Bryant Sets Record as OU Opens Vandy Invite
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ashley Bryant set a school record in the weight throw to highlight the Oklahoma track and field teams' opening day at the Vanderbilt Invitational on Friday.
Bryant posted a mark of 19.53 meters (64-1.00) to pass Sarah Tolson’s record set in 2016, 19.44 meters. Overall, the redshirt senior placed third among collegiate competitors at the event.
“It was great having a school record in the weight throw, and I know Ashley is proud,” OU head coach Jim VanHootegem said. “It was an exciting competition, and did the right thing: she let the competition bring out something great in her.”
In total, 30 Sooners competed in nine events on the first day of the competitive meet that features over 700 athletes representing 20 schools.
Joining Bryant in recording program top-10 marks on the day were seniors Belle Wallace and Sarah Scott, who took first and second, respectively, in the women’s 5,000-meter run. Their respective times of 16:46.26 and 16:58.27 stand as the seventh- and ninth-best in school history.
“Finishing the night, obviously we were really pleased with great performances from Belle and Sarah in the 5K,” VanHootegem said.
Wallace and Scott were joined in the top-five by teammate Isabella Rose, who placed fifth with a time of 17:12.36. In the men’s 5,000 meters, seniors Eric Aldritt and Liam Meirow placed fourth and sixth, respectively, crossing the finish line in 14:41.43 and 14:51.71.
Senior Leya Buchanan took second place in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.00 seconds. Freshman Ja’Leesa Giles also impressed in the event, finishing fourth among collegiate competitors behind a time of 24.39 in her 200-meter debut.
Additionally, Medinah Spencer, Sabrina Mason and Amanda Van Buren all placed in the top 10 out of 70 finishers in the 200 meters, earning seventh (24.51), eighth (24.54) and tenth (24.60) place, respectively, among collegiate competitors.
On the men’s side of the event, three Sooners claimed top-10 placings in Joseph Sheffield (sixth, 21.95), Xavier Brown (seventh, 21.98) and Jackson Webb (22.03).
In the high jump, freshman Falyn Reaugh and senior Makayla Stephens took fourth and fifth place, respectively, on the women’s side by virtue of attempts after both cleared 1.70 meters. The height was a collegiate best for Reaugh and matched Stephens’ PR.
In his first appearance of the season, senior Carl Williams placed eighth in the men’s high jump with a mark of 2.00 meters.
Three men’s and women’s long jumpers put together top-10 showings on Friday. For the men, Thomas Cheval claimed seventh (7.33 meters) while Greg Vann finished close behind in eighth (7.32 meters). Freshman Essence Thomas was the best female Sooner in the event, earning ninth in her first collegiate long jump with a mark of 5.79 meters.
Overall, VanHootegem noted an impressive attitude from his team.
“We were really pleased with the energy level,” he explained. “The first meet, we saw a lot of great energy, but sometimes there can be a bit of a hangover from that, that you have going into the second meet. I thought that people brought really good energy.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow, and I’m hoping that we continue to perform at this level,” he added.
The Vanderbilt Invitational concludes on Saturday with action beginning at 10 a.m. CT and Sooners first competing at 11 a.m. CT.