Strong winds coming up from the south flowed through Mike A. Myers Stadium all day Saturday at the Longhorn Invitational. Though conditions were less than desirable, Texas head coach Mario Sategna expected consistency across the board.
“Obviously, wind like this is going to affect the 400 (meter) races and the distance events and the coaches might change some of their cues,” Sategna said. “But this is still about racing. A win is a win.”
In most running events, the wind must stay below 4 meters/second (m/s) to qualify nationally, and stay below 2 m/s to qualify for any kind of record — meet, school, or personal.
Senior Aldrich Bailey Jr. received both the benefits and detriments of the gusts. In the 200 meters, Bailey edged out Nike athlete Ronnie Baker and clocked in at 19.99 seconds. The time would have been a personal best and ranked No. 1 in the country. However, the wind registered at 4.3 m/s, disqualifying the time.
“(Finishing under 20 seconds) is still such a huge barrier to break,” Sategna said. “You still have to have the physical ability and nervous system fire to run that fast. Now that he’s done it once, hopefully he’ll be able to do it again. I’m very happy for him.”
At a few points throughout the day, the wind died down just enough to be useful. Sophomore Teahna Daniels broke her personal record in the 200 meters, finishing in 22.99 seconds with a legal wind. The time pushes Daniels up to No. 15 in the nation.
“Finishing under 23 (seconds) was one of my goals for this season,” Daniels said. “I accomplished that and I’m really proud of myself for it. Now I’m looking to double at Big 12 (Championships).”
Wind restrictions do not apply to throwing events, though the Longhorns still used it to their advantage, coming up with a handful of victories. Redshirt junior Haley Crouser took first place in the women’s javelin throw with a 50.51-meter mark. The finish was especially impressive as three of the top-10 athletes in the nation were competing. Crouser ranks No. 1 in the Big 12.
Freshman Elena Bruckner earned a victory and personal record with her 16.67-meter shot put. The mark moves her up to No. 10 in the NCAA. Redshirt sophomore Brian Peterson won the men’s discus, tossing for 56.51 meters. The throw marked Peterson’s second consecutive home meet recording a personal best.
“Every time I compete here it’s a good day,” Peterson said. “I’m excited to compete at regionals here. I feel like I haven’t met my potential, so I’m excited to see how far I can go.”
The Longhorns focus on training the next two weeks before traveling to Kansas for conference championships.
“We’re walking out of here healthy,” Sategna said. “I was really pleased with how we performed today, it’ll help us long-term.”