Sooners Impress at Texas Tech Classic
LUBBOCK, Texas — The Oklahoma track and field teams put together a strong showing at the Texas Tech Classic, held Friday-Saturday at the Sports Performance Center.
The event was highlighted by school-record showings from Ashley Bryant (weight throw) and Vernon Turner (high jump), who both broke their own records set earlier this season.
Bryant recorded a distance of 20.07 meters (65-10.25) in the women’s weight throw on Saturday to improve her program-best mark and finish first overall.
She paced an impressive day for OU in the event, as Jess Woodard finished as runner-up (18.61 meters) and Camille Burge and Lauren Jones both recorded personal-best distances, 17.12 and 15.90 meters, respectively. Burge's mark placed her at tenth all-time in program history.
“I was pleased with Ashley Bryant, who became the first woman to ever throw over 20 meters in OU history, and Camille Burge, who’s somebody who’s picked up the event who’s now on our top-10 list,” OU head coach Jim VanHootegem said. “Those were great performances."
Competing in just his second college event, Turner cleared 2.30 meters (7-6.50) in the men’s high jump to place second among collegiate competitors by virtue of attempts and rewrite his program record. The mark currently stands as the second-best in indoor collegiate track this season.
“It was a very special performance by Vernon in the high jump,” VanHootegem said. “He’s seen great competition — he jumped 7-6.50 and smashed our school record and only came in third place. He’s really getting to step up and compete against some of the world’s best high jumpers at this time.”
Additionally, senior Carl Williams placed third among college athletes with a mark of 2.02 meters (6-7.50). On the women’s side, freshman Falyn Reaugh posted a height of 1.80 meters to claim third and tie for third all-time in the OU indoor top-10 list.
The Sooners impressed in the triple jump, with Essence Thomas placing first among college athletes on the women’s side and Papay Glaywulu claiming the top spot among collegiate competitors for the men. Thomas’ mark, 12.72 meters (41-8.75), moved her to fourth all-time among Sooners. Glaywulu’s distance, 15.64 (51-3.75), was a PR that held him at eighth overall on the OU top-10 list.
Also on the men’s side of the event, three other Sooners placed in the top five among collegiate opponents in Garry Williams (third; 15.15 meters), Eneko Carrascal Korta (fourth; 14.86 meters) and Marcus Mitchell (fourth; 14.74 meters).
In the women’s shot put, Woodard took the event title with a 17.01-meter throw while Meia Gordon finished as runner-up at 16.27 meters. Gordon’s mark was a personal best that moved her into sixth all-time among Sooners. Additionally, Jones recorded her second PR of the day, 13.98 meters.
On the men’s side of the shot put, Cooper Campbell and Bradley Daboub earned third and fourth among college competitors, respectively. Campbell’s distance of 18.10 meters (59-4.75) was a personal record that maintained his position as sixth all-time in OU history. Daboub was close behind with a mark of 17.30 meters.
Belle Wallace won the women’s 3,000-meter run with a personal-best time of 9:35.72. The time put her at seventh-best school history. She was joined in the top-three by teammate Sarah Scott, whose time of 9:52.98 earned her third place.
In the women’s 60-meter dash, Leya Buchanan and Amanda Van Buren took first and second, respectively, with times of 7.39 and 7.55 seconds. Additionally, Ja’Leesa Giles competed in the women’s Olympic development heat and placed first among college competitors with a personal-best 7.64 seconds.
For the men, Xavier Brown earned second in the 60 meters with a time of 6.83 seconds, marking the best Sooner time this season in the event.
Ama Pipi won the women’s 200-meter dash with a time of 23.43 seconds. She was joined by Van Buren in the top five, who took crossed the finish line in 24 seconds to place fourth among college athletes.
Jackson Webb finished fourth in the men’s 200 meters with a personal-best 21.61 seconds.
Bryce Douglas was the best collegiate finisher in the men’s 60-meter hurdles behind a time of 8.03 seconds. On the women’s side of the event, Camri Austin improved her personal best with a time of 8.54 seconds, maintaining her place at eighth all-time among Sooners.
The women's 4x400 relay team of Ama Pipi, Mia Mukes, Evette Blanks and Medinah Spencer claimed first place with a time of 3:47.51. For the men, the relay team of Lawrence Murray, Trent Hamner, Derek King and Sorre Bah placed fifth, crossing the finish line in 3:22.38.
In the women’s 400-meter dash, Medinah Spencer recorded a personal-record 55.24 seconds to finish second among collegiate competitors.
Makayla Stephens was impressive in the women’s pentathlon held on Friday, placing third among college athletes with a total of 3,759 points. She recorded two personal records in the event, running the 60-meter hurdles in 8.82 seconds and clearing 1.75 meters (5-8.75) in the high jump. Additionally, her shot put distance, 11.45 meters, was just one centimeter away from matching her PR.
The Sooners saw three personal records in the mile. For the men, Heath Warren clocked in at 4:15.15 to place third among collegiate competitors while Andrew Doherty crossed the finish line in 4:19.00 to take sixth. On the women’s side, Morgan Long ran a personal-best 5:19.51 to take ninth.
VanHootegem commented that he was impressed with performances from his team across the board.
“Overall as a team, I feel like we took a step forward as a group,” he said. "We had a lot of great freshman performances. Papay Glaywulu in the triple jump, Cooper Campbell in the shot put, Essence Thomas in the triple jump and Falyn Reaugh in the high jump.
“And, as much as we have those performances by freshmen, we also have those winning performances from seniors, such as Belle Wallace, Ama Pipi, Leya Buchanan, Jess Woodard,” VanHootegem continued. “We have a nice mix of veterans and youth on the team, so that’s good to see.”
Up next, the Sooners return to Norman to host the J.D. Martin Invitational on Feb. 3 inside Moiser Indoor Facility. Admission is free for fans.
“We always like to compete in Norman,” VanHootegem said. “It’s our track that we train on every day. We get to have more people at our meet. We have an opportunity to have people come out and see our team. But, we’re always excited about our next meet regardless.”