Whitt marks record day; McFarland wins conference championship
NORMAN, Okla. - There have been many memorable moments in the career of Oral Roberts senior pole vaulter Jack Whitt, but none may be more memorable as Friday afternoon.
Whitt gave the spectators at the Southland Conference Indoor Championships a treat as he jumped to a height of 5.61 meters, shattering ORU school record he set earlier in the season, the Southland Indoor Championships meet record and the facility record at the Mosier Indoor Track at Oklahoma.
The mark also set the highest mark by anyone in the NCAA this season.
Whitt simply put an exclamation mark on the men's and women's pole vault events for the Golden Eagle teams at the meet. Teammate Dustin Gehrke, who had competed well all season, finished in a tie for third with Cameron Meyer of Stephen F. Austin, clearing the bar at 5.07.
In the women's pole vault event early in the afternoon, Lauren McFarland and Daniella Szabo each cleared the bar at 3.90 meters. McFarland was awarded the gold in the event and Szabo via failed attempts.
The mark by Szabo, a freshman from Csomad, Hungary, was her collegiate personal best and best finish at the collegiate level.
The other medal of the afternoon for the Golden Eagles went to Morrie Turner in the men's long jump. Turner finished in a tie for third with Northwestern State's Emmanuel Williams with a mark of 7.34 meters.
Many prelim events were held on Friday afternoon and evening as well, with multiple Golden Eagle runners reaching the finals on Saturday.
Cornesha Wilkerson and Victoria Reynolds qualified for the finals in the 60 meter dash with times of 7.70 and 7.70 seconds, respectively. In the men's 60 meter, Joseph Reis-Herron won his heat with a time of 6.91.
Running well in her freshman campaign this season, Madison Reynolds had the second best qualifying time in the women's 400 meter at 56.44, while senior Jeffery Gibson moves into the finals in the men's 400, qualifying at 49.06.
In the 800 meter, two Golden Eagles qualified in the women's event, as Erin Roberson crossed with the second best time at 2:19.04 and Marrisa Thomas had a time of 2:20.80. Tyler Banks moved on in the men's 800 at 1:58.02.
Gibson and Wilkerson moved on the two finals in their second events of the evening in the 200 meter races, with Gibson coming in at 21.84 and Wilkerson at 24.78.
The Southland Championships will wrap up tomorrow afternoon at the Mosier Indoor Track in Norman, with the awards ceremony scheduled to begin at approximately 5 p.m.