Wind Adds Extra Obstacle at Sooner Invite


Laura Barrios Bardi

Quintin Pennells and Kemoy Willis discuss their event at an outdoor track and field meet.

Hunter Dewall, Contributing Writer

Over the weekend of April 14th and 15th, USAO traveled to Norman to compete in the Sooner Invite at the University of Oklahoma (OU). There were 25 universities attending the event ranging from DI, DII, and NAIA. USAO brought 11 athletes to compete.

The meet started Friday night with the women’s long jump, in which USAO had one entry. Kyra Willett battled a tail wind of 2.8 m/s which is above the legal limit of 2.0 m/s, making it quite hard to compete. Willett still put up a respectable jump, about a meter behind national qualifying marks. Later into the night the men’s 100-meter dash took place, in which USAO had three athletes compete. The athletes had to deal with strong winds constantly changing between heats, however both Tyrike Cunningham and Remario McCarty ran seasonal bests. Omario Johnson ended up taking home the top spot for USAO finishing just 0.07 seconds ahead of Cunningham.

Saturday started off with the men’s 4 by 100-meter relay for USAO, running a season’s best with Johnson, Cunningham, Kemoy Willis, and Quintin Pennells. USAO’s relay team got within a second to qualifying for Nationals.

The next event of the day was the 400-meter dash in which USAO had five entries in. At this point in the day the wind had picked up to about 18 mph and was blowing heavily down the back stretch of the track. Despite this Pennells ran the fastest time for USAO getting close to his season’s best. Following behind him by only 0.3 seconds was Willis setting himself a season’s best over 400-meters. Kalique St. Jean and Aarin Simon ran the exact same time down to the hundredth second, two heats apart from each other, also marking a personal best for St. Jean. To end the 400-meter heats, Hunter Dewall tied his personal best.

As winds continued to pick up Ely Dover took on the 800-meter and ran a personal best as the only USAO athlete competing over this mid-distance event.

As the wind started to die down and dip below the legal tail wind limit of 2.0 m/s, USAO had three athletes in the men’s 200-meter dash. Pennells took home the fastest time for USAO, running a seasonal best with slight wind aid. Following in behind him was Brayden Keller who also ran a seasonal best with little to no wind aid. Wrapping the sprinting day up for USAO, Dewall ran a personal best in the last heat of the night.

To round off the night, St. Jean ran the 3,000-meter steeple chase, where he put down a 13 second personal best after running the 400-meter dash only two hours before.


Hunter Dewall is a first-year Physical Education major at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.