March 10, 2001
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Freshman Leslie Dunlap tied for 12th and the OU men's 1600-meter relay finished 10th on the final day of the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships today at the Randal Tyson Track Center. A record crowd of 5,621 watched as Louisiana State won the final event to win the men's title and UCLA used a strong showing in the field events to win the women's crown.
Dunlap, a true freshman from Choctaw, was the first competitor to jump and she cleared her first attempt at 12-1.5 with no problem. She cleared the next height, 12-7.5, on her first attempt then missed all three attempts at 13-1.5. A clean vault there would have set a career best for Dunlap and would have tied her for ninth place. Additionally, she would have earned All-America honors as one of the top eight Americans.
Georgia's Thorey Elisdottir cleared 14-9.5 to win the pole vault competition. She later missed on three attempts at 15-5.50 in an attempt to set a world record.
The Sooner men, ranked fifth in the 1600-meter relay entering the final, got placed in the second, or fastest heat. That heat also proved to be the determining factor in the men's team title. TCU entered the final event with a nine-point lead over Louisiana State and needed to finish at least seventh to win the team title.
The Sooners finished fourth in the heat with a 3:10.63 but finished 10th overall. TCU had the early lead but dropped the baton between the first and second exchange and finished last. Meanwhile, LSU took advantage of the miscue and outran Baylor to pick up 10 points with a facility record 3:04.44. Baylor was second.
On a positive note, the Sooners learned Saturday night that Alesha Peel's 10th-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles on Friday was high enough to earn All-America honors for the Tulsa senior. In addition to the top eight finishers, All-America honors go to the top eight Americans which allowed Peel to pick up All-America honors for the first time in her Sooner career.
The Sooners finished the 2001 NCAA Indoor meet with three All-Americans: seniors Peel and Bambi Carson, who finished seventh in the shot, and sophomore Michael Westlund, who was third in the men's pole vault.
OU will open the outdoor season next weekend at the College Station Relays. The combined event athletes will compete on Thursday and Friday and will be joined on Friday and Saturday by the rest of the team.