Friday, June 7, 2013

Track and Field: Masters, Casey Advance to 1,500-Meter Final

For three Sooners, the results were impressive on the track Thursday night at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Senior Kevin Williams finished 12th overall in the 10,000-meter final with a 30:22.02, earning second team All-America honors in the process. Williams turned in a solid race and got stronger through the middle of the race. He was in position to finish in the top eight as the 24 runners entered the final two laps but just fell back in the final laps.

Williams posted his fastest 400-meter splits in the ninth through 14th lap, then had six more good splits from the 7,200-meter mark to the 9,200-meter mark to move near the top eight as the runners entered the final 800 meters. For Williams, the Big 12 runner-up in the 10,000, the finish gave the senior his second career All-America honor.

OU sent two competitors to the 1500 semifinal and both advanced to Saturday's final. Redshirt senior Patrick Casey, ranked fourth in the country heading into the race, finished seventh in the first heat with a 3:41.93 to advance to the final. Another redshirt senior, Riley Masters, won the second heat with a 3:42.84. Masters was ranked first in the country heading into the race.

Casey was among the top three in his heat near the halfway mark of the race, posting a 1:45.25 through the first 700 meters. He eventually slipped back to his final finish. As a two-heat race, the top five from each heat advance to the final with the next two fastest times earning a ticket of the final. The next two fastest times came from Casey's heat.

Masters was behind the leaders through the first 700 meters, in fourth at that point. He began moving to the front after the halfway mark of the race, then moved into second at the 1,100-meter mark with a 2:47.95. He then ran the fastest final lap, posting a 54.90 in the final 400 to take the top spot.

The 1,500-meter final is set for 4:31 p.m. CDT on Saturday.

The Sooners' 1600-meter relay of Ethan Baker, Jamel Wood, Waymon Storey and Nathaniel Winfrey fell just short of advancing to Saturday's final. OU finished in 12th place overall with a 3:06.35 and the final qualifying time was a 3:04.97. In a three-heat race, the top two from each heat and the next two fastest times advanced. The fastest overall time came from OU's heat with Texas A&M posting a 3:02.38 while the next two fastest relays came from the first heat.

OU was in second place in its heat after the first exchange and continued in second place heading into the final lap. In that final lap, six of the eight relays posted a faster anchor leg to push the Sooners back to fourth in their heat. Still, the final time was the second best time of the season for the quartet, just .20 behind the season best posted two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regional meet.

The Sooners have a day off from competition on Friday and will have four competitors on Saturday. In addition to the finalists in the 1,500-meter run, Tia Brooks will defend her shot put title with competition beginning at 3 p.m. Brooks, the senior who won the 2013 indoor shot put title, will be going after her fourth NCAA title in two years and will be trying to add the collegiate national record in the process. Another senior, Kristen Rice is making her first trip to NCAA competition and will be competing in the high jump, beginning at 2:45 p.m. CDT.

Oklahoma's Day Two Results
Men's 1,500m Run Semifinals
1. Riley Masters*, 3:42.84 (Heat 2)
7. Patrick Casey*, 3:41.93 (Heat 1)

Men's 1,600m Relay Semifinals
12. Ethan Baker, Waymon Storey, Jamel Wood, Nathaniel Winfrey, 3:06.35

Men's 10,000m Run Finals
12. Kevin Williams, 30:22.02

* Advanced to Saturday's finals
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