OU Opens NCAAs With Three All-Americans

Patrick Dunn
By Patrick Dunn
Communications Assistant

EUGENE, Ore.—The University of Oklahoma track and field teams began competition Wednesday and Thursday at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships inside historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Thursday’s competition was highlighted by three All-America performances by the women’s throws group and a school record and finals qualification by redshirt junior Sarah Scott in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

OU head coach Jim VanHootegem recapped a successful start to the national championship meet, “We started the day really well with another school record for Sarah (Scott) in the steeplechase. She’s really found a whole new level and has been able to be consistent at that level. There are things that she thinks she can do better to run even better in the final so we’re excited to see her run."

VanHootegem added, "Obviously, a huge performance for Jess Woodard. To have an athlete that is that accomplished and experienced to have such a huge PR on that type of stage is something special. The rest of the group we’re split down the middle. We're excited about athletes like Camri (Austin) and Meia (Gordon) getting their first taste of the NCAA meet, but also seeing some seniors finish that we definitely are going to miss.”

Oklahoma’s Thursday action began with senior Ashley Bryant competing in the women’s hammer throw final. Bryant’s best throw reached 205-10 (62.75 meters), landing her an 11th-place finish and second team All-America honors. Bryant concludes her Sooners career as the school-record holder in the women’s weight throw and second place all-time in the hammer throw.

Senior Jess Woodard finished her OU shot put career with a bang, launching a personal-best throw of 61-3.5 (18.68 meters) to take second place and claim first-team All-America honors. Sophomore Meia Gordon also competed in the women’s shot put, taking 13th place with a throw of 54-2 (16.51 meters). With the top-16 finish, Gordon was named a second team All-American in the event.

Woodard will conclude her decorated Sooners career on Saturday in the women’s discus throw final at 5:05 p.m. CT.

Redshirt junior Sarah Scott was the first on the track for the Sooners on Thursday, running in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Scott broke her own school record in the semifinal, crossing the line in 9:56.46 to take eighth place out of all semifinal heats. With the time she qualifies for Saturday’s final at 5:54 p.m. CT.

Competing in the women’s 100-meter hurdles semifinal, freshman Camri Austin finished in 13.55 seconds to place 22nd. Austin misses the cut for the final but concludes an exceptional debut season for the Sooners that includes a second-place spot on the program top-10 list in the 100-meter hurdles.

Senior Leya Buchanan’s OU career came to a close in the women’s 100-meter dash semifinals. Buchanan crossed the finish line in 11.38 seconds to place 18th, narrowly missing the top 16 and an All-America distinction. The senior finishes her Sooners career in the program top-10 ranks as second all-time in the 100 meters and in the top 10 in the indoor 60 and 200 meters, along with the outdoor 200 meters.

Fellow sprints senior Ama Pipi saw her time as a Sooner conclude in the women’s 400 meters. Pipi finished in 53.60 seconds to place 22nd. Pipi leaves OU as the school-record holder in the indoor 400 meters and among the top-10 in the indoor 60 and 200 meters, as well as the outdoor 200 and 400 meters.

Running in the 400-meter hurdles, senior Medinah Spencer’s Oklahoma career also came to an end in the championship semifinal. Spencer finished 22nd in a time of 1:00.02. Spencer’s time as a Sooner includes the program record in the 400-meter hurdles and ninth all-time in the indoor 200 meters.

The Sooners championship action began on Wednesday with the men’s 4x1 relay team competing in the 4x100-meter relay competition. The group crossed the line in 40.04 seconds but failed to qualify for Saturday’s final due to a disqualification on a handoff outside the zone, unfortunately.

OU continues competition Friday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with freshmen Vernon Turner in the men’s high jump and Papay Glaywulu in the men’s triple jump.

Live results from the NCAA Outdoor Championships will be available through Flash Results. The meet will be broadcast throughout the weekend by ESPN's family of networks, broadcast info can be found here.

For updates and more information on Oklahoma track and field, follow the Sooners on Twitter and Instagram (@OU_Track) and like Oklahoma Sooners Track & Field and Cross Country on Facebook.