Tolson concludes OU career

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The sun refused to shine on Sarah Tolson at last week’s NCAA Track and Field west preliminaries in Lawrence, Kan.

Torrential downpours wreaked havoc on Thursday’s qualifying, while washing away chances for Tolson to reach the national collegiate championships as a University of Oklahoma hammer thrower.

A rain-damaged, 22nd-place performance Friday concluded the Pawhuska senior’s collegiate career on the Lady Sooners’ track and field squad.

OU’s Ashley Bryant qualified for her first national meet by finishing eighth in the West Regional’s hammer-throw competition. Following a nearly four-hour weather delay Friday, the sophomore from Newcastle heaved her final attempt for a personal-best 203 feet, 2 inches — which was the program’s second-best all time.

Tolson will depart with the third-best hammer mark in Lady Sooner history. (Her top throw of 202 feet, 2 inches came earlier this spring.) She also ranks as OU’s all-time record holder in the indoor season’s weight throw event — having thrown the 20-pound apparatus 63 feet, 9 1/2 inches on Feb. 12.

In addition to her throwing, Tolson was part of an outstanding classroom effort by this year’s OU track and field teams. She was one of 17 Lady Sooners named to the Big 12’s All-Academic team. It marked the second time that Tolson has received All-Academic honors. She is studying sports medicine.

Tolson was one of nine OU throwers who had previously competed in the NCAA regionals. Tolson reached the west prelims in 2015 and 2014. As a redshirt sophomore, she had finished fourth in the Big 12 with a hammer throw of 192-06.

During her prep career at Pawhuska High School, Tolson won three state championships in discus and one in shot. Her 2010 discus-winning distance (148 feet, 6 inches) remains the best in Oklahoma Class 3A high school girls’ history.