NORMAN – Fighting the rain and the cold temperatures, Ashley Bryant, from Newcastle, Okla., led off the Sooners with a victory in the hammer throw on day one of the 48th annual John Jacobs Invitational at John Jacobs Track.
On her third attempt, Bryant recorded a mark of 191-11, which held as the best mark of the competition. Two of her other attempts would have also qualified for the title.
From there, the success continued for the crimson and cream as they went on to win the men’s and women’s invitational sections of the 1500-meter run. Belle Wallace won the women’s race with a time of 4:26.63 and Grayson Haws finished first in 3:47.67. Making the wins more significant was the fact that they are both Oklahoma products.
“I really liked the competitiveness of our group in the 1500,” said head coach Jim VanHootegem. “Obviously, we were happy to see two local athletes win the John Jacobs meet. Grayson is from Bethany and Belle is from Norman, so that was wonderful to see. There was good spirited efforts across the board.”
Oklahoma ended up going 1-2 in the men’s 1500-meter, with Jacob Burcham finishing at 3:48.60. Heath Warren ran 3:57.68, with Brendan Taylor behind him with a time of 3:59.75.
The Sooners had three top 5 finishers on the women’s side, and five in the top 10. Hayley Redwine finished third with 4:29.83 and Kelsey McKee was fourth in 4:34.27. Emma Dahl (4:39.50) and Brittany Tretbar (4:41.76) were seventh and eighth.
Elena Arriaza ran 4:45.10 and Isabella Rose ran 4:47.97 to complete the Sooner entries in the 1500.
There will be one more men’s race and two more for the women to determine the final standings of the event.
Following Bryant’s victory in the hammer, Charles Nguyen made a statement of his own in his hammer throw event. On his first attempt, he threw a 208-10, which was an improvement from his previous personal best of 205-08. On his second throw, he surpassed that with an impressive 210-9. In round four, Nguyen threw 209-8, meaning all three of his legal marks would have proved to be a PR.
Closing out the night on the track for OU was the 5,000-meter run, which featured many of the women’s 1500-meter runners. Rose was the top finisher with a fourth-place finish and a time of 17:30.34. Arriaza followed in fifth with a 17:34.47. Following that duo was Sarah Scott at 18:04.27 for ninth and Madison Heidenburg in 10th at 18:07.99, which was a personal best. Sophia Fernald finished in 19:56.08 and McKee at 20:23.66.
“A lot of those women came right back from the 1500 to run the 5000, which showed a lot of strength and maturity. It was great to see Madison have a PR.”
Steven Salvano of Tulsa won the men’s race with a 15:13.99.
The high school portion of the John Jacobs Invitational also took place on Friday, with both divisions coming down to the final event. Southmoore finished second in the 4x400-meter relay to win the girls’ division with 97 points. Duncan finished second with 91 points. In the boys’ division, Tuttle won the 4x400-meter relay to tie Putnam City West for first-place. They both scored 79 points. Shawnee finished third with 78 points.
Day two of the John Jacobs Invitational opens at 10 a.m. with the women’s javelin. The running events start at 12:45 p.m. with the 4x100-meter relays. A recap will be posted at the conclusion of the meet. Live results will be available online at http://live.pttiming.com/?mid=1172. Updates will be posted throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (OU_Track).