Marble Falls High School senior high jumper Kason O’Riley committed to joining the University of Oklahoma track-and-field team.
O’Riley announced his commitment Oct. 19, two days after he and his dad, Shawn, took a drive to Norman, Oklahoma, to check out the campus and learn more about the city. His mother is Katy O’Riley.
“It’s a beautiful campus,” Kason O’Riley said. “I thought, ‘I’d love to be there for the next four years.’ We looked at the dorm I’ll be staying in. One thing that really hooked me: I’ll have a nice home to stay in and be comfortable.”
The Sooners offered O’Riley a scholarship Oct. 13. He plans to sign his National Letter of Intent on Nov. 7 during the early signing period.
The Mustang, who has cleared 6 feet 10 inches and is ranked No. 1 in the state, said he built a great rapport with Sooners high jump coach Jerel Langley. Langley coached junior Vernon Turner to the No. 1 jump in NCAA history of 7 feet 7 ¾ inches, as a freshman in 2018.
“Coach Langley is a great coach,” O’Riley said. “I feel like he’ll be a great coach to work with the next four years. I was so comfortable with those coaches. I know we’ll have a great four years. I know they’re going to get me to jump the heights I want to jump.”
The high jumper plans to major in kinesiology.
O’Riley was having a great 2020 spring, earning medals throughout the season, before the COVID-19 pandemic shortened it. He was the favorite to repeat as the district and area champion and advance to the state meet for a second consecutive year. Because of the pandemic, the University Interscholastic League canceled all spring sports in April.
Former Marble Falls High School head track-and-field coach Rich Powers was happy for O’Riley, whom he coached while at the school.
“Kason is one of the most coachable athletes I have had in track for the last 20 years that I have been a coach,” he said. “He is extremely hardworking and dedicated to improving himself constantly. The University of Oklahoma is lucky to get an athlete of this caliber. There is no limit on how great he can be. The sky is the limit.”