NORMAN – Oklahoma freshman high jumper Vernon Turner was named the Big 12 Men's Track and Field Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced Wednesday afternoon.
Turner, a freshman from Yukon, Okla., broke his own program record over the weekend, jumping 7-7.75 (2.33 meters) to win the men’s high jump at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. The honor marks the first time a Sooner has earned a weekly track and field conference award since 2016.
The mark of 7-7.75 is the best indoor performance in collegiate history for a freshman, per the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Turner’s jump also marks a new program record, one he has broken twice already this indoor season, and ties for the best collegiate high jump this season.
Additionally, the jump ties as the fourth best all-time among collegians. The only three higher marks were registered in 1989 (7-9.25), 2013 (7-8.5) and 1990 (7-8.0). Turner ties Texas Tech senior Trey Culver who jumped 7-7.75 this January at the Corky Classic.
OU head coach Jim VanHootegem reflected on the freshman's weekend, "The great thing about Vernon's performance this weekend was that he really wasn't feeling great. But, with great intention, the great performers find a way."
The Sooners are back in action for the Big 12 Indoor Championship Feb. 23-24 (Friday-Saturday) in Ames, Iowa.