Oklahoma men finish second while Sooner women end up in sixth.
May 16, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Ronnie Ash, Amy Backel and Karen Shump all picked up individual Big 12 titles to give OU five for the weekend as the Oklahoma men finished second with 114 points and the women sixth with 76.5 points Sunday at the Big 12 Championships. In what seemed like a replay of the Big 12 Indoor Championships, the men’s team race came down to the final event of the day, the 4x400-meter relay. The outdoor result was different for the Sooners, who won the Big 12 indoor crown, however, as Nebraska edged the team by four points with a total of 118 points.
Heading into the final event, Nebraska had a five-point edge on OU with the Huskers in the first heat and OU in the second. Nebraska ended up finishing fifth overall in the race to pick up four final points and the Sooners, running against two of the nation’s top three 4x4s in Baylor and Texas A&M in the final heat, were unable to capture the race win, finishing fourth in a time of 3:06.60.
The weekend was filled with highlights for Oklahoma including Ash’s win that gave the junior a Big 12 sweep in the short hurdles after the Raleigh, N.C., native won the Big 12 60-meter hurdles title during the indoor season. The women’s throws group accumulated three titles on the weekend as Shump (shot put) and Backel (javelin) joined Brittany Borman, who won the discus on Saturday, a top the awards podium.
Like Ash, Shump also accomplished the Big 12 indoor/outdoor sweep after winning the shot put at the Big 12 Indoor Championships. K.P. Singh claimed an indoor/outdoor sweep Friday with a win in the men’s hammer throw. With the five wins, Oklahoma now has 409 individual conference champions in the history of the program.
Ash reclaimed his title as the No. 1 athlete in the nation in the 110 hurdles with a time of 13.31, the second-fastest time in the world this year. Running against the nation’s top collegiate athlete entering the meet, Nebraska’s Lehann Fourie, Ash came from behind after a challenging start to keep his undefeated season alive. The result broke a seven-year old Big 12 Championships meet record and three-year old Audrey J. Walton Track and Field Stadium record. The win also lowers Ash’s own Oklahoma record and gave the program its third conference title in the event and the first since Terry Blackshire in 1996.
“The field we have definitely gives me more motivation, that and my undefeated record on the season. I wanted to keep that going into the regional,” said Ash. “In the beginning I got out a little slow and had a few people in front of me. I peeked over to the left and saw Lehann Fourie (Nebraska) ahead of me and I knew I had to pick it up. Once I started picking it up and reeling people in, I started to feel real good.”
The win breaks up a Texas Tech stronghold on the conference crown in the event. The Red Raiders entered the meet with the last five titles in the event.
In the throws ring north of the track, Karen Shump followed Ash’s lead and captured the Big 12 indoor/outdoor sweep in the shot put as the redshirt-freshman won the event with a throw of 54-8.75 (16.68). Just like at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, OU picked up a 1-2 sweep in the event as Tia Brooks finished second behind Shump with a throw of 53-7.00 (16.33).
Shump’s win in the shot put is Oklahoma’s fifth conference win in the event as Shump has the chance to follow in the footsteps of Cecil Hansen who won four conference titles in the event.
A 2008 All-American in the javelin, Backel shattered her PR by over 10 feet as she easily won the event with a throw of 182-5 (55.60) on her sixth and final attempt. The win was without drama though as Backel lead the entire competition before unleashing the throw that broke a 12-year old Audrey J. Walton Track and Field Stadium record. Like the shot put, Oklahoma finished 1-2 in the javelin as Borman, Saturday’s discus winner, unleashed a throw of 168-0 (51.22) on her sixth and final attempt to move from third to second.
The win by Backel gives Oklahoma its third conference title in the women’s javelin as Cecil Hansen won the event twice, in 1978 and 1981. With the throw, Backel moves into third overall in the nation.
The OU men were bolstered in the 100-meter dash where the Big 12 Indoor 60-meter champion, Mookie Salaam ran a personal best time of 10.25 to finish second overall. The time bettered Salaam’s previous PR by a half second and is the fourth fastest in Oklahoma history as Texas A&M’s Gerald Phiri won the event in a time of 10.13.
Another second-place finish came in the triple jump where the 2009 Big 12 champion in the event, Will Claye, narrowly finished second in the event. Claye actually tied the champion, Texas A&M’s Zuheir Sharif, with a jump of 52-8.75 (16.07), however, the tiebreaker of the second best jump gave Sharif the title with a second jump of 52-6.00 (16.00) compared to Claye’s 51-10.50 (15.81). The second place finish snaps Claye’s collegiate unbeaten streak as he looks to defend his 2009 NCAA title in the event. Claye was one of two Sooners to score in the event as Neelon Greenwood finished eighth with a top jump of 50-8.25 (15.45). Marco Moon narrowly missed advancing to the finals, finishing ninth with a jump of 50-1.25 (15.27).
The 2008 Big 12 champion in the 100-meter hurdles, Latoya Greaves picked up a second-place finish in the event Sunday as she crossed the line in a time of 13.10 behind Texas A&M’s Natasha Ruddock’s 12.89.
The quartet of Malcolm Anderson, Mookie Salaam, Remuro Henry and Evan Pierson opened the Oklahoma scoring for the day in the men’s 4x100-meter relay as they took third with a time of 40.16. The time is the second fastest this season for the relay.
