Oklahoma Finishes Strong at Big 12 Track and Field Championships

Sooners win three individual conference crowns, break several long-standing records, set numerous PRs and even hit qualifying standards for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
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Oklahoma had a strong weekend in track and field — both men and women.

OU finished the Big 12 Championships in Manhattan, KS, with three conference champions, a 33-year-old school record broken, a 36-year-old stadium record broken, and three qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

The Sooners ended the three-day event in third place behind Texas and Iowa State in the men’s team standings with 105 points, and in sixth place on the women’s side behind Texas, Kansas State, Texas Tech, OSU and Kansas with 76 points.

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OU pole vaulter Sydney King on Saturday won the Big 12 crown with a personal best 13-11.25 — OU’s first outdoor pole vault conference champion in 20 years and just the second ever for the Sooners. Seniors Abby Bilsbury and Colleen Clancy both cleared 12-9.5.

Junior Isaiah Levingston took home the gold in the men’s 400m hurdles Sunday with a personal record time of 49.12, breaking the stadium record that had stood for 36 years. His time falls well under the USA Track and Field qualifying standard of 49.50 for this summer’s Olympic Trials.

In Friday’s action, senior Lauren Jones became OU’s first woman to win a conference championship in the hammer throw when she fired 217-2.

Senior Rayvon Allen broke the school record in the men’s long jump — a mark that has stood since 1988 — when he sailed 26-10.5 on his sixth jump. Allen finished as Big 12 runner-up and posted the eighth-best jump in the world this year to earn a qualifying spot at the U.S. Olympic Trials. OU senior Garry Williams jumped 23-4.75.

In the high jump, fourth-year junior Vernon Turner was runner-up to Kansas State phenom Tejaswin Shankar but hit a season-best 7-4.5 and also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. Shankar won the event with a stadium-record and season best 7-5.75. Turner came up short on his final attempt of 7-7, which is just under his personal best of 7-7.75. OU sophomore Keith Drapeau finished tied for third with a 6-11, while junior Chris Banks went 6-9.

The Sooners’ women’s throwing teams had a strong weekend as well, with all three competitors placing in the top eight in the shot put. Sophomore Payden Montana threw a personal-best 57-4.25 — third in school history — to nab the silver medal. Jones and junior Faith Ette finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Jones threw a personal-best 54-2, while Ette threw 53-11.

Junior Kristo Simulask also got silver in the decathlon with a personal-record 7,391 points. Junior Will Kubicek scored a personal-best 6,287. Simulask set PRs in pole vault (15-5.5) and javelin (150-5) and climbed to fourth on OU's all-time list. Kubicek recorded four PRs: 15.65 in the 110-meter hurdles, 13-1.75 in pole vault, 152-4 in the javelin and 5:03.96 in the 1500.

In women’s long jump, senior Essence Thomas jumped 20-6.5 to finish eighth, while senior Symone Washington leaped 19-11.75.

Senior Cooper Campbell took bronze in the men's shot put with a throw of 59-1.25, and senior Bradley Daboub finished sixth with a throw of 57-5.75.

In Sunday’s action on the track, junior Madison-Langley Walker took silver in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 58.41.

In the men’s 200, Demarius Smith clocked a personal best 20.51 Saturday to qualify for Sunday’s finals, where he took the bronze with a time of 20.74.

In the women’s triple jump, Mikeisha Welcome took third with a jump of 43-7.75.

The men’s 4 x 400 relay team of Allen, Levingston, Smith and Salim Epps finished second with a time of 3:03.68, the ninth-fastest time in school history.

OU placed two athletes on the podium in the men’s triple jump: Allen set a PR with a jump of 51-9.25 to finish fifth, and Williams went 51-5.5 to finish sixth.