AUSTIN, Texas. — Ronnie Ash ran the third-fastest 110-meter hurdles in the world this year en route to winning the event, joining Karen Shump in the winner’s circle, while Shump and Amy Backel each broke their own program records as OU closed out action at the Texas Relays Saturday. Ash’s time of 13.50 is the second fastest among American athletes this year as the junior kept his undefeated season alive. Shump claimed the women’s shot put title as she broke her own record in the event by over a half foot while Backel extended her javelin record by five inches.
The defending NCAA champion in the 110-meter hurdles, Ash clocked 13.80 en route to winning last week’s Bobby Lane Invitational and 13.82 in Friday’s prelims and entered the meet ranked fourth nationally causing one fan in Mike A. Myers Stadium to wonder aloud if Ash had been enjoying his NCAA 60-meter hurdles title from three weeks ago a little too much.
Ash proved the fan and any other doubters wrong Saturday as he burst out of the blocks, having comfortably pulled away from the field after the sixth set of hurdles and even shutting down his sprint prior to crossing the finish line. The performance automatically qualified Ash for the 2010 USA Track and Field Championships.
The one down note on Ash’s performance Saturday? The field of the final had a tailwind of 3.0 meters-per-second thus making the athletes ineligible for any records. Had Ash’s time been wind legal, a 34-year old OU record would have fallen along with a 25-year old Texas Relays meet record. Ash was one of two Sooners in the final as Malcolm Anderson finished ninth with a time of 14.20. Running in the invitational final, D’Andre Fisher finished sixth with a season-best time of 14.08.
Already the program record holder in both the indoor and outdoor shot put entering the meet, Shump claimed her first title of the outdoor season with a throw of 55-7.50 (16.95) to easily eclipse her previous school record of 54-9.25 (16.69). Entering the final round of throws in second place, Shump jumped Northwestern State’s Trecey Rew (54-9.25/16.69) with her winning distance. With the performance, Shump now stands among the nation’s best, if not the nation’s best thrower, as the nation’s top throw entering the weekend was 54-1.75 (16.50). The throw also qualified Shump for the USA Track and Field Championships.
Backel’s 2010 return to the javelin after sitting out the event in 2009 due to an elbow injury has been successful as she tossed the implement a distance of 172-2 (52.49), breaking her previous record of 171-1 (52.39) set in 2008 en route to capturing All-America honors in the event. Backel finished sixth overall and third among American collegiate athletes. The throw is the fourth longest in the NCAA this season and automatically qualifies Backel for the 2010 USA Track and Field Championships.
The 400-meter hurdles saw OU athletes capture fourth-place finishes in both the university and invitational divisions as Eric Bailey and Zach Dawson each recorded season bests in the event. Bailey finished fourth in the university as he clocked a personal best of 50.82. The time is the ninth fastest in Oklahoma history.
Running against both professional and collegiate athletes, Dawson finished fourth overall and third among collegiate athletes in the invitational division of the event with a season-best time of 52.05.
The shorter version of the hurdles saw Latoya Greaves claim a season-best time of 13.21 after clocking a wind-aided effort of 13.47 in Friday’s prelims. Greaves’ Saturday effort was good for third overall as she crossed the line just behind two athletes from Texas A&M, Natasha Ruddock (12.97) and Vashti Thomas (13.08).
Kevin Snyder cleared the bar at 6-11.00 (2.11) for his best performance in the high jump since winning the 2007 U.S. Junior Championship when he cleared 6-11.75 (2.13). Snyder finished second in the B section of the event on Saturday. Entering the weekend, the height ranked ninth nationally.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay of Bailey, Remuro Henry, Jarell Warren and Dawson closed out the day in the Cleburne Price Jr. Invitational Relay with a fifth-place finish as Dawson crossed the line in a time of 3:07.56
In her third event of the day after running legs on two different relays, Scottesha Miller finished fifth in the finals of the women’s 100-meter dash with a time of 11.32. The time is the fastest of the young season for Miller who holds the OU record in the event with a time of 11.21.
The quartet of Sherine Wells, Jalesa Walker, Miller and Marlena Wesh took fourth in the women’s invitational 4×200-meter relay with a time of 1:34.94.
Less than two hours after the 4×200 relay, Wesh, Wells and Miller returned to the track for the finals of the women’s 4×100-meter relay. A day after clocking a time of 45.26 in the event’s prelims, the foursome combined to run a time of 44.74 to finish fifth.
Oklahoma Final Results
Men’s B High Jump: 2. Kevin Snyder 6-11.00 (2.11)
Women’s A Javelin: 6. Amy Backel 172-2 (52.49)
Men’s A Javelin: 13. Justin Shirk 186-9 (56.92)
Women’s A Shot Put: 1. Karen Shump 55-7.50 (16.95); 6. Amy Backel 51-3.50 (15.63); 9. Tia Brooks 50-11.00 (15.52)
Men’s University 400-Meter Hurdles: 4. Eric Bailey 50.82
Men’s Invitational 400-Meter Hurdles: 4. Zach Dawson 52.05
Women’s Invitational 4×200-Meter Relay: 4. Sherine Wells, Jalesa Walker, Scottesha Miller, Marlena Wesh 1:34.94
Women’s University 4×100-Meter Relay: 5. Marlena Wesh, Sherine Wells, Jasmine Simmons, Scottesha Miller 44.74
Women’s University 100-Meter Hurdles: 3. Latoya Greaves 13.21
Men’s University 110-Meter Hurdles: 1. Ronnie Ash 13.50; 9. Malcolm Anderson 14.20
Men’s Invitational 110-Meter Hurdles: 6. D’Andre Fisher 14.08
Women’s University 100-Meter Dash: 5. Scottesha Miller 11.32
Men’s Invitational 4×400-Meter Relay: 5. Eric Bailey, Remuro Henry, Jarell Warren, Zach Dawson 3:07.56