OU’s Ash Wins NCAA Title in 60-Meter Hurdles

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Ronnie Ash claimed his second consecutive title in the 60-meter hurdles while Ash and six others Sooners earned All-America honors Saturday at the Indoor Track and Field Championships inside the Randal Tyson Track Complex. Saturday’s performances gives OU eight All-Americans for the weekend after Mookie Salaam earned the honor on Friday in the 200-meter dash. The Oklahoma men finished 14th overall with 14 points while the women were 21st with 10 points in front of 5,475 fans.

Just as he did a month ago at the Tyson Invitational in the same venue, Ash had a tough time getting out the of starting blocks. But just as he did in the Tyson Invitational, Ash recovered by the third set of hurdles to overtake the field and cross the line in first place with a time of 7.56. Ash was able to hold off South Carolina’s Booker Nunley by two-hundreths of a second to defend the 2009 60-meter hurdles title he won while a member of the Bethune-Cookman program.

“I didn’t get the start I’m capable of and I saw the South Carolina runner out in the furthest right lane and I started to accelerate so I could stay hurdle-for-hurdle with him. I thought he may have nudged me at the line but when I looked up and saw the time, I was real happy,” said Ash, a junior from Raleigh, N.C. “I thought I had it, but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t run completely thru the line, so coach may be upset with me, but I got the win.”

Already the OU record holder entering the meet, Ash lowered his time and ran the third-fastest time by an American this year on Friday when he clocked the fastest time of the event’s prelims, 7.55.

The title gives Oklahoma its 15th men’s indoor national title and 19th overall indoor national title. Ash becomes just OU’s seventh individual title winner as eight titles have been won by Oklahoma relays. With the indoor season over, Ash now turns his focus to the outdoor track where he claimed the 2009 110-meter hurdles title.

Karen Shump and Tia Brooks became just the first pair of Sooner women to earn indoor All-America honors in the same event in the same year as the two redshirt-freshmen finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The two provided each other their biggest competition as Shump (54-11.50/16.75) edged Brooks (54-11.25/16.74) by just a quarter of an inch.

While the two are the first pair of All-Americans in the same indoor event, Renee Nickles and Jane Clough accomplished the feat in the high jump at the 1982 Outdoor Championships.

K.P. Singh earned Oklahoma’s first ever All-America honor in the men’s weight throw when he finished seventh in the event. Singh furthered his own program record in the event as he recorded a top throw of 69-3.50 (21.12). Singh actually broke his own record on his second attempt by tossing the 35-pound implement a distance of 69-1.25 (21.06) before recording this final mark on his fourth attempt.

Scottesha Miller picked up her fifth career All-America honor as the junior from Daytona Beach, Fla., finished eighth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.39. The performance by Miller gives the Oklahoma women’s sprints group an All-American for the third straight year. The finish comes one day after Miller broke the Oklahoma program record in the 200-meter dash and ran the second-fastest 60 in program history, 7.26.

In the first running event of the day, Eric Harasyn finished ninth in the men’s mile with a time of 4:04.94. Despite the ninth-place finish, Harasyn still receives United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-American distinction as the organization honors the top-eight finishers extending out to the top-eight American born finishers. The result gives Oklahoma an All-American in the men’s indoor mile for the second consecutive season after Jacob Boone earned the honor in 2009.

Running in the first of three heats, the Oklahoma men’s 4×400-meter relay of Remuro Henry, Zach Dawson, Jarell Warren and Eric Bailey finished ninth with a time of 3:08.59. The relay entered the meet ranked 10th nationally.

Jasmine Simmons finished 10th in the women’s triple jump as the first-year Sooner had a top jump of 42-8.75 (13.02) on her third attempt of the prelims, missing the chance to advance to the finals by just one inch. Simmons, however as in the case with Harasyn, will also receive USTFCCCA All-
American status as extended to the top-eight American born finishers.

Oklahoma Final Results
Men’s 60-Meter Hurdles: 1. Ronnie Ash 7.56
Women’s Shot Put: 4. Karen Shump 54-11.50 (16.75) 5. Tia Brooks 54-11.25 (16.74)
Men’s Weight Throw: 7. K.P. Singh 69-3.50 (21.12)
Women’s 60-Meter Dash: 8. Scottesha Miller 7.39
Men’s Mile: 9. Eric Harasyn 4:04.94
Men’s 4×400: 9. Remuro Henry, Zach Dawson, Jarell Warren, Eric Bailey 3:08.59
Women’s Triple Jump: 10. Jasmine Simmons 42-8.75 (13.02)

Updated 03-14-2010

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