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Tulsa Track Preps For Arkansas Spring Invitational

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Junior Sarah Macpherson
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March 29, 2012

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TULSA, Okla. - The University of Tulsa track & field teams will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Arkansas Spring Invitational March 31. The meet will take place on the John McDonnell Field and will feature a majority of the Golden Hurricane athletes. The throwing events will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the discus, and the running events are scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. with the 3,000m Steeplechase.

The TU men captured three victories, and the women posted one win and three second-place finishes at the season-opening Tulsa Duels. Sophomore Danny Thater won the 800m run with a mark of 1:56.87, while fellow sophomore Brian Tabb captured the 1,500m run title in 3:57.03. Tabb was trailing Oklahoma State's Neal Smith in the final 100 meters, but he was able to outkick the Cowboy and win the race. Tulsa's 4x400m relay team took top honors in 3:16.08. The team consisted of seniors David Fitter and Justin Smith, and juniors Matt Davis and Julian Frazier. Freshman thrower Chase Sammons recorded the third-best discus and shot put in school history. He finished second in the shot with a throw of 15.55m, and his toss of 49.31m in the discus was good for fifth. TU's 4x400m relay team won in 3:48.74. The four members were senior Racquell Powell, juniors Caroline Schuster and Done' Vermaak, and sophomore Audrey Jean-Baptiste. Freshman thrower Hartly Carlisle recorded the third-best discus in school history of 46.90m to finish seventh. She finished sixth in the shot put with a mark of 11.86m, which was the fourth-best throw in school history.

Junior 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. He was also named a USTFCCCA First Team All-American for his efforts. 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).

All-American Chris O'Hare was named the Conference USA Male Indoor Track Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season. This is the fourth-straight year that a member of the Golden Hurricane was bestowed the yearly honor. Previous winners were O'Hare (2011), John Beattie (2010) and Mark Davidson (2009). O'Hare won Tulsa's first track national title in the mile at the 2012 NCAA Indoor T&F Championships in Nampa, Idaho. He broke the facility record with a mark of 4:01.66 and was named a first team USTFCCCA All-American for the second-straight year. He also won both the 800 and the mile at the Conference USA Championship, and he has still yet to lose a race at the league meet in his three years. O'Hare owns the school record in three indoor distances: the 800, 1000 and mile.

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.

Paula Whiting ended her track career on the highest of notes, earning her way onto the USTFCCCA All-American Second Team for her performance at the NCAA Championship in Des Moines, Iowa. She crossed the line in 13th place with a mark of 16:00.78 in the finals of the 5,000m. The race was Whiting's second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championship, as she finished 15th in the same event a year ago. Joining Whiting on the USTFCCCA All-American Second Team was junior Chris O'Hare, who finished 11th in the finals of the 1,500m with a time of 3:47.61. This was O'Hare's second All-American distinction, as he finished runner-up in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championship earlier this season.

The University of Tulsa track and field teams qualified 12 individuals for the 2011 NCAA West Preliminary Round hosted by the University of Oregon. The event took place May 26-28 in Eugene, Ore., at Hayward Field. The members of the Golden Hurricane who qualified were Justin Duncan (1,500), Jennifer Mace (400) and Paula Whiting (5,000), seniors Mitch Johnson (10,000), Tom Marshall (1,500), Racquell Powell (4x400) and Carl Stones (3,000m Steeplechase), and juniors Geraint Davies (5,000), Lenora Guion-Firmin (4x400), Chris O'Hare (1,500), Caroline Schuster (4x400) and Ashley Scott (5,000). Whiting and O'Hare advanced to the NCAA Championship.

The University of Tulsa men finished third and the women took eighth at the 2011 Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Rice. The men were in second place heading into the final event, but UTEP narrowly surpassed the Golden Hurricane, who took third with 133 points. Houston won the men's competition with 175 points, and UTEP placed second with 139 points. Juniors Chris O'Hare won gold medals in both the 800 and the 1,500, and he set a meet record in the 1,500 (3:42.81). Justin Duncan placed second in both events, and sophomore Brian Tabb was third in the 800. Senior Carl Stones won the 3,000m Steeplechase, and junior Geraint Davies and senior Mitch Johnson went 2-3 in the 5,000. Senior Paulo Pinheiro and Davies went 2-3 in the 10,000. Junior Alex Sementelli placed third in the decathlon with a school-record 6,686 points. Paula Whiting took gold both the 1,500 and the 5,000 as the women took eighth with 58 points.