Brown, Ferguson Claim Arkansas Titles
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Despite just 15 female athletes competing in seven events, the No. 10 Oklahoma women still came away with eight top-three finishes Friday at the season-opening Arkansas Invitational. The Sooners were led by freshman Kelsey Brown who won the 800-meter run and Molly Ferguson who took the win in the mile.
Brown, who crossed the line in a time of 2:13.11, was part of a one-two punch in the four-lap race around the 200-meter track as Natalie Crain took second with a personal-best time of 2:13.44. A freshman from Orem, Utah, Brown, who rann the fastest Oklahoma 800 time in the last two seasons, was one of the top athletes in the event in 2010, clocking the seventh-best high school time in the nation. Crain shaved off over two seconds off her previous PR of 2:15.78 set on the same track in 2010.
Ferguson opened the season with her first collegiate win, besting all competitors in the mile with a time of 4:59.96. Ferguson was one of two OU athletes in the event as Hilary Krein finished seventh with a time of 5:11.43.
OU athletes took three of the top four spots in the finals of the women’s 60-meter dash as Sherine Wells was second with a time of 7.462, narrowly edging teammate Candyce McGrone, who finished third with a time of 7.468. Jasmine Simmons was fourth with a time of 7.67. Kristen Carson was eighth with a personal best of 7.83.
McGrone advanced to the finals after winning the event’s prelims with the sixth-fastest 60-meter dash in Oklahoma history, 7.44. She was followed by Wells who was second in the prelims with a time of 7.57.
Ti’Anca Mock returned to action in 2011 and claimed second in the women’s long jump with a top jump of 19-5.25 (5.92). Mock jumped from fifth to second with the mark, which came on her fifth of six attempts. Carson recorded an indoor collegiate best as she leapt 18-2.25 (5.54) on her sixth and final attempt.
The women’s high jump saw Chenale Smith clear an indoor personal best as she finished third with a height of 5-7.00 (1.70). Smith’s fellow sophomore, Kristen Rice, finished fourth, clearing the bar at 5-5.00 (1.65).
The 4×400-meter relay of Claire McConnell, McGrone, Jesica Ejesieme and Wells claimed OU’s eighth and final top-three finishes as it finished third with a time of 3:50.39. The time is OU’s third best 4×4 relay time in the past two seasons.
In her first collegiate action, Ejesieme recorded identical times of 8.95 in both the prelims and finals of the 60-meter hurdles as she finished fifth.
Oklahoma returns to action next Saturday at the Texas A&M Challenge in College Station, Texas.
Oklahoma Final Results:
Women’s High Jump: 3. Chenale Smith 5-7.00 (1.70); 4. Kristen Rice 5-5.00 (1.65); 8. Chelsea Goodman 5-3.00 (1.60); 11. Claire McConnell 5-1.00 (1.55).
Women’s Long Jump: 2. Ti’Anca Mock 19-5.25 (5.92); 9. Kristen Carson 18-2.25 (5.54)
Women’s 60-Meter Hurdles: 5. Jesica Ejesieme 8.95; 9. Claire McConnell 9.41
Women’s 60-Meter Dash: 2. Sherine Wells 7.47; 3. Candyce McGrone 7.47; 4. Jasmine Simmons 7.67; 8. Kristen Carson 7.83; 9. Ti’Anca Mock 7.85
Women’s 800-Meter Run: 1. Kelsey Brown 2:13.11; 2. Natalie Crain 2:13.44
Women’s Mile Run: 1. Molly Ferguson 4:59.96; 7. Hilary Krein 5:11.43
Women’s 4×400-Meter Relay: 3. Claire McConnell, Candayce McGrone, Jesica Ejesieme, Sherine Wells 3:50.39.