AUSTIN, Texas – Sinclaire Johnson claimed a national title in the 1,500-meter run for the Oklahoma State women’s track and field team in the final day of the collegiate season on Saturday.
Johnson set the NCAA Outdoor Championships’ meet record in a time of 4:05.98, which also clocked in as the second-fastest 1,500-meter time in collegiate history. Only Jenny Simpson (Barringer) has run a faster time in the history of collegiate track and field.
Johnson said when she envisioned the race, she saw exactly what happened.
“That (vision) was playing over and over in my mind,” Johnson said. “I mean, I’m speechless, honestly. When I crossed that line and realized I had won and run such a fast time (4:05.98), I had no words.”
Johnson becomes the third Cowgirl in program history to win an outdoor individual title. She was the first champion in the outdoor season since Natalja Piliusina’s 2013 title in the 1,500 meters.
Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Dave Smith said he was excited and knew Johnson was going to run a fast time.
“I am thrilled for her,” Smith said. “I know how hard she has worked for it, and she has focus and a commitment to excellence. (Her time) isn’t out of the realm of possibility. With her workouts this spring, I knew she was capable of something like this. We’ve had some incredible athletes come through our program, but the workouts she is doing, no one else has been able to do at the level she has.”
Johnson outkicked defending champion Jessica Hull and took over the lead with less than 100 meters to go. Johnson closed her final 400 meters in 1:02.68 to break away from a pack of four athletes and come away the victor.
“Jessica Hull is a great competitor, so I knew if I passed her, it had to be the only time I passed her,” Johnson said. “I really just wanted to wait until the last moment so she couldn’t come back on me. So when I passed her I was like, ‘All right, Sinclaire this is it. You said this would be the only time you pass her, so this is it.’ From that point, I was just gunning for that line.”
Jenny Martinez finished in seventh place with a time of 4:14.30. Martinez’s performance earned her first team All-America honors. It was Martinez’s first All-America award since the 2015 indoor season when she was a second team All-American in the Mile.
Molly Sughroue finished 11th in her final race as a Cowgirl. She earned second team All-America honors with a time of 4:18.06. Sughroue’s performance was her highest-placing finish as an individual at a national meet.
Smith said Martinez and Sughroue have meant so much to the OSU program.
“We might not have a Sinclaire Johnson without Molly (Sughroue) or a Jenny (Martinez),” Smith said. “I’m really appreciative of all the great running Molly and Jenny have given us. Jenny goes out as a first team All-American, and I’m a little heartbroken for Molly. Just like Sinclaire and Jenny, she is committed and has worked incredibly hard. She has done every thing right, and she has done what it takes to be a national champion, but the season didn’t go the way we hoped it would. She had a fantastic career with multiple Big 12 championships and fast times and big time performances. I hope she looks back and sees how important she was to our program.”
Johnson and Martinez combined for 12 team points. The Cowgirls finished the team race in a tie for 22nd. It’s the OSU women’s best finish since 2016.