Saturday, April 15, 2017

Track and Field Picks Up Big Marks at Bryan Clay Invitational

Savannah Camacho
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AZUSA, Calif. – A small group of Oklahoma State athletes put up some of the best marks in school history in the Golden State Friday at the Bryan Clay Invitational. Two of which from Savannah Camacho and Josh Thompson cracked the top-four on OSU all-time best lists.

Two Cowgirls ran top-10 times in the 800-meter run early in the day as Kaylee Dodd finished third and senior All-American Clara Nichols took ninth overall.

"It was a good day," coach Dave Smith said. "Kaylee ran her second-best 800 ever and best outdoors, and Clara made a big jump from a week ago."

Dodd's time was an outdoor personal best and keeps her at No. 6 in school history. She was the second-best collegiate finisher in the event and the time jumps her into the top-five in the NCAA West Region, just ahead of Cowgirl senior Camacho, who ran in the 1,500-meter run later Friday.

Nichols bounced back this weekend with a time of 2:06.66 in the 800 that catapulted her into the West top-25, where she has finished the season in two of the previous three seasons.

"She's been coming back from a long-term injury and today she looked right back in the neighborhood of where she's been before," Smith said.

Thompson and Camacho starred in the fastest heats of the men's and women's 1,500-meter run, and both took fourth place with personal best times.

Thompson's 3:38.41 moved him up to third in school history, now just behind Cowboy greats Paul Larkins at two and German Fernandez's 3:37.76.

"It was good for him and a great race," Smith said. "He had to be aggressive and other than Josh Kerr who ran the No. 6 time in NCAA history at 3:35, Josh was the only one pushing it. He kind of faded a little bit toward the end and was passed up, but it was a great effort."

The Cowboy senior extended his lead on the Big 12 to five seconds, and held firm at No. 2 in the West Region for the event.

Camacho crushed her previous PR in the 1,500 by five seconds when she cruised to a 4:14.14 in the fastest section of the day. She now holds a top-five time in the region in the 1,500 to go along with her top-10 800-meter time and her OSU-leading 400-meter time.

"It's a big PR for her, but she can run faster," Smith said. "It was a poorly rabbited race and they had to really close hard but she competed really well."

In four years with the Cowgirls, Camacho has now recorded four times in the top-four on OSU's indoor and outdoor records lists with the No. 2 indoor 800, No. 3 outdoor 400, No. 3 outdoor 800 and now the No. 4 outdoor 1,500.

She has advanced to the NCAA Championships in the 800-meter run in each of the last two seasons, but she's showing week in and week out that she has some of the best range in the NCAA.

"We have to figure out what she's going to run," Smith said. "I've always thought she could be a great 1,500-meter runner, but she's not always wanted to do that and I think now she's realizing she could be great at it."

The Cowgirls have two of the best 1,500-meter runners in the conference now in Camacho and Kaela Edwards.

"With her and Kaela, we might want to separate the power a bit, but maybe we run them both because they're both good and have a chance to win it."

The Pokes will compete in California and Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday with a sprints group and Jacob Fincham-Dukes taking on the field at the Horned Frog Invitational, and Ieva Zarankaite competing in the women's discus invite at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Bryan Clay Invitational | Azusa, Calif. | April 14, 2017

Women's Results

800 Meters
3. Kaylee Dodd – 2:05.15
9. Clara Nichols – 2:06.66

1,500 Meters
4. Savannah Camacho – 4:14.14

Men's Results

1,500 Meters
4. Josh Thompson – 3:38.41
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