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Baker Closes Brutus Hamilton Inv. With Win
April 26, 2014

BERKELEY, Calif. – Senior sprinter Ethan Baker won the 400-meter dash on Saturday at day two of the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. Baker recorded a 47.02, his best time of the season en route to his first-place finish.

"It was good to see Ethan get the win today," said head coach Jim VanHootegem. "He is a big part of what we are trying to do as a team at the Big 12 Championships."

Senior Nathaniel Winfrey also ran in the men’s 400-meter dash, finishing fifth in the race and recording a 48.66, a personal best. For the Sooner women, Daunicia Demerson finished fourth with a 55.96 and Payton Baker finished 10th with a 58.17.

The Sooners had a pair of top five finishers in the 100-meter hurdles as Geo Tamez-Reyna finished third in the race with a time of 14.06 and Olivia Haggerty placed two spots back in fifth with a 14.68.

Cessily Jones had a solid day on the track, scoring in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Jones finished fourth in the 100 with an 11.98 and sixth in the 200 with a 24.57.

The OU distance group added to its already successful season with another solid day on the track. Alex Deir finished third in the mile with a 4:03.72 and teammate Jacob Burcham took fourth with a 4:03.93. Molly Williams added a third-place finish in the women’s 1500 with a 4:26.81.

Malcolm Wankel recorded a personal best 1:50.45 in the men’s 800-meter run en route to a third-place finish, while Marissa Codispodi finished 14th with a 2:18.84 in the women’s race.

The Sooners opened the day on the track with a pair of solid performances in the men's and women’s 4X100 relay. The women’s team, which consisted of Demerson, Jones, Haggerty and Daye Shon Roberson, finished second in the race with a 46.28, while the men’s team of Baker, Matthias Wicks, Waymon Storey Jr., and Rolyce Boston placed third with a 41.02.

The field events also produced points in the team race for OU. Everette Favor tied for first in the pole vault after clearing 16-5.25. Morgan Nichols finished sixth in the women’s competition with a mark of 11-1.00. Freshman Garrison LeRock closed out the vertical jumps, placing second in the high jump after clearing 6-10.75.

“Garrison LeRock is a great representative of our program,” VanHootegem said. “We are happy to see him set a PR and we think he has more in him.”

Nolan Hay, with a 23-10.25, and Hayden McClain, with a 22-6.50, added to the team’s success in the jumps, finishing third and fifth, respectively, in the long jump.

Alex Morgan led the Sooner throwers on Saturday with a personal best 173-6.00 in the discus en route to a third-place finish. Kate Foster finished fifth in the event, throwing the discus 163-2.00. Austin Perry added another top-five finish to the list for the Sooners, finishing fourth in the shot put (55-2.00).

“Alex Morgan is having a very special season,” explained VanHootegem. “It is quite rare for someone to be as consistent as she has been. I was extremely pleased with the performances of all of our hammer and discus throwers.”

The two-day meet was a four-team scoring one that included California, Utah State, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The Sooners produced 29 points in the women's competition Friday to finish second in the four-event Open competition, then finished fourth in the Invitational meet with 77.5 points in the 15 events Saturday. The OU men finished fourth Friday with 18 points and finished fourth in Saturday's team standings with 72 points.

One meet remains in the regular season as the Sooners head to Starkville, Miss., to compete in the Jace Lacoste Invitational on Saturday, May 3. The Big 12 Championships are scheduled May 16-18 in Lubbock, Texas. 

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