May 13, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. - University of Oklahoma junior Riley Masters came from behind to win the men’s 1,500-meter run title with a time of three minutes, 43.48 seconds. Masters led with 800 meters to go and dropped off to third before coming from behind to close strong and capture his first Big 12 Conference title. Masters was one of three Sooners to score in the event as Patrick Casey was third (3:43.78) and Eric Harasyn was sixth (3:44.42). Oklahoma finished third on the men's side with 91 points, while the women were sixth with 63 points.
Masters is the second Sooner to win a conference outdoor title in the men’s 1,500-meter run and the first in the Big 12 era. Randy Wilson won back-to-back conference championships in the event in 1978 and 1977.
“The race went out a little differently than we thought it would,” Masters said. “We thought we were going to have to take the pace from the beginning but [Oklahoma State] jumped out in front and ran some good team tactics against us. I ended up taking the lead with about 800 to go and when I got passed with about 300 meters to go, I was a little nervous. I didn’t know if I would come back. But, coming down the home stretch, the inside opened a little bit, and I was able to get in front and get the win. It was an exciting race, and exciting to have teammates apart of it. It’s a great day for OU.”
Luke Bryant bookended his career with Big 12 titles in the discus. Bryant threw 202 feet, one inch on his second attempt to win his second title in the event and first since 2009. Bryant is the seventh OU male to win a conference discus title and the only one to do so in the Big 12 era. He joins program record holder Ed Wade as the school’s only multi-winner in the event. Wade won three discus titles in 1988, 1986 and 1985.
“I thought it went really well,” Bryant said. “You can’t complain about a win, but it went awesome. I wanted to go out and put the pressure on everyone else in my first few throws and just knock it out and make everyone else catch me. It’s huge to win this again. I’ve really been hungry these past couple of years to go out and win it my senior year.”
George Alex made it a sweep in the long distance events as the senior won the 5,000-meter run two days after taking top honors in the 10,000-meter run. Alex crossed the line in 14:01.17, while Bill Kogel was fifth in 14:03.54. Alex is the first Oklahoma male runner to win a conference title in the 5,000-meter run and first to win both the long distance events at the conference meet.
“Conference is just a chance for us to do some old-fashioned racing,” Alex said. “Throughout the year, we’re all over the place, so this is a chance for us to come together as a team and compete for OU. [Winning both the 5,000 and 10,000] is a good indicator of where I’m at race-wise. It’s definitely a cool experience.”
OU had a fantastic day in the men’s hurdles as Tre Lathan and Eric Cray finished third in their respective events. Lathan crossed the line in a collegiate-best 13.65 in the 110-meter edition, while Cray also clocked a collegiate best, coming in at 50.46 in the 400-meter hurdles. Lathan’s time is the third fastest in the 110 hurdles in program history, while Cray remained in eighth on the all-time program list in the 400 hurdles.
Wayne Walls finished fourth in the triple jump at his first Big 12 Championship. Walls set a collegiate-best with a mark of 50-4.50, the seventh best in program history at Oklahoma. Kristen Rice took sixth in the women’s high jump, clearing a season’s best 5-8.25.
Kelsey Brown ran 4:28.01 to finish fourth in the women’s 1,500-meter run, while Molly Ferguson was seventh. Natalie Crain took seventh in the 800-meter run, crossing the line in 2:09.23.
Brittany Borman was OU’s top finisher in the women’s discus, leading a trio of OU scorers in the event. Borman finished fifth with a mark of 171-5, while Bailey Wagner was sixth (170-10). Lauren Guerrieri matched her collegiate-best, finishing eighth with a throw of 161-10.
Whitney Johnson finished seventh in the women’s triple jump with a collegiate-best 39-5. Johnson recorded the mark on her third attempt of the event.
The 4x100-meter relay team of Marcus Anderson, Cray, Ethan Baker and Evan Pierson clocked a season’s best 39.99 seconds to finish sixth, while the women’s team of Shawna Anderson, Sherine Wells, Shelleyeka Rolle and Ti’Anca Mock finished fifth (44.93). The men’s 4x400-meter relay team finished fifth, while the women’s team was seventh.
OU also had a trio of runners in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. Patrick Gomez was the top finisher, placing 10th overall. Landon Sharp finished ninth in the men’s high jump.
Oklahoma ended the weekend with six individual championships, matching the team’s 2011 total. In addition to Masters (1500), Bryant (discus) and Alex (5000 and 10000), Brittany Borman (javelin) and Tia Brooks (shot put) also won titles.
The Sooners return to action May 24-26 at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas.
Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships – Day Three Results
R.V. Christian Track Complex – Manhattan, Kan. – May 13, 2012
Women’s 800m Run: 7. Natalie Crain, 2:09.23; Women’s 1500m Run: 4. Kelsey Brown, 4:28.01, 7. Molly Ferguson, 4:39.56; Men’s 1500m Run: 1. Riley Masters, 3:43.48, 3. Patrick Casey, 3:43.78, 6. Eric Harasyn, 3:44.42; Men’s 3000m Steeplechase: 10. Patrick Gomez, 9:12.87; 12. Daniel Nicolls, 9:18.66; 14. Kevin Schwab, 9:28.21; Men’s 5000m Run: 1. George Alex, 14:01.17; 3. Bill Kogel, 14.03.54; 15. Kevin Williams, 14:28.43; Men’s 110m Hurdles: 3. Tre Lathan, 13.65; Men’s 400m Hurdles: 3. Eric Cray, 50.46; Women’s 4x100m Relay: 5. Anderson, Wells, Rolle, Mock, 44.93; Men’s 4x100m Relay: 6. Anderson, Cray, Baker, Pierson, 39.99; Women’s 4x400m Relay: Shakeeri Cole, Shelleyeka Rolle, Claire McConnell, Sherine Wells, 3:39.80; Men’s 4x400m Relay: 5. Jamel Wood, Eric Cray, Marcus Anderson, Evan Pierson, 3:10.08; Women’s High Jump: 6. Kristen Rice, 5-8.25_; Men’s High Jump: 9. Landon Sharp, 6-7; Women’s Triple Jump: 7. Whitney Johnson, 39-5; Men’s Triple Jump: 4. Wayne Walls, 50-4.50; Women’s Discus Throw: 5. Brittany Borman, 171-5, 6. Bailey Wagner, 170-10, 8. Lauren Guerrieri, 161-10; Men’s Discus Throw: 1. Luke Bryant, 202-1