WACO, Texas — Though a conference title wasn’t in the cards, it was still a very big day for Oklahoma track and field.
While the women finished fifth at the Big 12 championships, the men netted the highest point total in program history at the meet, narrowly placing second, less than 15 points behind champion Texas.
The Longhorns finished with 144.5 points and the Sooners with 130. Rounding out the top five among the men were Texas Tech (113.5), Kansas State (90) and Kansas (72.5).
“I thought the men had their best meet of the season,” OU track and field coach Martin Smith said. “We performed well enough to make it close and stay with it at the end … It’s a good catalyst for the NCAA’s coming up.”
Smith was very pleased with the women’s finish, too, as the Sooners claimed five individual conference champions, including two on the women’s side.
Patrick Casey claimed the men’s 1,500 meters in 3:40.04, Tre’ Lethan won the 110 meter hurdles in 13.7. An All-American in the same even last season, it was Lethan’s first conference championship. Kevin Shwab won the 10,000 meters, finishing the longest race of the meet in 29:12.84.
For the women, Tia Brooks, an Olympian who competed at the London Games, claimed the shot put with a heave of 60-8.75, while freshman Avione Allgood came back from a 14th-place finish in the shot put to win the javelin with a throw of 171-3.
“The women really stepped up,” Smith said, “and this is something I really think they can build on and was their best meet of the season as well.”
Kansas won the women’s team title with 158 points. Texas was next with 145, followed by Baylor (93), Iowa State (89) and OU (78.5).
Next up for the Sooners is the NCAA West Regional, set for May 23-25 in Austin, Texas. Qualifiers will then move on to the NCAA championships, set for June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore.