OU junior takes third in U.S. Olympic Trials women's shot put.
NORMAN, Okla. -- University of Oklahoma junior Tia Brooks punched a ticket to London on a banner day for Sooner women in throwing events Friday at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore.
Brooks' shot put of 60 feet, 2 inches (18.34 meters) on her second attempt was enough to withstand the nation's best and finish third to earn a spot on Team USA in front of 21,097 fans at Hayward Field.
"Coming off yesterday's performance, I was a bit nervous," Brooks said. "I'm younger and this is my first Olympic Trials. Seeing all the glitz and glamour has made me nervous."
"The whole season kind of changed because, in college, I had to peak at (the NCAA) Indoor and Outdoor (Championships)."
Brooks managed just 57-10 ½ (17.64) in Thursday's shot put qualifier, good for fourth overall but nearly three feet short of her outdoor best. She left no doubt Friday, taking the lead briefly in the second and third rounds with the first throw of 60-plus feet.
Jill Camarena-Williams and Michelle Carter, both Olympians in 2008, were first and second, respectively. Camarena-Williams' led at 62-10 ½ (19.16) and Carter threw 60-11 ¼ (18.57).
Carter offered this advice for the 21-year-old Brooks: "Stay focused, stick to what you know and what works for you. Trust yourself and you'll do well."
The Grand Rapids, Mich., native continued her stellar year in track and field after sweeping the Big 12 and NCAA titles in the shot put in both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Brooks is just the second Sooner woman to make an Olympic track and field team. She follows in the footsteps of Laverne Jones-Ferrette, a two-time Olympic sprinter for the U.S. Virgin Islands who graduated from Oklahoma in 2003.
Brooks was joined in jubilation by current and former teammates, who had successful days of their own.
OU senior Brittany Borman was fourth overall in the javelin throw qualifier with a best of 178-9 (54.50) and former Sooner Amy Backel took ninth at 171-2 (52.19). Both advanced to Sunday's final round.
Former Sooner Ronnie Ash also advanced in the men's 110-meter hurdles. Ash ran second in his heat of the preliminary in 13.52 seconds to move on to Saturday's semifinals.
OU senior Ti'Anca Mock was 22nd overall in the women's long jump qualifier. The NCAA All-American fouled on her first two attempts before jumping 19-11 (6.07).
Three-time Olympian Danny McFarlane was edged out of making his fourth Games by .04 seconds. McFarlane took fourth in the men's 400-meter hurdles final at the Jamaican National Championships in Kingston in 49.69. Roxroy Cato, who finished third, ran 49.65.
Aldwyn Sappleton finished second in his heat of the 800-meter run on the first day of the Jamaican National Championships in Kingston. Sappleton, who swept the national title from 2004 to 2010, ran 1:50.99 to advance to Saturday's final.
OU senior Shawna Anderson was 13th in the women's 100-meter semifinal at National Stadium, running 11.67.
OU senior Shakeeri Cole (women's 800-meter run) and former Sooner Latoya Greaves (women's 100-meter hurdles) will begin their events in the Jamaican Trials Saturday.