WACO, Texas— The University of Oklahoma track and field teams concluded the 2018 Big 12 Outdoor Championship on Sunday evening in Waco. The women’s team finished fifth with 105 points; the men’s squad took seventh, scoring 71 points.
OU head coach Jim VanHootegem recapped the Sooners’ weekend, “There were a lot of great things that happened this weekend. Our men's team is young and we feel like with the number of points we lost last year, to be able to replenish them at the level we did, was a big step forward for our program. You look at the people coming back and how many points we return next year and see there can be a shift in our men's program."
VanHootegem added, "I don't think anyone who prognosticated this meet would have predicted we (the men's team) score as highly as we did, so that was highly encouraging. On the women's side, we're still a strong program. We had a lot of good things happened but a few not-so-good things happen. When you're up against other good teams, they can take advantage of that. We were happy with our overall three-day effort of our team, it just didn't reflect well in the placing. We could've had a nice place in this meet, but even when things didn't go well, we immediately fought back and there were a lot of outstanding performances."
"Obviously, it was great to see Jess Woodard perform at that level and be a repeat Big 12 champion and set a facility record on top of it. Medinah Spencer sets a school record and Leya Buchanan runs the second-fastest 100 (meters) in OU history," said the Sooners head coach.
The Sooners final day at the conference meet was highlighted by Jess Woodard winning the women’s shot put to claim her second consecutive outdoor conference title in the event. The senior’s best throw measured 59-03.50 (18.03 meters) to break the facility record.
Woodard’s title was the Sooners’ third conference crown on the weekend, following Vernon Turner’s high jump title and Sarah Scott’s 3,000-meter steeple victory on Saturday.
Also competing in the shot put, sophomore Meia Gordon took fourth with a throw of 51-01.75 (15.59 meters). Freshman Lauren Jones placed 11th with a personal-best throw of 48-08 (14.83 meters).
Freshman Falyn Reaugh took home fourth place in the women’s high jump, clearing 5-09.25 (1.76 meters). The height ties her outdoor PR and stands as 10th in school history.
Another program top-10 was recorded in the women’s triple jump by Essence Thomas. The freshman leaped a wind-aided 41-11.25 (12.78 meters) to take sixth in the event. Her second-best jump of 41-10.75 (12.77 meters) was wind-legal and is good for a personal best and a fifth-place spot in school history.
In the men’s 4x100-meter relay, the Sooners team of Bennie Wesley, Joseph Sheffield, Jackson Webb, and Xavier Brown finished in 39.92 seconds to take fourth place.
Running in the women’s 1,500 meters, senior Belle Wallace crossed the line in 4:32.65 to place seventh. In the 5,000 meters, Hayley Redwine finished 23rd in a time of 18:12.12.
After placing fourth in the weekend’s decathlon, Steven Jazdyk finished in a tie for 11th in the men’s pole vault. The senior cleared 16-0 (4.88 meters) in the event.
Freshman Camri Austin continued her strong season in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Austin finished in a personal record time of 13.36 seconds to take fourth. The time stands as fifth all-time in program history. Sophomore Bryce Douglas finished sixth in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, crossing the line in a wind-aided 14.16 seconds.
Participating in the men’s discus throw, sophomore Brad Daboub finished 10th with his best throw measuring 166-09 (50.82 meters). Freshman Cooper Campbell recorded a personal-best throw of 149-08 (45.61 meters) to place 12th.
Seniors Ama Pipi and Mia Mukes, running in the women’s 400 meters final, took fourth and eighth place, respectively. Pipi registered an outdoor PR time of 52.47 seconds. Mukes crossed the line in 54.55 seconds.
Running in the women’s 100-meter dash final, senior Leya Buchanan climbed the OU record books with a personal-best time of 11.17 seconds to take second place. The time is good for second all-time in program history.
Numerous personal bests were claimed in the men’s triple jump. Freshman Papay Glaywulu placed fourth in the event with an outdoor personal-best jump of 51-05.25 (15.65 meters). The mark stands as seventh all-time in Sooners history. Fellow freshman Garry Williams also registered a personal record with a leap of 50-10.25 (15.50 meters) to take fifth and put himself on the all-time top-10 list at ninth.
Additionally, in the triple jump, junior Greg Vann finished eighth with a wind-aided mark of 49-10.50 (15.20 meters). Vann’s wind-legal second-best jump of 49-3.5 (15.03 meters) was good for a personal record. Junior Marcus Mitchell finished 10th in the event, jumping 49-00.25 (14.94 meters).
In the men’s 100-meter dash final, freshman Joseph Sheffield finished seventh and sophomore Jackson Webb eighth, with respective times of 10.52 and 10.56 seconds.
Replacing her own program-record, senior Medinah Spencer took third in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, crossing the line in a record-breaking 58.03 seconds.
Also joining the program top-10 list was freshman Isaiah Levingston. Levingston finished third in the men’s 400-meter hurdles in a time of 50.51 seconds. The time is good for ninth all-time.
Seniors Leya Buchanan and Ama Pipi ran in the women’s 200-meter dash final, collecting third and seventh-place finishes. Buchanan finished in a PR time of 23.40 seconds, while Pipi crossed the line in 23.73 seconds.
Running in the men’s 5,000 meters, seniors Eric Alldritt and Liam Meirow both earned podium spots. Alldritt took fourth with a time of 14:40.15, Meirow finished in 14:53.35 to take eighth place.
In the final events of the weekend, the men’s and women’s 4x400-meter relays, the Sooners’ women’s team placed seventh in a time of 3:40.43. The men’s 4x4 squad finished eighth in 3:21.31.
"There were people who maybe weren't at their 100 percent today but they fought and did their best, so we're proud of the team and excited for the group that will be moving on to Sacramento,” Coach VanHootegem said.
Next up for the Sooners who qualify will be the West prelims, held May 24-26 in Sacramento, Calif., on the campus of Sacramento State. The Sooners will find out the qualifiers later this week.