NORMAN, Okla. – In just the second week of the outdoor season, representatives of the Oklahoma track and field teams will be taking a big step up as the Sooners participate in the 87th annual Clyde Little Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. One of the premier track and field meets each outdoor season, competition for the OU begins Thursday and concludes on Saturday.
Pole vaulters Tanner Callihan and Everette Favor take to the runway at 3:45 p.m. (CT) on Thursday to open the competition for OU. Kyle Polman is entered in the university men’s 5,000-meter run at 9:30 p.m.
Friday is the big day of competition for the Sooners as nine individuals and three relays are scheduled to compete. Starting at 9:30 a.m. are the preliminaries for the women’s 100-meter hurdles – Olivia Haggerty and Geo Tamez-Reyna; the men’s 110-meter hurdles – Matthias Wicks; women’s 100-meter dash – Cessily Jones and Daye Shon Roberson; and men’s 100-meter dash – Waymon Storey. Finals for all four of those events are set for Saturday at 2:15 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. Because of the number of entries, events are scheduled in groups and assigned a group start time, then a rolling schedule is used.
The men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relays are scheduled for Friday morning as well with finals set for Saturday at 4:15 p.m. The men’s distance medley relay will compete at 7:20 p.m. Friday.
The field event entries for the Sooners also get involved on Friday as OU will have entries in the women’s shot put at 10 a.m. – Avione Allgood; men’s triple jump at 12:30 p.m. – Hayden McClain; and women’s discus, section A, 4 p.m. – Alex Morgan. Kate Foster will compete in the women’s discus, section B, on Saturday at 10 a.m.
The size of the Texas Relays is comparable to that of the Armory Collegiate Invitational which OU competed in last month in New York City. Competition includes rival Texas and 232 other collegiate teams. There are also high school and invitational divisions. The Sooners have enjoyed past success in Austin, particularly in the relay events. Olympian and former Sooner Tia Brooks currently holds the meet record in the shot put. Handling the conditions and the usually involved crowd will be another step in the maturation of the Sooner teams.
“With regard to the crowd and competition, there really isn’t any difference than with any other track meet except for the numbers,” explained head coach Jim VanHootegem. “The athletes need to execute what they have been working on in practices and compete with tremendous spirit.”
The Sooners are fresh from a record-setting weekend at their outdoor season opener, the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe. Four moved onto OU’s all-time career lists while five improved their career-best marks. The weekend featured the nation’s best javelin throw from Liz Herrs, who finished first in the event with a 176-2. It proved to be a Sooner sweep of the top three spots as Allgood was second and Ashley Kowalewski finished third. Herrs and Kowalewski will not compete this weekend while Allgood is entered in the shot put.
Field events at the relays should still be a high point for the Sooners. Morgan, a junior, is coming off a strong second-place showing at last week’s meet, a finish that earned her a spot in the women’s discus, section A competition on Friday. OU also has entries in the men’s pole vault, men’s triple jump, women’s shot put and women’s discus, section B.
On the track, Sooner coaches will be placing close attention to the performance of the men’s distance medley, the 2014 Big 12 Indoor champion in the event. Wicks is coming off a third-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles and he will be making his season debut in the 110-meter high hurdles in Austin.
Live results will be available at branchsportstech.com. The meet will be will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network (Wednesday, 5-7 p.m.; Thursday, 4-6 p.m., 7-10 p.m.; Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30-5:30 p.m.). SoonerSports.com will have daily reviews of OU performances.