COOPERATIVE WIN: Leading his team to first place in the Tulsa Duels, Holland Hall graduate Julian Frazier, left, shows a ‘track record’ of winning before the C-USA Championship.
Courtesy DOUG EATON
The University of Tulsa men’s track and field team won the 2012 Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship at the Birmingham CrossPlex in early March.
The Golden Hurricane unseated the five-time champion Houston Cougars 139-138 to win the first league crown in school history. UH had claimed eight of the last nine C- Indoor Championships.
“This is such a great feeling. I can’t stress enough how proud I am of all the athletes with how they handled these last two days,” says Tulsa Head Coach Steve Gulley. “It’s not very often you go into the bottom of the ninth with a chance to win against a great team like Houston, but everything just fell into place and we hit one out of the park. The kids showed a lot of character today.”
Also a winner, Gulley was named the Conference Coach of the Year.
During the tournament, Tulsa trailed the Cougars by 30 points through 15 of 17 events. They leapt into the lead with a near-flawless 3,000, earning 34 points in the event and taking the lead over Houston at 133-130.
Then came the final event – the 4×400m relay. Houston led the race through three legs, while Tulsa sat in fourth place.
UTEP’s relay team was able to pass the Cougar anchor on the final lap, and TU junior Julian Frazier passed East Carolina’s anchor in the final 50 meters to secure third place. UH earned eight points in the event and Frazier’s effort gave the Golden Hurricane the six points needed to win the league title outright by a mere point.
“That last race was tough to watch,” says Gulley. “I thought everything was falling into place for us, and it was hard to believe that we were going to come up a point short. That last lap was magical. Those guys really delivered. Coach Clif Mitchell has done a great job with them.”
Says Gulley, “All of the kids were unselfish this week.”