Four members of the Oklahoma State track and field program advanced through Saturday’s preliminary heats of the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships, including Natalja Piliusina in the women’s 800 meters and Tom Farrell, Raul Botezan and Johnathan Stublaski in the men’s 1,500 meters.
Piliusina, who won the conference title in the indoor 800, cruised to a first-place finish in the last heat with a time of 2:08.08 to earn a spot in Sunday’s final.
“I really didn’t feel that great out there,” Piliusina said. “It was a really windy day, but the race went how I wanted it to go. I stayed back and went ahead and made my move. I won indoors and the goal is to do it again here.”
The men’s 1,500 meters was also a success for Oklahoma State, as three of the five Cowboys competing claimed a spot in the finals.
“We got three into the men’s 1,500 meter final and just missed having a fourth by one place, so I’m pretty happy with how we did there,” coach Dave Smith said. “The women didn’t do as well I hoped they would in the 1,500. Mihaela Susa was coming off an injury and gave it her best shot, but she just didn’t have what she needed today.”
Shane Moskowitz nearly became the fourth Cowboy to qualify for the men’s final, but fell one place short.
Another highlight of day two came from sophomore Taylor Buck, who scored OSU’s first team points of the meet with his sixth-place men’s high jump mark of 2.06m.
“Taylor has done great this year,” jumps coach Zivile Pukstiene said. “We don’t even have a place for him to train and he has improved and jumped over seven feet last week. He is the first guy I’ve ever coached. Hopefully we can get him into regionals jumping his best.”
Oklahoma State returns to action Sunday for the final day of the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships. The schedule includes the men’s discus throw (2 p.m.), women’s triple jump (3 p.m.), women’s discus throw (5 p.m.), men’s steeplechase (6:05 p.m.), men’s 1,500 meters final (6:30 p.m.), women’s 800 meters final (7:45 p.m.), women’s 5,000 meters (8:50 p.m.) and men’s 5,000 meters (9:15 p.m.).