Norman, Okla. – Coming off a pair of successful home meet performances, the University of Oklahoma track and field teams hit the road this weekend for the Razorback Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. The two-day meet will begin Friday at noon with events from the men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon. Later Friday, field event finals (4 p.m.) and a mix of running prelims and finals will take center stage (6 p.m.). On Saturday, the men’s heptathlon begins at noon with its final three events. The field event finals start at 11 a.m. and the running event finals start at 12:10 p.m.
Competition at the meet includes 15 men’s and women’s teams ranked in the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association top 25, including six of the top 10 in both rankings. The Sooner men will be competing against No. 1 Arkansas, No. 2 Florida, No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 6 Florida State, No. 7 Florida State, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 19 Texas and No. 20 Stanford. The OU women will line up against No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Texas A&M, No. 4 Florida, No. 6 Kentucky, No. 7 Arkansas, No. 9 Stanford and No. 17 Florida State.
“When there’s greater competition, you have to ask how well you will do when you are not so relaxed,” said Head Coach Jim VanHootegem. “Instead of being out in front of the race, now you are third or fourth. People are going to have to get after it right away in the prelims.”
The Sooners are coming off of a pair of successful season-opening home competitions. In the season opener, OU competitors won 14 of 29 events and three posted marks that broke into the all-time top 10 at OU. Last Saturday at the J.D. Martin Invitational, Sooners won 12 events and 10 student-athletes set career marks.
“The question is can we improve as the competition continues to improve,” VanHootegem explained. “This is a bigger meet in a venue that has hosted a number of NCAA Championships.”
The meet is held at the Randal Tyson Track Center, which features a 200-meter, 60-degree banked track. The quality of the Razorback Invitational field has earned it the USTFCCCA’s meet of the week. The meet will be taped for replay on a later date on CST.
“I am looking forward to getting our 200- to 400-meter group on that 200-meter banked track,” VanHootegem said. “It is going to be a big week for our people who specialize in the 200 and 400.”
Live meet results will be available at www.flashresults.com, along with daily recaps on SoonerSports.com.