha Peel (13.34 in the 100 hurdles - April 7) -- 16th
the women's 400-meter relay (44.81 - April 7) -- 16th

Next Up
The Sooners will travel to Lubbock for a dual with Texas Tech on Saturday, May 5. After a week of final exams, the Sooners will head to the Abilene Christian Invitational on May 12.

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