The University of Oklahoma women’s track team had its best meet ever, and so did sophomore thrower Jess Woodard.
Woodard, a native of Marlton and graduate of Cherokee High School, posted two PRs and two third-place finishes for the Sooners in the Big 12 Championships in Fort Worth.
Oklahoma finished a best-ever second in the Big 12, falling to Texas 167.7-136.5.
In the shot put, Woodard moved from fifth to third on her final throw, PRing at 56-9 1/4. She finished behind only seniors Dani Winters of Kansas State (57-0 1/2) and Chase Ealey of Oklahoma State (56-9 3/4).
Woodard didn’t have a great series but finished with a bomb. She got into the finals with a 52-2 1/4 on her first throw of the trials before fouling on her last two throws in the trials. Then she went 54-11 1/4 and 53-2 to open the finals before blasting her 56-9 1/4.
Woodard’s previous PR was a 55-10 3/4 at indoor NCAAs in Birmingham in March, when she earned All-America honors for the first time. Her outdoor PR was a 55-10 1/4 at the John Jacobs Invite in Norman, Okla., in late April.
It’s tough to tell where Woodard ranks in Oklahoma history, since the school hasn’t updated its on-line women’s track media guide in six years.
But according to Direct Athletics, she is ninth in NCAA Division 1 this spring in the shot put and No. 2 among sophomores. According to the IAAF, she is No. 46 in the world and No. 17 among all U.S. women.
Woodard was just as sharp in the discus.
She threw 177-9 3/4 to place third and destroy another PR. She came into the weekend with a disc PR of 176-7 1/2 at last year’s NCAA West Regionals in Austin.
Woodard got off five legal throws – 171 8 1/2 and 169-9 3/4 followed by a foul in the prelims and then her 177-9 3/4 to open the finals, followed by a 165-2 1/4 and a 170-1.
Freshman Shadae Lawrence of Kansas State won the disc at 193-0 1/2, with Texas Tech senior Hannah Carson second at 182-4 1/2.