Sooners past and present compete at USATF
NORMAN After concluding its season in Eugene, Oregon., earlier this month, the OU track and field team had numerous current and former student-athletes participating in USA Track and Field competition over the past two weekends.

The 2018 USATF Junior Championships, held June 15-17 at Hayes Track on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., featured two current Sooners competing.

Sophomore-to-be Cooper Campbell took sixth in the men’s shot put, his best throw reaching 61-11.75 (18.89 meters). To be noted, juniors compete with a 6k shot put implement compared to the 7k collegiate shot.

Fellow rising sophomore Joseph Sheffield, running in the men’s 100-meter dash, advanced out of the semifinal to the final to take seventh in 10.56 seconds.

The seniors 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships were held this past weekend at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Three returning Sooners participated in the meet, along with 12 former OU track and field athletes.

On Thursday’s first day of the meet, recent graduate Jess Woodard took 11th in the women’s discus throw, her best throw measured 183-3 (55.85 meters). Former Sooner Alexandra Morgan, throwing for Iron Wood Track Club, also threw in the discus competition, taking 14th place with a throw of 180-1 (54.88 meters).

Junior-to-be Gabby Kearney participated in the women’s javelin throw at USATFs, taking 12th with a throw of 161-2 (49.13 meters). Former Sooners All-American and three-time Big 12 champion Avionne Allgood took second, throwing 185-6 (56.54 meters).

Jumping in the women’s triple jump, former Sooner and two-time All-American Toni Smith placed seventh with a wind-aided leap of 42-11.5 (13.09 meters). Fellow former OU jumper Baileh Simms took eighth in the USATF women’s long jump, her best jump registering 20-6.5 (6.26 meters).

Candyce McGrone, former Sooners’ sprinter and 100 meters national champion in 2011, advanced out of the first round to the semifinal in the women’s 100-meter dash, but missed the cut to advance to the final, running an 11.52 in the semis to take 16th.

Advancing out of the semifinal into the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final was redshirt junior Sarah Scott. Competing in just her second USATF meet, Scott concluded her junior outdoor season with a 12th-place finish in the steeple final, crossing the line in 10:04.17. Scott finishes her season as the school record holder in the women’s steeplechase and garnered second team All-American honors at this month’s NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Former Sooner and current Under Armour sprinter Patrick Casey brought home a fourth-place finish in the men’s 1,500 meters final, finishing in 3:43.84.

Rising sophomore Camri Austin competed in her first seniors USATF Outdoors Championship, running in the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Austin crossed the line in 13.45 seconds to place 17th in the first round, narrowly missing the semifinal cut. Austin’s time was still good for third among returning collegians.

OU had a strong representation of former throwers at USATFs. Recently finishing her Sooners career with a runner-up finish at NCAAs, Jess Woodard took ninth in the women’s shot put at USAs, her best throw measuring 58-1 (17.70 meters). Fellow recent graduate and two-time All-American Ashley Bryant competed in the women’s hammer throw, unfortunately fouling her three first-round throws to miss the finals cut.

One of OU’s most accomplished track and field athletes, Tia Brooks-Wannemacher, concluded her decorated career on Sunday in the women’s shot put at the USATF Outdoors. Brooks-Wannemacher finishes her career as a three-time NCAA champion in the shot put, the school indoor and outdoor record holder in the event, and most notably an Olympian in 2012. She announced earlier this month this weekend’s competition would be her last due to injury. Brooks-Wannemacher placed 12th with a throw of 56-0 (17.07 meters).

Two former Sooners advanced to Sunday’s men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final. Adidas pro and former first team All-American Dylan Blankenbaker took eighth in the final, clocking an 8:31.67. Fellow OU graduate Brandon Doughty, running for ZAP Fitness and Reebok, finished 13th in the steeple final, crossing the line in 8:40.12.

The last current or former Sooner to compete at the USATF Outdoor Championships, 2013 OU grad and current Nike runner Riley Masters took home a fourth-place finish in the men’s 5,000 meters with a time of 13:30.23.

The 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships bring to a close the 2017-18 track and field season. The Sooners will return to competition in the fall on the cross country course with the 2018 schedule yet to be determined.

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