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TU Kicks Off Outdoor Campaign With Tulsa Duels

Junior Carolin Imhof
Junior Carolin Imhof
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March 15, 2012

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TULSA, Okla. - The University of Tulsa track & field teams will open the 2012 outdoor season by hosting the annual Tulsa Duels March 16-17. The hammer throw (in Stillwater, Okla.) and javelin will be contested March 16, and the main day of competition will be March 17 at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Stadium.

The first event of the day will be the discus at 9 a.m., and the running events will begin at 1 p.m. with the 2,000m Steeplechase. The teams scheduled to compete are Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Western Illinois, UMKC, Missouri Southern (women only) and Nebraska Omaha (women only).

Junior All-American Chris O'Hare led wire-to-wire for eight laps and won the mile national championship at the 2012 Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships March 10 at the Jacksons Indoor Track at the Idaho Center. He posted a facility-record mark of 4:01.66 in the finals to become the first track national champion in school history, beating second-place Rich Peters of Boston University by 0.12 seconds. O'Hare pushed the tempo early and was able to outlast his competitors in his wire-to-wire victory, most notably defending champion Miles Batty of BYU who finished third in 4:01.86. The victory also gave Tulsa 10 points towards the overall team standings, which was the most in school history at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The team finished in 18th overall, which was better than Oral Roberts (22nd with nine points), Oklahoma (52nd with three points) and Oklahoma State (61st with one point).

The University of Tulsa men's track and field team won the 2012 Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championship Feb. 26 at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The Golden Hurricane unseated the five-time champion Houston Cougars 139-138 to win the first league crown in school history. The Golden Hurricane men also became the first team since UTEP in 2005-06 to win the C-USA cross country and indoor track championships in the same season. UH had claimed eight of the last nine C-USA Indoor Championships. Tulsa trailed the Cougars by 30 points through 15 of 17 events. The Golden Hurricane leapt into the lead with a near-flawless 3,000, earning 34 points in the event and taking the lead over Houston at 133-130. Then came the final event - the 4x400m relay. Houston led the race through three legs, while Tulsa sat in fourth place. UTEP's relay team was able to pass the Cougar anchor on the final lap, and TU junior Julian Frazier passed East Carolina's anchor in the final 50 meters to secure third place. UH earned eight points in the event and Frazier's effort gave the Golden Hurricane the six points needed to win the league title outright by a mere point. Seven different members of the Golden Hurricane scored in doubles figures, with 20 points each being earned by senior Paulo Pinheiro, junior Chris O'Hare and Frazier. Junior Andrew Heyes earned 16 points. Seniors Carl Stones and Justin Smith, along with junior Sam Masters all earned 11 points. The TU women finished 10th with 30 points. The team was led by junior Done' Vermaak, who recorded eight points with her second-place finish in the 800 (2:09.60). Junior Erin Huddleston placed sixth in the mile with a mark of 4:57.53. The time was the fifth-fastest in school history. Freshman Natasha Cockram placed fifth in the 3,000 with the fourth-fastest time in school history of 9:42.29.

The Tulsa track and field teams collected a plethora of postseason honors following the conclusion of the 2012 Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championships Feb. 26. Head Coach Steve Gulley led the way for the honorees with his C-USA Men's Coach of the Year award, which was bestowed to him after he guided his Golden Hurricane to its first conference championship in school history. Six members of the men's team were named to the all-C-USA First Team, headlined by junior All-American Chris O'Hare (800, mile) and senior Paulo Pinheiro (3,000, 5,000). TU's Distance Medley Relay team captured the gold and the four members (seniors Tom Marshall and Bill Martin, sophomore Andrew Jameson, freshman Nathan Barrett) were all named to the first team. Juniors Julian Frazier (400) and Andrew Heyes (mile, 3,000) earned spots on the all-C-USA Second Team. The TU recipients of third-team honors were seniors Carl Stones (5,000), Justin Smith (4x400) and David Fitter (4x400), Frazier (200, 4x400), and juniors Sam Masters (3,000) and Matt Davis (4x400). Junior Done' Vermaak was the lone member of the women's team to earn a postseason accolade, as she landed on the all-C-USA Second Team following her performance in the 800.