AUSTIN, Texas — Five Oklahoma athletes punched their tickets to the Outdoor Track and Field Championships Thursday at the first of three days of action at the West Prelims while six OU runners moved on to the national quarterfinals in their respective events. The meet features the top 48 athletes in the west with the top 12 athletes in each event advancing to the Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 9-12.
Karen Shump was the first Oklahoma athlete of the day to claim a spot in the Finals as she won the women’s shot put, breaking her own program record in the process. Shump’s top throw of 55-10.25 (17.02) came on her second attempt as the redshirt-freshman led the event after the first round of throws. The win was Shump’s fourth of the year as the Media, Pa., native has apparently taken a liking to the Texas track after originally breaking the Oklahoma record with a win at the Texas Relays.
Shump was one of two Sooners in the event to book a seat on a flight to Eugene as her classmate, Tia Brooks, finished seventh in the event with a throw of 52-10.75 (16.12) on her third attempt. Oklahoma was the only program in the event to send two athletes in Eugene.
In the next-to-last event of the night on the track, Kevin Schwab claimed an invitation to the Championships when he finished 11th in the men’s 10,000-meter run in a time of 29:46.15. Schwab entered the final lap of the 25-lap race in 13th place knowing he had to move up at least one spot head west. The redshirt-freshman did that and then some, unleashing a strong kick that increased with intensity in the final 100 meters, passing two competitors for the 11th-place finish.
While Schwab was cruising by on the track, Brittany Borman and Amy Backel were busy on the infield claiming their place in Eugene by finishing fifth and sixth, respectively, in the javelin. Borman picked up her top throw of 169-8 (51.71) on her second attempt before passing on her three final attempts with as a safe bet to advance. Backel hit a throw of 168-11 (51.49) on her third attempt as the 2008 All-American in the event looks to accomplish the feat again 2010 after having to sit out the event in 2009 due to an elbow injury.
Eric Bailey laid claim to the title of the first heat winner on the Mike A. Myers Stadium track as he won the opening heat of the men’s 400-meter hurdles. Bailey’s time of 50.94 was the sixth fastest of the prelims as the junior never trailed in the race. Twenty-four athletes advanced to Friday’s finals.
Oklahoma will have two athletes in the next round of the men’s 1,500-meter run on Saturday as Jacob Boone and Eric Harasyn both automatically qualified for the finals by finishing in the top five of their respective heats. Harasyn was up first in the third heat and used a strong kick to hold off UCLA’s Marlon Patterson for the fifth and final automatic qualifying spot with a season-best time of 3:43.10. The PR is the third fastest 1500 in Oklahoma history.
The Oklahoma record holder in the event, Boone, followed Harasyn’s lead by using a strong kick to pull away from the pack in a heat with a slower pace than the other heats to easily win the fourth and final heat with a time of 3:49.52.
Mookie Salaam automatically advanced in the men’s 100-meter dash, making no doubt about it as the sophomore won the event’s fifth heat with a time of 10.37. The Edmond, Okla., native is looking to advance to his second consecutive Outdoor Championships after earning a spot in both the 100 and 200 in 2009.
Like the men’s 1,500, the next round of the women’s 100-meter dash will have two OU athletes competing in the event as Scottesha Miller and Sherine Wells both automatically qualified with top three finishes in their respective heats. Miller led things off in the second heat as she bested seven competitors with a time of 11.56. Wells closed out the 100 in the sixth and final heat by finishing third with a time of 11.77.
Oklahoma action on Friday begins at 12 p.m. with Borman and Shump competing in the women’s discus. Running events will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the men’s 110-meter hurdles.
Oklahoma Final Results:
Men’s Javelin: 32. Justin Shirk 193-6 (58.98)
Women’s Shot Put: 1. Karen Shump 55-10.25 (17.02); 7. Tia Brooks 52-10.75 (16.12)
Women’s Pole Vault: 23. Sarah Pappas 12-9.50 (3.90)
Women’s Javelin: 5. Brittany Borman 169-8 (51.71); 6. Amy Backel 168-11 (51.49)
Men’s Shot Put: 17. Colin Quirke 55-9.00 (16.99)
Men’s Long Jump: 17. Neelon Greenwood 24-3.00 (7.39); 27. Alex Madkins 23-8.25 (7.22)
Men’s 10,000-Meter Run: 11. Kevin Schwab 29:46.15; 31. Jeremy Sudbury 31:00.98
Men’s 100-Meter Dash: 31. Evan Pierson 10.70
Men’s 400-Meter Dash: 29. Remuro Henry 47.24
Women’s 400-Meter Dash: 29. Marlena Wesh 54.59
Oklahoma Final Qualifier:
Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles: Eric Bailey 50.94
Men’s 1,500-Meter Run: Eric Harasyn 3:43.10; Jacob Boone 3:49.52
Men’s 100-Meter Dash: Mookie Salaam 10.37
Women’s 100-Meter Dash: Scottesha Miller 11.56; Sherine Wells 11.77