Sooners Successful in Los Angeles
NORMAN - The University of Oklahoma men's and women's track and field teams found success at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational on the campus of UCLA on Saturday. The Sooners tallied 15 event victories and nine second-place finishes on the weekend.
Oklahoma claimed its first victory of the day in the men's hammer throw, where freshman Bayley Campbell won with a throw of 217-2 (66.20m). Sophomore Edward Jeans claimed third place with a toss of 208-1 (63.43m). Campbell's title was his second in as many weeks, also winning the event at The Reveille on Apr. 6 in College Station, Texas. OU also claimed the third-place spot in the women's hammer, with sophomore Lauren Jones recording a mark of 183-6 (55.95m).
Entering the weekend, both the Oklahoma's men's and women's triple jump squads were ranked first in the nation in the USTFCCCA's first event squad rankings of the outdoor season. The jumpers carried the momentum into competition, winning both events. Sophomore Papay Glaywulu brought home the men's title, leaping 51-9.75 (15.79m), while fellow sophomore Garry Williams took second with his jump of 50-7.25 (15.42m). Senior Marcus Mitchell secured fifth place with an effort of 46-5.5 (14.16m).
The Sooners not only won the women's triple jump, but they also occupied the top six spots. Sophomore Essence Thomas claimed the win, leaping 42-6 (12.95) to jump to third on OU's all-time performance list. Senior Najuana Strickland moves on to the list at ninth after jumping a PR 40-9.75 (12.44m) for second place. Following the duo, freshman Allanah Lee (40-6.25; 12.35m) earned third, freshman Symone Washington (40-1.5; 12.23m; 0.6) took fourth, sophomore Nura Muhammad (39-11.25; 12.17m) rounded out the top five with a personal best and freshman Nicole Ezeoke (39-0.25; 11.89m) finished sixth.
Senior Greg Vann and sophomore Langdon Williams also represented the Sooners in the horizontal jumps, going 1-2 in the men's long jump with respective leaps of 24-5.75 (7.46m) and 23-11.5 (7.30m). Williams' mark is a personal record.
Two Southern California products highlighted the action on the track as they returned to compete in their home state. For the second time in three weeks, freshman Haley Herberg won the women's 1,500-meter run at UCLA's Drake Stadium, about 70 miles from her hometown of Mission Viejo, Calif. Herberg followed her win at the UCLA Bob Larsen Distance Carnival on Mar. 29 with a winning time of 4:25.01 on Saturday. Junior Amanda Van Buren, from San Diego, earned her first collegiate individual outdoor win, taking the women's 100-meter dash title in 12.10 (-1.0).
In the men's 100-meter dash, junior Jackson Webb capped off the Sooners 100 meters sweep, clocking in at 10.60 (0.6) for the win. Vann finished the dash in 10.79 (0.6), good for third place.
The Sooners didn't slow down on their way to also sweeping the 200-meter dashes. The men went 1-2-3, led by sophomore Joseph Sheffield with a time of 20.89 (2.3). Junior Xavier Brown finished in second place with a mark of 21.14 (2.3), while freshman Quoi Ellis claimed third, crossing the line in a personal-best time of 21.23 (2.3). Sophomore Dai'Lyn Merriweather was the first collegiate runner to cross the line in the women's dash, owning a time of 23.93 (1.5). Sophomore Ja'Leesa Giles wasn't far behind, finishing second at 24.17 (1.5).
Oklahoma saw victories in both the women's 100-meter hurdles and men's 110-meter hurdles. Sophomore Camri Austin earned her second victory of the 2019 season in the 100-meter hurdles with her time of 13.91 (1.2). Junior Bryce Douglas brought home the 110-meter hurdle title, crossing the line in 14.28 (-0.6).
Sophomore Jai'Lyn Merriweather claimed third place in the women's 400-meter dash with her time of 54.70, while freshman Kennedy Blackmon grabbed fourth place at 55.51. Sophomore Isaiah Levingston took sixth place in the men's 400, recording a mark of 49.07.
Sophomore Ackeen Colley clinched a win in the men's 800-meter run with a time of 1:49.94. Freshman Luke George recorded a 3:46.96 in the men's 1,500-meter run to take second place, while junior Heath Warren ran a 3:55.80 for fifth place. Senior Zach Gentry collected a personal-record time of 8:41.08 on his way to a third-place finish in the men's 3,000-meter run.
In the women's pole vault, senior Meagan Gray took the bar one step higher than the rest of the field, clearing 13-9 (4.19m) for the victory. Senior Sydney King cleared 12-3 (4.04m) for third place, while freshman Gabby Carson and sophomore Abby Bilsbury both cleared 12-3.25 (3.74m) to finish fourth and fifth, respectively, by virtue of attempts.
The Sooners collected second-place finishes in three throwing events. Sophomore Josh Haus took second in the men's javelin throw with a mark of 202-2 (61.64m). Redshirt junior Meia Gordon picked up the other two runner-up finishes in the shot put and discus. Gordon recorded a personal-best throw of 55-3.5 (16.86m) in the shot put to improve her fourth-place spot on OU's all-time top-10 list, while picking up a mark of 154-1 (46.97m) in the discus. Freshman Faith Ette took third in the shot put at 47-8.5 (14.54m), and sophomore Lauren Jones claimed second in the discus with a throw of 153-1 (46.67m).
Oklahoma took fourth and sixth in both the men's shot put and discus. Junior Brad Daboub secured fourth place in the discus with a mark of 157-10 (48.12m) and sixth place among collegiate competition in the shot put, throwing it 53-11.75 (16.45m). Sophomore Cooper Campbell owned the fourth-best collegiate spot in the shot put with a personal-best 61-2.25 (18.65m). He improves his spot at fourth on OU's all-time performance list. Freshman Kristo Simulask took sixth in the discus at 125-4 (38.21m).
Sophomore Falyn Reaugh cleared 5-8 (1.73m) on her way to third place in the women's high jump, while redshirt senior Makayla Stephens finished sixth, clearing 5-4.25 (1.63m).
The Sooners' relay teams opened and closed the invitational's running events. In the day's first event on the track, Webb, Brown, Sheffield and Ellis won the men's 4x100-meter relay with a tie of 39.61. Van Buren, Dai'Lyn Merriweather, Giles and Blackmon ran the women's 4x100 uncontested, clocking a time of 45.67. Martin, Colley, Tucker and Levingston teamed up to take third place in the men's 4x400 meter relay at 3:12.98, and, in the meet's final event, Dai'Lyn Merriweather, Blackmon, Giles and Jai'Lyn Merriweather secured OU's final victory, running the women's 4x400 relay in 3:40.47.
Up next, The Sooners host the annual John Jacobs Invitational on Apr. 19-20, their first home outdoor meet of the season. The meet begins at the John Jacobs Track Complex on Friday, Apr. 19, at 5 p.m. and will continue at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Apr. 20. The Sooners will also honor this year's senior class during the meet. Admission to the John Jacobs Invitational is free of charge.