Shocker Open Showcases USAO’s Speed


Laura Barrios Bardi

USAO’s 4 by 400 team, including Quintin Pennells, Kalique St. Jean, Kemoy Willis, and Aarin Simon, prepare for their event.

Hunter Dewall, Contributing Writer

USAO’s track and field team traveled to Kansas to compete in the Wichita State Shocker Open at Wichita State University Friday, May 5. There were teams attending the event ranging from both DI and JUCO; USAO brought seven athletes to compete.

The meet started Friday night with the men’s 4 by 100-meter dash with the relay consisting of Omario Johnson, Kemoy Willis, Tyrike Cunningham, and Quintin Pennells. The four-man team ran a season’s personal best, earning them first overall, but just three tenths of a second behind National Championship qualifying marks.

Following the 4 by 100-meter relay was the men’s 100-meter dash, in which USAO had three athletes. For the first time this year, every athlete who entered in the 100-meter dash substantially beat their previous best time. Cunningham set the tone for the rest of the day, running a person best by well over a tenth of a second. In the following heat, Willis and Johnson faced off. Willis demolished his own personal best to cement himself as the fastest athlete over 100-meters at USAO, as well as the fastest at the meet. Johnson also dipped below Willis’s previous school record, placing two athletes within a tenth of a second of qualifying for National Championship’s.

The next event for USAO was the men’s 400-meter dash in which USAO had one entry. Aarin Simon started his 400 off with the fastest 200-meter split of his season. This would allow him to finish second overall at the meet.

Up next was the men’s 200-meter dash in which USAO had three athletes competing in the same heat. Johnson, Cunningham, and Hunter Dewall were set to race together in the first heat. Johnson and Cunningham took the center stage, as both ran substantial personal bests.

The last event for the meet was the men’s 4 by 400-meter relay, in which the team ran a season’s best with Willis, Simon, Pennells, and Kalique St. Jean. For the second week in a row USAO missed National Championship’s automatic qualifying marks, but this time by three tenths of a second. While the mark was missed at this event, the team still have a chance to make Nationals due to their 19th place rank in the NAIA.


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