ARLINGTON, Texas - Winning and personal bests seem to be contagious on the Oklahoma track and field teams. At least it was at Maverick Stadium on day 2 of the Bobby Lane Invitational.
The Sooners claimed six wins on the day and 15 personal bests, bringing the weekend total to seven and 16, respectively with Charles Nguyen’s win and PR on Friday.
“We saw a lot of good things,” said head coach Jim VanHootegem. “Overall, people competed. I still think there are little things that we can do better, such as the little things that go into the events. One of the things we wanted to see was people step up today and we saw that today with a lot of people.
“Today was a little more about the personal side of seeing growth. That was not only from people who have had a lot of season bests, but we also wanted to see some newcomers achieve some PRs as well. “
Leading off the win column for the Sooners was a sweep in the 4x100-meter relays. Ama Pipi, Daye Shon Roberson, Amanda Van Buren and Leya Buchanan won their event in a time of 44.89. Jamarkus Birks, Jackson Webb, Bennie Wesley and Trae Armstrong won in 40.43.
Buchanan had an individual win in the 100-meter dash, setting a PR of 11.41 in the process. Her time ranks as the sixth-fastest time in school history, and is tied for the eighth-best time in the NCAA Division I this season to date.
Pipi also had quite the day as well as she won the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.96. It was almost two seconds better than the second-place finisher. Her time moves her into fifth on the all-time top 10 career list and is the fourth-fastest time to date in NCAA Division I this season.
Mia Mukes joined the club of runners who had a win and a PR. She won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:00.06, improvingg her time from last week by over three seconds. Her time puts her eighth in school history, right behind Medinah Spencer, who ran 1:00.03 in the event at the season opener.
Everette Favor took the men’s pole vault event, matching his PR of 17-0.75 for the second week in a row.
Van Buren finished second among all college athletes in the 100-meter dash with an 11.54, improving on her time from last week, and giving the Sooners a 1-2 finish in the event. Her time is tied for 13th this season.
Liam Meirow improved on his PR from last week by .8 seconds, to running a 3:54.66 in the 1500 meter. He finished second. Heath Warren completed the race in 4:02.77 to finish ninth.
Meia Gordon also improved from last week’s meet as she threw a distance of 47-7.75 to finish fourth in the shot put. She had a clean throw on every round of the event and her fourth attempt proved to be the best mark of the afternoon. Later in the meet, she had an improvement in the discus, moving her personal best with a toss of 164-9. She finished third overall, but second among all college athletes. Her 164-9 also moves her into the top 10 in school history, taking over the 10th spot.
Bradley Daboub improved on last week’s result with 152-5 in his opening attempt in the discus. He finished eighth overall, but sixth among college competitors.
Sierra Sheen improved on her result from last week’s meet to throw 149-7 in the discus as well. Sheen finished seventh overall, but sixth among college athletes.
Joshua Foster recorded a PR in the long jump on his first attempt with a mark of 22-1.50.
Steven Jazdyk had three personal bests on the day. His PR in the 110-meter hurdles was better by more than a full second. He finished seventh with a time of 14.58. He later had a PR in the shot put with a throw of 39-7 in the third round. In the long jump, he recorded a mark of 21-0.50 on his second attempt.
Payton Baker ran a PR of 24.52 in the 200-meter dash to finish eighth overall, but sixth among college competitors. Alexis Barnes matched her PR of 24.87 in the event to finish 13th overall, 11th among college competitors.
Lane Maguire improved her time in the 800-meter run by over a second to finish seventh at 2:16.28.
Hayden McClain set a PR in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.18. It was his first race in the event since the 2015 Baylor Invitational.
The fourth-year head coach was quick to praise the achievements of his team, whether or not they were personal bests.
“Ama had a big PR in the 400 meter. I’m excited about seeing Steven have a huge PR in the hurdles. I’m excited about seeing people getting back on the right track like Brittany Tretbar and Marcus Mitchell, and seeing newcomers like Sierra moving forward with a personal record.”
