Sooners Sweep Home Opener
NORMAN — Competing in their first home meet of 2019, the Oklahoma men's and women's track and field teams both took first at the Sooner Challenge inside Mosier Indoor Facility on Saturday.
The women's team totaled 196 points while the men finished with 190. Overall, the Sooners accumulated 19 event wins and 14 individual-best marks. Additionally, four individual athletes registered program top-10 marks in the weight throw: Camille Burge for the women and Bayley Campbell, Edward Jeans and Cooper Campbell for the men. Madison Langley-Walker also recorded a program top-10 performance in women's 60-meter hurdles.
"I like the spirit of it," OU head coach Jim VanHootegem said. "Across the events, the support for each other and the spirit of competition – some of that showed in the results. There are always things to work on ... but I thought it was another step forward.
"Sometimes there's the high of the first meet and then you get the hangover of the second meet, but I was really impressed with the energy levels," VanHootegem continued. "Coming off the first meet, the first week of classes, getting back into it – sometimes you get a flatter meet, but I thought we were able to maintain our energy levels."
Junior Camille Burge earned the Sooners' first win of the day, claiming the women's weight throw title with a personal-record throw of 57-10.25 (17.63 meters), improving her personal-best mark that ranks tenth all-time in OU history. Sophomore Lauren Jones finished as the runner up at 57-0 (17.37 meters).
All three of the OU men's weight throw competitors registered top-ten marks on Saturday. Freshman Bayley Campbell won the event with a toss of 60-0.25 (18.29 meters), ranking third-all time, while Jeans took second at 57-2 (17.42 meters), the fourth-best mark in school annals. Cooper Campbell's toss of 50-5.5 (15.38 meters) ranks ninth in the program records and earned him fourth place.
The Sooners also went 1-2 in the women's pole vault as Sydney King edged Mackenzie Shell in a jump-off at 13-5.5 (4.05 meters). For the men, Lucas Kelly took second, clearing 14-5.25 (4.40 meters).
Junior Hutch Helbig claimed another event win for the Sooners, placing first in the men's high jump with a height of 6-2.75 (1.90). Joining Helbig in the top three was freshman Will Kubicek at 5-7 (1.70).
Oklahoma swept the mile run as Elise Boisvert won the women's run in 5:13.06 and Derek King claimed the men's title in 4:17.34. Morgan Long joined Boisvert at the top of the women's mile run standings, earning second with a time of 5:14.14. Alongside King, three Sooner men also finished in the top four: Jacob Janzen in second (4:18.45), Brendan Taylor in third (4:19.11) and Tucker Desko in fourth (4:24.25).
The Sooners were dominant in the shot put, earning four top-five finishes for the women and two for the men. Meia Gordon took first for the second meet in a row, throwing 52-0.75 (15.87 meters). Faith Ette (14.39 meters) took second, Lauren Jones (14.19 meters) placed third and Lauryn Jones (12.75 meters) finished fifth.
In the men's event, Cooper Campbell also earned his second straight win with a throw of 56-6.5 (17.23 meters). Teammate Bradley Daboub was the runner-up, registering a mark of 56-0 (17.07 meters).
Back on the track, OU swept the top three spots of the women's 60-meter hurdles: Camri Austin took first in 8.41, Madison Langley-Walker placed second in 8.58 and Mahendra McWhite claimed third in 8.65. On the men's side, Bryce Douglas earned second (8.09) and Kubicek was fourth (8.70).
Junior Jackson Webb won the men's 60-meter dash in 6.78 seconds, and Joseph Sheffield finished close behind in third in 6.82 seconds. For the women, two Sooners finished in the top five: Alexis Barnes (7.67) and Ja'Leesa Giles (7.68) in second and fifth, respectively.
Jai'Lyn Merriweather earned a win in the 600-yard run, crossing the finish line in 1:23.52. Dai'Lyn Merriweather then claimed another Sooner win in the women's 400-meter dash, clocking in at 56.42. She was closely followed by teammate Myah Bowen (58.24) in second.
On the men's side of the 400 meter, four Sooners finished in the top five: Isaiah Levingston in second (50.14), Caleb Johnson in third (51.32), Myles Wheeler in fourth (51.98) and Helbig in fifth (55.06).
Jordyn Kaplan won the women's 800-meter dash in 2:21.26. For the men, Calvin Miller's last-second kick earned him first with a time of 1:58.32.
The Sooners also swept the 200-meter dashes. On the women's side, Giles ran 24.74 to take first while Kennedy Blackmon took second (24.93) and Amanda Van Buren finished third (25.15). For the men, Xavier Brown won with a time of 21.94 while Zac Martin claimed second in 22.37.
Junior Zach Gentry won the men's 5,000-meter run in 15:38.89 while teammate Andrew Doherty finished close behind in 15:47.55. For the women, Natalie O'Brien took second in 20:12.81
Sooners topped the podium in the women's triple jump with Symone Washington taking first with a leap of 39-7.25 (12.07 meters). Nichole Ezeoke finished close behind in second (12.06 meters) while Najuana Strickland was third (11.82 meters). The men added a pair of top-three finishes from Golden Eke in second (15.03 meters) and Greg Vann in third (14.81 meters).
The women's 4x400 relay of Langley-Walker, Kennedy Blackmon, Dai'lyn Merriweather and Jai'Lyn Merriweather crossed the finish line first in 3:47.14. The men's relay team of Zac Tucker, Caleb Johnson, Quoi Ellis, Zac Martin claimed third in 3:22.81.
In the men's long jump, sophomore Garry Williams started the day with an indoor personal-best 22-2.25 (6.76 meters), taking fourth overall.
In the women's high jump, Langley-Walker placed fifth, clearing 5-3 (1.60 meters). The women's long jump saw another pair of top-five finishes: Essence Thomas took third (5.93 meters) while Hailey Patterson claimed fourth (5.70 meters).
"It was a good day today," VanHootegem said. "It was nice to see the teams go out and have those type of performances. I think that a lot of people are ready to take the next step, and New York will be definitely a bigger step for us."
Up next, the Sooners' squad will split up next weekend when members will compete at the Dr. Sander Invitational/Columbia Challenge in New York City and the Texas Tech Classic and Multis competition in Lubbock, Texas. Both meets will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26.