LAWRENCE, Kan.— In the team meeting held on Thursday night, head coach Jim VanHootegem challenged those who started off the meet to set the tone for the team.
The message was received by those who competed on the first day of the Big 12 Track and Field Championship, held at the University of Kansas' Rock Chalk Park.
In his first two events of the decathlon, Steven Jazdyk set personal bests. After running a time of 10.60 in the 100-meter dash for 952 points, he jumped 23-6.25 in the long jump for 854 points. All three attempts in the long jump (22-7, 23-6.25 and 22-9) would have been a PR for him as his previous best was 22-5.25. He added 593 points in the shot put with a throw of 38-7.75. In the high jump, he cleared 5-11.25, gaining 636 points. In the day's last event, the 400-meter dash, Jazdyk ran 52.94 for 684 points. He earned a total of 3719 points through the five events, which places him fifth with five events remaining.
Senior Charles Nguyen had a remarkable final Big 12 meet in the hammer throw, finishing as the runner-up in the event. Nguyen entered the day with his personal-best mark in the event at 210-9, which he surpassed on three of his six legal throws. On his third attempt, he set a personal best with a distance of 212-5. In round five, he threw 212-3, and on his final attempt, he threw his best mark of the afternoon of 215-5.
It was a pair of runner-up finishes in the hammer throw as Ashley Bryant earned the first team points of the meet for the Sooners with her runner-up finish in the first field event of the day. She recorded a mark of 199-5 on her fifth attempt of the day to pick up eight team points. Camille Burge threw her best mark of the competition with a 142-5 on her opening attempt.
The women added eight more points in the javelin as Gabby Kearney finished second as well in the javelin throw after a mark of 162-4 in the fifth round. Hours after the conclusion of the hammer throw, Bryant competed in the javelin throw, where she set a personal best in the event of 127-11. On the men's side, T.J. Noonan finished fourth after throwing 201-2, earning five points for OU.
The only track event of the day, the 10,000-meter run, closed out the night with Eric Alldritt in the men's race and Brittany Tretbar, Elena Arriaza and Isabella Rose following in the women's race. Alldritt scored five points for OU with a fourth-place finish and a huge PR of 29:46.72. His previous best time in the 25-lap event was 30:27.02, which he recorded in last year's conference meet. Tretbar was the top finisher for the Sooners on the women's side, finishing sixth at 34:43.77. Arriaza was eighth at 34:54.92, giving the women's team four more points. Rose crossed the line at 36:14.53.
Makayla Stephens currently sits in fifth place in the heptathlon after four events on day one with 3104 points. She opened up the combined events competition with a time of 14.86 in the 100-meter hurdles for 860 points. She then picked up 818 points in the high jump with a clearance of 5-5.75 and 598 points in the shot put with a throw of 36-3. To finish the day's events, Stephens ran 25.65 in the 200-meter for 828 points. Tomorrow, the competition will start off with the long jump, move to the javelin and finally the 800-meter run.
“I'm very pleased with our first-day competitors,” said VanHootegem. “Jazdyk got us off to a great start with lifetime bests in the 100 and long jump. Then there was Ashley moving up from fourth to second in the finals. Charles had a huge PR for a senior and it was a very solid Big 12 debut for Gabby. Then, we closed with strong efforts in the 10k. Eric is always a favorite on our team, so it was especially uplifting for our group to see him compete so well.”
The OU men and women are both in second in the team standings with the women having 20 points and the men with 18 points.
The combined events start off the second day of competition, with Jazdyk in the 110-meter hurdles at 10 a.m. CT and Stephens in the long jump at 11 a.m. It will be a full day of action, with the preliminary rounds of the track events amd finals in the men's high jump, men and women's long jump and shot put, and women's pole vault. The last events on the schedule are the women's and men's steeplechase at 7:45 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively.
“Tomorrow, we are looking forward to Steven and Makayla closing strong in the combined events, a great day of qualifying on the track, and more people fighting in finals like we saw today.”
A recap will be posted at the end of the day on Soonersports.com. Throughout the day, live results can be accessed at Deltatiming (http://results.deltatiming.com/big-12/tf/2017-big-12-outdoor-championships#/2017-05-12), or for those with subscriptions, FloTrack. Updates will also be provided through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (OU_Track).