WACO, Texas— The Oklahoma track and field team continued their impressive start to the 2018 Big 12 Track and Field Outdoor Championship on Saturday. The Sooners collected two conference titles and numerous top-five finishes on the second day of competition.
OU head coach Jim VanHootegem recapped another successful day, “I was very pleased with our efforts today. Starting with Steven (Jazdyk) finishing up in the decathlon, he really fought through and that’s what we want to see out of our kids. Obviously, huge congrats to Vernon (Turner) in the high jump. That is a tremendous field. Whoever ends up the Big 12 champion in the high jump had to do a tremendous job and Vernon did that with the guys he had to beat.”
VanHootegem added, “Then, Sarah Scott was phenomenal. That was as exciting as it gets. For her to smash the school record and break ten minutes, but also win the title in the last 100 meters was a great boost for our team. I was happy with the people that qualified today and our team’s efforts across the board."
Heading into Sunday’s final day of competition, the Oklahoma women’s team is fourth with 45 points. The men’s team also sits in fourth place with 37 points.
Day two was highlighted by freshman Vernon Turner claiming the men’s high jump title and senior Sarah Scott winning the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase in a program-record time.
In the morning and early afternoon portion, senior Steven Jazdyk finished the men’s decathlon with 6,801 points to take a fourth-place finish, scoring five points for the OU men’s team.
Beginning the day’s field events, Vernon Turner continued his exceptional season with his first conference title. The freshman cleared an outdoor personal-best 7-05.75 (2.28 meters) to take the crown, a mark that stands as second nationally this season. Senior Carl Williams placed 10th in the event, going over the bar at 6-07 (2.01 meters).
The Sooners' second title of the day was claimed courtesy of senior Sarah Scott in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Scott moved from second to first in the final 100 meters to break her own school record in the steeple, crossing the line in 9:59.53.
In the women’s long jump, junior Hailey Patterson registered a personal record with a jump of 19-05.50 (5.93 meters) to place 11th. Freshman Essence Thomas finished 19th with a mark of 18-08.50 (5.70 meters).
Collecting 10 points for the Sooners’ men’s team was freshman Cooper Campbell and sophomore Brad Daboub in the men’s shot put. Campbell threw an outdoor PR of 59-02.25 (18.04 meters) to take third; Daboub claimed fifth with a throw of 57-08.25 (17.58 meters).
Senior Belle Wallace advanced to tomorrow’s women’s 1,500 meters final with a prelim time of 4:26.87. Hayley Redwine finished 17th in 4:43.56. In the men’s 1,500, sophomore Heath Warren finished 12th and freshman Derek King placed 13th in respective times of 3:59.40 and 4:02.41. Sophomore Calvin Miller came in 15th, finishing in 4:05.70.
Competing in the 100-meter hurdles preliminaries, freshman Camri Austin qualified for tomorrow’s final with a time of 13.51 seconds to take sixth out of all heats. Senior Cece Jackson finished 21st in 14.81 seconds. On the men’s side in the 110-meter hurdles, sophomore Bryce Douglas took fifth out of all heats in a time of 14.02 seconds to qualify for tomorrow’s final.
Qualifying for Sunday’s 400 meters women's final was seniors Ama Pipi and Mia Mukes. Pipi took fourth out of all heats, crossing the line in 52.26 seconds, an outdoor personal best for the senior and a time that stands as fifth in OU history. Mukes took eighth overall in 53.41 seconds. Freshman Evette Blanks narrowly missed the cut for the final, finishing in a PR time of 54.20 to finish 10th.
In the 100-meter dashes, five personal bests were recorded. On the women’s side, senior Leya Buchanan qualified for tomorrow’s final with an outdoor personal best of 11.26 seconds. The time is good for fourth all-time in program history. Also breaking a personal record was sophomore Amanda Van Buren, finishing in 11.61 seconds to place 10th.
Two Sooners advanced to Sunday’s men’s 100-meter dash final. Freshman Joseph Sheffield finished seventh in a PR time of 10.33 seconds; sophomore Jackson Webb took ninth with a personal best time of 10.42 seconds. Also recording a personal record was senior Bennie Wesley, crossing the line in 10.48 seconds to narrowly miss the cut and place 11th.
Running in the women’s 800 meters, senior Cece Moore finished 21st in 2:16.18.
Participating in the women’s 400-meter hurdles were seniors Medinah Spencer and Mia Mukes. Spencer claimed fifth out of all heats to qualify for tomorrow’s final with a time of 59.38 seconds. Mukes placed 15th, finishing in 1:03.88.
In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, freshman Isaiah Levingston advanced to tomorrow’s final with a time of 52.36 seconds. Sophomore Bryce Douglas crossed the line in 53.50 to place 11th in the event.
Two top-10 finishes and two personal bests were claimed by Sooners in the women’s pole vault competition. Juniors Sydney King and Meagan Gray placed sixth and eighth, respectively. King cleared a PR 13-07 (4.14 meters), while Gray recorded a best height of 13-03 (4.04 meters). Fellow junior Kenzie Shell finished 14th, clearing 12-03.25 (3.74 meters). Freshman Abby Bilsbury also recorded a personal best, going over the bar at 12-03.25 (3.74 meters) to finish 16th.
Senior Thomas Cheval took ninth in the men’s long jump with a leap of 24-01.50 (7.35 meters); junior Greg Vann placed 10th, jumping 23-05.50 (7.15 meters).
The final sprints of the day, the 200-meter dashes, saw two Sooners register personal bests. In the women’s competition, senior Leya Buchanan recorded a personal best time of 23.41 seconds to qualify for tomorrow’s final. Also qualifying for the final was senior Ama Pipi, crossing the line in 23.49 seconds to take eighth place. Sophomore Amanda Van Buren and junior Alexis Barnes finished 17th and 24th, respectively. In the men's 200 meters, sophomore Jackson Webb ran a PR 21.38 seconds to place 11th; fellow sophomore Xavier Brown crossed the line in 21.83 to finish 18th.
Concluding day two was the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase where Liam Meirow took fourth for the Sooners, claiming five points for the OU men’s team. The senior finished in a personal record time of 9:19.44.
VanHootegem continued, “Cooper Campbell, going from eighth to third place in the last round. Those are the sort of things that we love to see. Senior Bennie Wesley came out and PR-ed but barely missed the final. We’re okay with that, someone having a lifetime performance. That shows that he’s engaged."
"Also, Liam Meirow in the steeple after running in last night’s 10K. It shows character and the character of this team. We’re really excited for tomorrow and looking forward to scoring as many points as we can for the Sooners,” said the Oklahoma head coach.
The Sooners look to finish the Big 12 Outdoor Championship strong on Sunday, with events scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. CT and run until the championship ceremony at 9 p.m. after the 4x400-meter relays.