OSU Track Travels to Arkansas for Regular Season Finale

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May 3, 2012

The Basics
The Oklahoma State track and field program will compete in its final meet before post season competition when it travels to the Arkansas Twilight Meet in Fayetteville, hosted by the University of Arkansas at John McDonnell Field.

The meet will start at 11 a.m. with the hammer throw, and running events will begin at 6 p.m., with OSU's first running event, the women's 3,000 meters, set for 6:10 p.m. OSU will have 16 men competing in five events and 14 women competing in eight events.

Chasing the Olympic Dream
Cowboy Tom Farrell ran a blistering 13:15.31 in the 5,000 meters at the Payton Jordan Invitational on April 29, earning him an Olympic "A" Standard, which gives him a strong chance to represent his native Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games. Cowgirl Natalja Piliusina ran a 4:09.51 in the 1,500 meters at the Payton Jordan, which is just .61 seconds off of the Olympic "B" standard. If she is able to shave off the fractions of a second, she would be able to represent her home country of Lithuania in the upcoming Olympics. Cowgirl Toni Young also impressed at the Payton Jordan Invitational, recording a mark of six feet, one half inch in the high jump. If she can post a jump of six feet, one inch, she is automatically qualified to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials at the end of June.

OSU in the Polls
After an incredible showing by OSU at the Payton Jordan Invitational on April 29, both the men's and women's teams made jumps in the national rankings. The Cowgirls jumped an astounding 32 spots to No. 34, while the men jumped ahead six spots to No. 36.

Among the Nation's Elite
OSU track and field athletes own 16 marks that rank among the top 50 nationally, including six inside the top 10:

No. 1 Women's 1,500 Meters - Natalja Piliusina - 4:09.51 - Payton Jordan Inv.
No. 3 Women's High Jump - Toni Young - 1.84m - Payton Jordan Inv.
No. 6 Men's Hammer Throw - Nick Miller - 67.06m - John McDonnell Inv.
No. 7 Women's 800 Meters - Natalja Piliusina - 2:04.01 - Stanford Inv.
No. 7 Men's 10,000 Meters - Girma Mecheso - 28:16.97 - Payton Jordan Inv.
No. 9 Men's 5,000 Meters - Girma Mecheso - 13.34.83 - Stanford Inv 

From Hoops to High Jump
Oklahoma State women's basketball star Toni Young, who has career averages of 11.3 points per game, 7.7 rebounds per game and 1.1 blocks per game and is in the top 10 in six career statistical categories, has joined the track team as a high jumper. In just her second outing with team, Young's jump of 6-00 1/2 set the OSU school record and currently ranks third among collegiate athletes and 26th in the world. 

Freshman Phenom
Freshman thrower Nick Miller has had an incredible run so far in his first season on campus. The Carlisle, United Kingdom, native has increased his distance in the hammer throw in each of the four meets he's competed at during the outdoor season. He currently owns the school record with a 220-foot effort at the John McDonnell Invitational on April 20. That effort also ranks sixth nationally and fourth among junior (under 20) athletes. He has placed first in the hammer at each of the past three meets he's competed in.

Rewriting the Record Books
The 2012 outdoor track and field season has resulted in some of the best marks in Oklahoma State history. In just this season, the Cowboys and Cowgirls have claimed a total of 15 spots on the all-time top-10 performance lists, including five school records:

Outdoor School Records Set in 2012:

Men's 5,000 Meters - Tom Farrell - 13:15.31 - Payton Jordan Inv.
(Old Record: German Fernandez - 13:25.46 - 2009 USATF, Eugene)

Men's 10,000 Meters - Girma Mecheso - 28:16 97 - Payton Jordan Inv.
(Old Record: Colby Lowe - 28:45.91 - 2011 Stanford Invitational)

Men's Hammer Throw - Nick Miller - 67.06m/220-00 - John McDonnell Inv.
(Old Record: Nick Miller - 66.88 meters - 2012 John Jacobs Invitational)

Women's 1,500 Meters - Natalja Piliusina - 4:09.51 - Payton Jordan Inv.
(Old Record: Mihaela Susa - 4:13.08 - 2010 Mt. SAC Relays)

Women's High Jump - Toni Young - 1.84m, 6-00.50 - Payton Jordan Inv.
(Old Record: Michelle Crowson - 1.81m, 5-11.25  - 1987 Ralph Higgins Meet)

From Coach Dave Smith
"We have a few throwers going and hopefully they continue what they're doing, because that group is doing well. Toni Young is going on high jump again. She's chasing the automatic standard for the Olympic Trials, which is six feet, one inch, and she jumped six feet, one half inch, so she has to improve a half an inch to get into the Olympic Trials. Hopefully we get those things done. The middle distance and distance groups are running, for the most part, 800 meters and 1,500 meters. We're having a lot of 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter runners move down and run the 1,500 meters as one last kind of tune up for speed work. We'd like to see some personal bests; we'll be shooting for that. For the most part, it's a tune up race for the Big 12 (Championships) and the championship part of the season. We have a couple guys - German Fernandez and Raul Botezan - are hoping for much bigger things, and the rest of the kids are tuning up for the Big 12 meet."



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