Armstrong was the highest finisher for Oklahoma in the 100-meter dash. His time of 10.66 resulted in an eighth-place finish among college athletes and a 10th-place finish overall. Webb was the next finisher at 10.72 to finish 14thoverall, but 11th among collegiate competitors. Greg Vann finished in 10.78, Robert Charlton in 10.97, Thomas Cheval in 11.05, and Isiah Irby behind him at 11.06.
Olivia Haggerty was the top collegiate finisher in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.72. Bianca Brazil was fifth among college athletes at 14.10.
The 200-meter featured several OU runners. Demerson was the first Sooner to finish, coming in with a 24.35. She finished sixth overall, but fifth among college athletes. Baileh Simms ran a time of 25.23 and Hailey Patterson finished in 25.75.
Bennie Wesley was the highest finisher, with a time of 21.55, for the men in the 200-meter dash. He placed 14th overall and 11th among college athletes. Cheval ran a 22.36. Following him were Irby at 22.37, Tyler Hart (22.65) and Charlton (22.90).
Lauren Gibbs ran 2:19.06 and Morgan Long a time of 2:20.27 in the women’s 800-meter run. In the men’s 800-meter run, Calvin Miller finished fourth with a time of 1:53.33. Warren was 10th at 1:56.33 and Meirow was 14th at 1:57.48. Taylor Click finished 16th with a 1:57.96 in his first appearance with OU.
In the women’s 1500m, Tretbar paced the Sooners with a fourth-place finish in 4:37.07. Daunicia Demerson (4:51.34), Payton Baker (4:51.35) and Alexandria Arndorfer (4:51.71) finished 10th, 11th and 12th. Ashley Johnson finished the run in 5:08.69.
Madison Heidenburg placed fifth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:13.78. Kelsey McKee finished 12th with her 18:47.38.
Simms, Alexis Barnes, Haggerty and Hailey Patterson also competed in the women’s 4x100-meter relay and finished fifth overall with a time of 46.52. Bryce Douglas, Charlton, Irby and Hart finished eighth in the men’s 4x100-meter relay in 41.95.
Meagan Gray was the top finisher for the OU women in the pole vault. She finished second with a height of 13-03.50. Sydney King was fourth after clearing 11-11.75. Kenzie Shell and Julia Hanks didn’t record a height. On the men’s side, Kaleb Cooper tied for fourth with a vault of 14-11. Lucas Kelley was unable to clear a height.
In the discus, Jess Woodard was the highest finisher among collegiate women with a 173-4, which she recorded on her final attempt.
Daboub finished sixth in the shot put with a throw of 53-5.50. He had a successful throw in each round of the event, achieving his top result in round three.
Marcus Mitchell finished fourth in the triple jump with a jump of 49-5.50 on his final attempt. Brianna Rodriguez (39-7) and Najuana Strickland (38-11.75) finished fifth and sixth, respectively.
The final events of the meet were the 4x400-meter relay. The Oklahoma entry of Gibbs, Maguire, Long and Arndorfer finished eighth in the women's race with a time of 4:03.23. The men's team of Hart, Miller, Click and Douglas finished seventh in 3:18.85.
While VanHootegem likes what he sees after the first two weeks, there’s always room to improve. That is especially true of the little things that, if done, can produce desired results later.
“We want to make sure that our teams are continuing to do the right things. These meets are opportunities to see where the team is at and how well they are learning the material. It’s kind of like little quizzes in preparation for bigger tests. It’s learning how to do their events, whether running or field, and how they approach the meet. For example, are they warming up the right way. We want to make sure that our teams hold the highest standards of doing that. We’d still like to improve on the way that we approach things.”
The tests will become more challenging as OU heads to Austin and the 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Wednesday. The multis take the spotlight on Wednesday and early on Thursday. Running and field events take over Thursday afternoon and continue through the conclusion on Saturday.