By Andrew Glover
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Last season the Oklahoma State University men’s indoor track team finished seventh. Heading into Friday’s Big 12 Indoor Track Championships in Ames, Iowa, the Cowboys have their eye on the title.
“Everyone wants to put that ‘S’ on their chest and carry the team,” Cowboy track and field coach Dave Smith said. “The guys are excited about this.”
In distance running Oklahoma State is led by its distance medley relay, which qualified for nationals at the Alex Wilson Invitational on Feb. 22 in South Bend, Ind. The team of Tyler Payton, Chad Noelle, Shane Moskowitz and Kirubel Erassa ran a time of 9:29.91 — 1.5 seconds slower than the OSU record and ranks seventh in the NCAA. Smith said he’s excited about the team.
“We’re probably going to run a different group of guys at the Big 12 championships,” Smith said. “At the national championships, that group is really good. … That’s a group that contended for the national championships.”
OSU will look to Tyreek Hill in the sprints. Hill broke the 60-meter dash record at the Kansas State Open with a time of 6.68, which earned him Big 12 Athlete of the Week honors. Smith said Hill has come along well and also John Teeters.
“(The addition of Hill) is big for our program,” Smith said. “It legitimizes us as a track and field team instead of a collection of distance runners. John Teeter, a transfer from Tulsa has ran extremely well. He broke the school record before Hill broke it from him. Those two guys have done a great job.”
In field events, Smith is looking for a good performance from Jerel Morrow and Tre Flowers in the jumps.
“Those are two guys who should score at the Big 12 championships,” Smith said.
Morrow finished sixth in the long jump at the Alex Wilson Invitational with a jump of 23 feet and 10.75 inches. Flowers finished 12th with a jump of 21 feet and 7.25 inches.
For the Cowgirls, Savannah Camacho (2:05.41) and Kaela Edwards (2:05.59) enter the Big 12 championships ranked No. 8 and No. 12 respectively in the 800-meter run. Clara Nichols joined the rankings at No. 22 after running the 800-meter run in 2:06.56 at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Monilka Juodeskaite (9:17.37) is ranked No. 28 in the 3,000 meters. Viktoriia Sadokhina ranks No. 20 in the triple jump and Chase Ealey ranks No. 35 in the shot put.