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OU's Mookie Salaam is 200 meter national champ

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Mookie Salaam became Oklahoma’s 33rd NCAA Track and Field champion as he clocked a world-leading time in the 200-meter dash Friday in the first of two days of competition at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Salaam was one of four All-Americans on the night for OU as four program records also fell inside the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. Already, the Big 12 champion in both the 60- and 200-meter dash, Salaam is Oklahoma’s first ever national champion in the event and the program’s second NCAA Indoor champion in as many years after Ronnie Ash won the 60-meter hurdles title in 2010. In one of the closest NCAA 200-meter dash finals ever, if not the closest, Salaam finished with a time of 20.41, identical to that of the first finals heat winner, Florida State’s Maurice Mitchell. When it was broken down to the thousandths of a second, Salaam edged Mitchell 20.401 to 20.403. "Tonight is a blessing. I had a great field of competition to race against and I went to the line with an empty mind. It’s just amazing to be out here having fun and glorifying God and showing what His work can do," said Salaam, who will run in the finals of the 60-meter dash tomorrow at 6:10 p.m. "Coach (Matt) Kane had a good game plan for me today. He switched up our strategy for the corners and I got up the hill really smooth. It’s a blessing to be coachable and be able to take what an awesome coach gives me."

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