Williams, Buchanan Win in Sooner Pentathlon

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

NORMAN — Senior Leya Buchanan and freshman Langdon Williams claimed first place at the fifth Sooner Pentathlon on Tuesday night. The annual intrasquad competition was held inside Moiser Indoor Track Facility.

Buchanan's 294 points led the women's sprints team to victory in the event. Mia Mukes (282 points), Ama Pipi (277) and Amanda Van Buren (259 points) also finished as scorers for the sprints squad to toal 1,112 points. 

On the men's side, Williams tallied 373 points to pace the men's jumps team in its win with 1,456 points overall. Other contributors from the jumps group included Shon Howard (364 points), Steven Jazdyk (361 points) and Marcus Mitchell (358 points).

In the Sooner Pentathlon, the traditional pentathlon events are replaced by a 30-meter dash, a standing long jump, a standing triple jump, an over-the-head backward shot put and a forward, between-the-legs throw. The five events are not considered to be advantageous to any of the events.

"These events favor the best athlete," OU head coach Jim VanHootegem said. "They’re not really so event-specific. They’re measuring power, elasticity and acceleration. We want to see how people are progressing from year to year, and we want to see how our team is progressing."

The 2017 Pentathlon saw several records broken. In the men's 30-meter dash, freshman Xavier Brown clocked in at 3.77 seconds, .04 seconds better than the previous best. Junior Gregg Vann recorded 10.52 meters in the standing triple jump, clearing his own record by .54 meters. Additionally, Marcus Mitchell jumped 3.40 meters in the standing long jump to best the previous record, 3.34 meters.

Pipi set two records for the women. She ran the 30-meter dash in 4.16 seconds, defeating her own record by .02 seconds. In the standing triple jump, Pipi jumped 8.43 meters, .18 meters better than the previous record.

VanHootegem said the pentathlon provides a unique opportunity for his team to compete before the season begins.

"This is our first test – we consider this our first competition," he said. "We want to see how people compete. There’s the phrase, ‘How you do anything is the way you do everything.’ We want to see how people respond, how they adjust, how they respond to a failure. We were really happy with the way the team performed. There was a lot of spirit. Records were broken.

"It was a passing grade," VanHootegem continued. "The spirit was there, the efforts were there. The same way that a pole vaulter wouldn’t go to the first track meet without having pole vaulted, you should be competing in practice. We don’t want to go to the track meets and have to figure out how to compete. We want to learn how to compete on a regular basis. This showed me that this team knows how to compete."

The Sooners begin their indoor season on Jan. 12 at the Leonard Hilton Memorial Invite in Houston, Texas.

Men's Top Three Finishers
Langdon Williams
Shon Howard
Steven Jazdyk

Women's Top Three Finishers
Leya Buchanan
Mia Mukes
Ama Pipi

Event Winners
30-meter dash: Xavier Brown; Ama Pipi
Over-the-head backwards shot: Langdon Williams; Mia Mukes
Between-the-legs shot: Langdon Williams; Mia Mukes
Standing triple jump: Greg Vann; Ama Pipi
Standing long jump: Marcus Mitchell; Ama Pipi