NORMAN — The Oklahoma men's and women's track and field teams will host their only home meet of the 2018 outdoor season next weekend. The John Jacobs Invitational will take place April 20-21 at the John Jacobs Track Complex. Among the teams scheduled to compete are UCLA, Wichita State, Tulsa, Central Oklahoma, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Missouri State, Oral Roberts, Oklahoma State, Central Arkansas, Barton Community College, and South Plains Junior College.
Friday's schedule will kick off at 5 p.m. CT with the women's hammer throw and conclude with the men's 5,000 meters at 8:30 p.m. Saturday's events get underway at 10 a.m. CT with the women's javelin and the meet will conclude with the men's 4x400-meter relay at 4:15 p.m. The high school invitational will be held Friday with events scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and conclude by 3:20 p.m. before the start of the collegiate meet. Admission to the John Jacobs Invitational is free of charge for all fans both days of the meet.
OKLAHOMA IN USTFCCCA RANKINGS
The Oklahoma women's track and field team checked in at No. 15 in the second regular season U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) outdoor rankings, released April 9. The ranking marks the second consecutive week the women’s squad has moved up in the USTFCCCA rankings, climbing two spots from their preseason rank of No. 17.
HEAD COACH JIM VANHOOTEGEM OUTLOOK
“The John Jacobs meet is an important meet to us. We wish we competed at home more, it’s important to our kids. They want to compete at the home stadium and in front of the home crowd. It’s also our senior day so it’s going to be really important to those people and we have a lot of outstanding seniors. Especially if you look at the women’s side, I might not want to show up to this meet because it’s going to be sad to see some of these people go.”
VanHootegem added, “We have a good field, highlighted by UCLA, just because they are coming the furthest. There are some great teams coming. The entries haven’t come in yet but when they do we’ll be able to see which fields are strongest. We’re looking forward to some great weather and putting on a great meet. It's something we look forward to every year. With the nature of the Penn Relays (not being a traditional meet), this is our last true track and field meet heading into the postseason. It’s everybody’s opportunity to try and do their best, whether it be setting a PR, going after school records, or people trying to make Big 12 rosters.”
49TH ANNUAL JOHN JACOBS INVITATIONAL
The Sooners’ lone home meet of the outdoor season gives them the opportunity to not only honor the past and legacy of championship coach John Jacobs, but the privilege of honoring the 2018 senior class. This year’s track and field senior class features 18 student-athletes, 11 from the women’s team and seven from the men’s squad. The seniors will be honored at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday before the conclusion of the meet.
In last year’s meet, two meet records were broken, one in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase by then-senior Dylan Blankenbaker and the other by current senior Ama Pipi in the women’s 200-meter dash. The Sooners’ women’s team tied for first and the men’s team took second place.
In addition to the senior tribute, there will be a special 200-meter Kid’s Race at 2 p.m. Children 12 and under are invited to participate. There will be an on-site registration prior to the race.
Parking during the day on Friday will be available in the easternmost end of the Duck Pond lot, accessible from Brooks Street, and the Parkview lot, located on the corner of George and Lindsey. On Saturday, the entire Duck Pond lot will be available for spectators. The Parkview lot will also be available for overflow. Spectators should access the facility from the north side of the track and there is no admission charge.
Heat sheets will be available on SoonerSports.com next week.
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