Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Track and Field: OU's Tia Brooks Breaks NCAA Record

It was another brilliant performance for redshirt senior Tia Brooks, as she crashed through the women's collegiate and NCAA championship shot put record with a personal-best throw of 63-0.75/19.22m at the Randal Tyson Track Complex on Saturday evening in Fayetteville, Ark.

“It feels amazing. That’s definitely been a goal all year, and to get there feels like a huge weight has been lifted," explained Brooks. "I feel so blessed to be able to do this."

She becomes the first woman in NCAA history to ever surpass the 63-foot barrier, and recorded the best throw in the shot put since North Carolina's Laura Gerraughty threw 62-10.0 (19.15m) in 2004. Additionally, she surpasses her own program-record of 62-4.00 (19.00m) set at last year's NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

With the record-setting throw, Brooks defended her title in the event, and claimed her third-straight NCAA crown in the shot put after she won the competition at both the indoor and outdoor championship meet in 2012. She also becomes the No. 5 U.S. indoor shot putter of all time, and currently ranks No. 4 on the 2013 world list.

"It just shows how good of a coach I have to be able to have my technique down and do what I’ve been doing," continued Brooks. "I just changed my technique not even a week ago, so to be able to win is really heart warming and proves I can do it in a competition.”

Undoubtedly it is a historic feet for Brooks, who becomes the first Oklahoma woman to win two indoor NCAA titles, and the first Sooner in track and field history - men or women - to claim three individual NCAA titles to their name throughout both the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. Additionally, it is the sixth All-American honor for the Grand Rapids, Mich., native during her career in the Crimson and Cream.

Claire McConnell joined Brooks on Saturday when she made her NCAA Championship debut, with a 13th-place finish in the women's pentathlon after she totaled 3,916 points. The Klein, Texas, native finished the day with career performance in two of her five events after she crossed the finish line in 8.68 in the 60-meter hurdles and collected a 37-0.25 (11.28m) mark in the shot put.

En route to her total, 3,916 points, McConnell also cleared 5-6.50 (1.69m) in the high jump, leapt 18-6.00 (5.64m) in the long jump and stopped the clock at 2:26.25 In the 800-meter run.

The Sooners will begin the 2013 Outdoor track and field season next weekend with the TCU Duals on Friday, March 15, and the Tulsa Duals on Saturday, March. 16.
Women's Shot Put
1. Tia Brooks, 63-0.75/19.22m*!XM

Women's Pentathlon11. Claire McConnell, Sr., 3,916
60-meter Hurdles, 8.68*
High Jump, 5-6.50/1.69m
Shot Put, 37-00.25/11.28m*
Long Jump, 18-6.00/5.64m
800-meter Run, 2:26.25
* personal-best performance
! Oklahoma program record
X Collegiate Record
M NCAA Championship Meet Record

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