Eric Bailey improved on his prelims time in the 400-meter hurdles as he was able to place in the event, finishing third with a time of 50.31. The junior improved on his finish from 2009 when he was sixth.
In the first 3,000-meter steeplechase of the season for an Oklahoma male, Kevin Schwab and Jeremy Sudbury were in a race with each other for fourth place with Schwab, 9:01.05, edging Sudbury, 9:01.13, at the line to pick up nine points for the Sooners. The two clocked the fourth and fifth fastest times in Oklahoma history with the finishes.
Following the steeplechase, Oklahoma men’s distance athletes picked up nine more points in the 1,500-meter run as Eric Harasyn and Jacob Boone finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the event. Harasyn’s 3:44.70 is a season best for the junior and the fourth fastest in Oklahoma history while Boone crossed the line at 3:45.48.
The same group added eight more points in the 5,000-meter run as Rob Sorrell finished fourth with a time of 14:09.81. Sorrell was followed across the starting line by Kevin Williams who came in sixth with a time of 14:10.16.
Sarah Pappas gave the Sooner women five team points in the pole vault as the junior cleared a personal best height of 12-11.00 (3.94). The Houston native was clean on her first two attempts before taking two tries at her final height. The height is the second best in Oklahoma history behind Leslie Dunlap’s 13-3.50 (4.05).
Jessica Engel ran the third fastest 5,000-meter run in Oklahoma history as she finished fifth overall in the event with a PR. Engel’s 16:20.69 performance is the fastest in the Big 12 era and the quickest since Kay Gooch’s 16:16.75 in 1993.
Seven more points were earned for the Oklahoma men in the discus as Luke Bryant finished fifth with a throw of 180-11 (55.14). K.P. Singh, the hammer throw champion on Friday, finished seventh with a toss of 170-10 (52.06) while Colin Quirke was eighth at 163-11 (49.97).
Kevin Snyder picked up the first field event points of the day as he finished fifth in the men’s high jump, clearing the bar at 6-8.75 (2.05). After taking a pass at the first height, Snyder cleared both his final height and 6-6.75 (2.00) on his first attempts before failing to clear 6-10.75 (2.10).
The women’s 100-meter dash saw Scottesha Miller finish fifth with a time of 11.42 while Sherine Wells took seventh with a time of 11.58. The two returned to the track less than an hour later for the 200-meter dash where Miller was sixth in a time of 23.39 and Wells was eighth at 23.89.
Wells, Marlena Wesh, Miller and Jalesa Walker closed out the day with an eighth-place finish in the women’s 4x400-meter relay. The four combined for a season best time of 3:45.38.
Next up for the Sooners is the NCAA West Regional, May 27-29, in Austin, Texas. To qualify for the event, athletes must be in the top 48 of their respective event in the west.
Oklahoma Final Results:
Men’s High Jump: 5. Kevin Snyder 6-8.75 (2.05)
Men’s Discus Throw: 5. Luke Bryant 180-11 (55.14); 7. K.P. Singh 170-10 (52.06); 8. Colin Quirke 163-11 (49.97)
Women’s Triple Jump: 10. Jasmine Simmons 40-9.00 (12.42)
Women’s Shot Put: 1. Karen Shump 54-8.75 (16.68); 2. Tia Brooks 53-7.00 (16.33)
Women’s Javelin: 1. Amy Backel 182-5 (55.60); 2. Brittany Borman 168-0 (51.22)
Women’s Pole Vault: 4. Sarah Pappas 12-11.00 (3.94)
Men’s Triple Jump: 2. Will Claye 52-8.75 (16.07); 8. Neelon Greenwood 50-8.25 (15.45); 9. Marco Moon 50-1.25 (15.27)
Women’s 4x100-Meter Relay: DNF Sherine Wells, Scottesha Miller, Jasmine SImmons, Jalesa Walker
Men’s 4x100-Meter Relay: 3. Malcolm Anderson, Mookie Salaam, Remuro Henry, Evan Pierson 40.16
Men’s 3,000-Meter Steeplechase: 4. Kevin Schwab 9:01.05; 5. Jeremy Sudbury 9:01.13
Men’s 1,500-Meter Run: 4. Eric Harasyn 3:44.70; 5. Jacob Boone 3:45.48
Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles: 2. Latoya Greaves 13.10
Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles: 1. Ronnie Ash 13.31; 6. Malcolm Anderson 13.92
Women’s 100-Meter Dash: 5. Scottesha Miller 11.42; 7. Sherine Wells 11.58
Men’s 100-Meter Dash: 2. Mookie Salaam 10.25
Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles: 3. Eric Bailey 50.31
Women’s 200-Meter Dash: 6. Scottesha Miller 23.39; 8. Sherine Wells 23.89
Women’s 5,000-Meter Run: 5. Jessica Engel 16:20.69; 28. Lauren Watson 17:35.16
Men’s 5,000-Meter Run: 4. Rob Sorrell 14:09.81; 6. Kevin Williams 14:10.16; 11. Bill Kogel 14:16.78; 17. Kevin Schwab 14:40.08;
Women’s 4x400-Meter Relay: 8. Sherine Wells, Marlena Wesh, Scottesha Miller, Jalesa Walker 3:45.38
Men’s 4x400-Meter Relay: 4. Eric Bailey, Remuro Henry, Daniel Nix, Jarell Warren 3:06.60