OU Women Record Highest NCAA Finish Ever

EUGENE, Ore. — The Oklahoma women recorded their highest NCAA Championships finish ever Saturday at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships as they finished ninth with 26 points, topping the previous best by four spots as the 1994 Oklahoma women finished 13th. The team was led Saturday by Brittany Borman and Amy Backel in the javelin, finishing second and seventh, respectively. The 26 points is the second best total in program history as the 1982 women’s team picked up 29 points.

All 26 points came from the Oklahoma throws program, 16 of which came from Borman, who also finished second in the discus. The sophomore would have finished tied for sixth in the team race as an individual. The Oklahoma men finished tied for 27th with 10 points, picking up six points from Ronnie Ash, who finished third in the 110-meter hurdles in front of 12,812 fans. Texas A&M won both the men’s and women’s titles.

Borman’s career best throw of 173-11 (53.00) came on the sophomore’s fourth attempt and moved her into first where she stayed until Florida’s Evelien Dekkers won the event on the final throw of the competition with a toss of 193-6 (58.99), the best by a collegiate athlete this year. Borman entered the finals in fourth place before eclipsing her previous best of 171-10 (52.38) by over two feet on her fourth attempt. The throw is the second best in Oklahoma history behind Backel’s program record of 182-5 (55.60). Borman entered the meet ranked fourth nationally.

Like Borman, Backel’s top throw of 162-11 (49.67), good for seventh, came on her fourth attempt. The two were the only athletes from the same school to advance to the finals of the event as they combined for 10 team points.

For Borman, the All-America honors mark the conclusion of a huge improvement throughout the 2010 season. After transferring to OU after a season at UCLA, Borman, who did not qualify for the NCAA Championships in 2009, qualified for both the javelin and the discus and earning All-America honors in both events, finishing second in each.

The Big 12 discus champion and sophomore from Festus, Mo., improved her PR in the discus by over 28 feet and over 16 feet in the javelin. The sophomore is the program record holder in the discus and owns the second best program mark in the javelin and is sixth in the shot put.

Backel, the Big 12 champion in the javelin, picked up her second career All-America honor after becoming the first ever Oklahoma All-American in the event at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Backel, a cornerstone of the Oklahoma program, closes out her collegiate career as one of the most rounded Oklahoma athletes.

Along with the Big 12 title and the two All-America honors, Backel ended her college career with six All-Big 12 honors and earned Academic All-Big 12 honors four times, earned ESPN the Magazine/CoSIDA Academic all-district honors three times, received the Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship from the Big 12 Conference and was named the 2010 College of Engineering outstanding senior for civil engineering.

The defending NCAA champion in the 110-meter hurdles, Ash suffered his first loss of the season Saturday as he came in third with a time of 13.51. Illinois’ Andrew Riley won the event with a time of 13.45 while LSU’s Barrett Nugent was second at 13.49. The field was forced to record two starts after South Carolina’s Johnny Dutch was called for a false start. The second gun signaling the false start was shot as the field crossed the second set of hurdles.

Ash, who is in first year at Oklahoma after transferring from Bethune-Cookman, became the program’s first ever athlete to earn All-America status in the event. He closes the season ranked No. 3 in the world in the event with a season best time of 13.31.

While the NCAA season is complete, several Sooners will compete in two weeks at the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The event is slated to begin on Wednesday, June 23, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Oklahoma Final Results:

Women’s Javelin: 2. Brittany Borman; 173-11 (53.00); 7. Amy Backel 162-11 (49.67)

Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles: 3. Ronnie Ash 13.51

Updated 06-12-2010

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