Women Eighth, Men 13th in National Rankings

NORMAN, Okla. — The Oklahoma women’s track and field team is ranked eighth and the men 13th in the first edition of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) outdoor national rankings released Thursday. Two Sooners, Ronnie Ash and Will Claye, claim the nation’s top ranking in their respective events. The women are third among Big 12 teams ranked while the men are fourth. Florida is the top team on the men’s side as Texas A&M claims top women’s honors.

Fresh off his second straight indoor title, Ash takes the nation’s top spot in the 110-meter hurdles as he looks to defend his 2009 title in the event. Also looking to defend a 2009 outdoor title is Claye, currently the nation’s top-ranked triple jumper. Claye is also ranked No. 9 in the long jump.

Just a redshirt-freshman, Karen Shump ranks second nationally in the shot put based on her 2009 unattached performances in the event, a year that saw her finish 10th at the U.S. Outdoor Championships. Shump is also ranked ninth nationally in the discus. Shump is one of two throwers ranked in the top 10 nationally as Amy Backel is No. 8 in the javelin. Backel returns to the event this season after an elbow injury restricted her to just the shot put in 2009, an event she is currently ranked No. 22 in. The throws ring contributes two other top-15 athletes with Kelsey Poljansek at No. 14 in the discus and Tia Brooks at No. 15 in the shot put.

A year after breaking the Oklahoma program record en route to finishing fourth at the Championships, the OU women’s 4×100-meter relay debuts at fifth in the national rankings. One of the athletes from last year’s relay, Scottesha Miller, is No. 7 in the 200-meter dash and No. 13 in the 100-meter dash.

Another sprinter ranked highly, Latoya Greaves comes in at No. 4 in the 100-meter hurdles after missing the 2009 season. Greaves claimed both the Big 12 and Midwest Region titles in the event in 2008.

Mookie Salaam (200-meter dash) and Chad Radgowski (javelin) round out Oklahoma men ranked in the top 10, both ranked No. 10 respectively. Salaam is also ranked No. 19 in the 100-meter dash. The defending Big 12 champion in the discus, Luke Bryant, is ranked No. 13 in the discus.

The Oklahoma program begins action this afternoon at the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.

Updated 04-01-2010

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