NORMAN — The Oklahoma track and field teams concluded their weekend of competition Saturday at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark. The Sooners impressed, recording nine program top-10 marks, with three coming on Friday afternoon and six in Saturday’s competition.
“It was a good meet for us," OU head coach Jim VanHootegem said. "I think we accomplished our mission of setting up our team for the upcoming Big 12 Championships.”
The weekend was highlighted by freshman Vernon Turner continuing the dominant start to his freshman season with a jump of 7'-7.75" (2.33 meters) to take first place in the men’s high jump invitational. His effort matched the best collegiate high jump this season and broke his own program record. The jump also tied as the fourth best all-time among collegians.
“That puts him (Turner) into elite company of collegians who have jumped 2.33 (meters). An examination of that list would tell you just how special that is,” Van Hootegem said.
“Again, we had big-time performances from Vernon and Jess (Woodard) today, along with the women's relay,” Van Hootegem added. “We are just as encouraged with a
Senior Jess Woodard took first in the women’s shot put with a throw of 17.58 meters (57'-8.25"). It marked her personal best and replaced her own mark for third in Sooners history. Redshirt sophomore Meia Gordon recorded another Sooners top-10 finish, taking third in the event with a mark of 15.99 meters (52'-5.5").
In the men’s long jump, redshirt senior Thomas Cheval and junior Greg Vann finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with jumps of 7.43 and 7.41, both season bests for the Sooners. Additionally, senior Ashley Bryant won the women’s weight throw with an exceptional throw of 19.95, a distance that would place first in program history if not for her own first-place mark of 20.07 set this season at the Texas Tech Classic.
Friday’s events included numerous Sooners recording personal bests. In the women’s 400-meter dash, senior Mia Mukes and freshman Evette Blanks finished with times of 54.37 and 54.96, respectively, to set PR marks. Mukes' time stands as ninth fastest in OU history. Redshirt sophomore Camille Burge improved her personal best in the women’s weight throw with a mark of 17.31 meters, good enough for tenth in Sooners history. Redshirt sophomore Calvin Miller finished first in the men’s 800-meter run with a time of 1:52.57, also a personal best.
Also marking PRs were sophomore Heath Warren and junior Andrew Doherty in the men’s mile run invite, with times of 4:10.20 and 4:18.62, respectively. Warren took first and Doherty seventh in the event among college competitors. Freshman Camri Austin set a personal record with a time of 8.38 in the women’s 60-meter hurdle prelims Friday, a mark that’s fifth in program history in the event. Sophomore Xavier Brown also recorded a personal record time of 6.79 in the men’s 60-meter dash prelims, a time that ties for second best among Sooners this season.
The only OU representative competing at the Iowa State Classic Friday evening, Belle Wallace finished the women’s 3000 meters 11th among the collegiate competition with a time of 9:23.95, a P.R. for the senior.
The Sooners started Saturday with a top-10 finish in the women’s pole vault with junior Sydney King placing fourth among college competitors with a mark of 3.99m (13'1"). Sophomore Xavier Brown recorded another personal best in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 21.38, taking fifth in the event. Sophomore Jackson Webb improved his PR with a time of 21.50 to take 12th. In the women’s 200-meter dash, the senior duo of Leya Buchanan and Medinah Spencer took fourth and eighth, respectively, turning in times that mark seventh and eighth in Sooners history. In the women’s 3000-meter run, senior Sarah Scott took first in the collegiate competition, finishing in 9:43.32, a mark that stands 10th all-time in Sooners history. Sophomore Isabella Rose took third among college competitors in the event.
Concluding Saturday’s competition in the women’s high jump, freshman Falyn Reaugh placed fourth, clearing 1.70 meters. Fellow freshman Essence Thomas took third among the collegiate competition in the women’s triple jump. Freshman Cooper Campbell finished third in the men’s shot put with a throw of 17.72 meters (58'-1.75") while sophomore Bradley Daboub took seventh with a throw of 17.19 meters (56'-4.75"). The OU women’s 4x400-meter relay team took third in the final running event of the day with a time of 3:34.05, a mark first in Sooners history in the event.
“The relay is so great because you are running for your teammates," VanHootegem reflected on the finish. "Evette (Blanks) doesn't run that leg on her own. She runs it because three others are counting on her. That's how everyone should approach their events.”
The Sooners are back in action for the Big 12 Indoor Championships Feb. 23-24 (Friday-Saturday) in Ames, Iowa.