Willis Breaks School Record at OU


Hunter Dewall

Kemoy Willis clutches the baton in his right hand during the men’s 4 by 400 relay over the weekend at OU.

Hunter Dewall, Contributing Writer

USAO’s track and field team traveled to Norman, Okla. to compete in the John Jacobs Invitational at the University of Oklahoma (OU), in which one of USAO’s athletes set a new school record. The two-day competition started Friday, April 21st, and end Saturday, April 22nd. There were 44 teams 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 faced a head wind of 2.5 m/s which did not seem to bother her one bit. Willett missed her season best by just six inches.

Saturday started with the men’s 400-meter dash, in which USAO had four entries. The day started off cold and did not warm up during the 400, it was 55 degrees and slightly windy. Starting the heats off, Ely Dover ran a personal best in the first heat. In the following heat Kalique St. Jean and Aarin Simon ran against each other, with Simon finishing exactly half a second ahead of St. Jean. Then to finish the 400-meter heats off, Quintin Pennells ran the fastest time for USAO and setting an outdoors season best in the process, despite the cold weather.

The next event for the day was the men’s 100-meter dash, in which USAO four entries. Brayden Keller ran a personal best in his first 100-meter race of his college career. Kemoy Willis and Tyrike Cunningham faced off in the following heat. Willis left his competition behind from the start, running a blistering time of 10.86. With this time, Willis set a new school record, as well as two tenths of a second off National Championship qualifying marks. Omario Johnson ran his second fastest time of the year, finishing just behind his all-time best.

Following the 100-meter races, Dover was the only 800-meter entry for USAO in which he came close to running a personal best. USAO had three athletes in the 200-meter dash. Savannah Creech was the only woman USAO had competing in the sprinting events. Creech put up a season best in legal wind conditions. Johnson and Hunter Dewall ran against each other, where Johnson took home the fastest time for USAO. He ran a season best for his first 200-meter race of the season.

The men’s 4 by 400-meter relay was the last event of the weekend, in which USAO’s team ran a season best with Willis, St. Jean, Simon, and Pennells. Despite their best performance of the season and an incredibly fast last leg from Pennells, USAO missed National Championship qualifying marks by one second.

USAO will have their final chance to make the National Championship in early May with their last regular season competition.


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