Sooners Set for NCAA Indoor Championships

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Allison Weiss
By Allison Weiss
Student Assistant
MARCH 09, 2017

NORMAN— The best in the sport will meet in College Station, Texas, this Friday and Saturday to determine the NCAA Indoor track and field champions.  The two-day event will take place at the Gilliam Indoor Track on the campus of Texas A&M. 

Among those select few will be Oklahoma track and field student-athletes Jess WoodardBaileh SimmsAma Pipi and Hayden McClain.

Woodard will be making her second straight appearance in the shot put event, and will get things underway for OU at 5:15 (CT) on Friday.  In last year’s event, she finished eighth and was a first-team All-American.

At 7:10 p.m., Simms will have her opportunity to compete in the long jump.  This will be Simms’ first appearance at the NCAA Indoor. 

Of the four OU athletes competing, Pipi is the only track participant. She will have her semifinal round in the 200-meter dash at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The eight fastest times from the four heats will advance to the final to be held Saturday at 5:40 p.m. Pipi will be making her first appearance at an NCAA Indoor as well. She is coming off a Big 12 title and a personal-best time of 23.19 in the event.

With a top eight time, Pipi  would join McClain on day two of the competition as both will look to continue their momentum from their last competition at Big 12s.

McClain is making his second straight appearance at nationals and will have his event, the triple jump, at 5 p.m. Saturday. In last year’s event, he was injured and was unable to finish the competition. He is coming off a Big 12 meet record and a second Big 12 title in the triple jump.

Throughout the year, head coach Jim VanHootegem has emphasized stepping up to the level of competition, being focused and maintaining consistency.  All will be vital this weekend.  

The fourth-year head coach is looking forward to the opportunity of seeing his athletes compete at the highest level against the best athletes in the nation.

“We really just want our athletes to be fully engaged. This meet is one of the best meets in the world. We are going to see outstanding performances out of amazing athletes. All four Sooners are healthy and capable so they just need to go in there and mix it up.”

Live results will be available through Flash Results.  ESPN3 will be broadcasting the events Friday and Saturday, with coverage to start at 5:30 p.m. (all times CT) and 4 p.m., respectively.  At 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 12, ESPN2 will have a tape delayed broadcast. As always, updates will be provided throughout the competitions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (OU_Track).  A recap will be posted at the end of each day at Soonersports.com.

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