The Longhorn men’s and women’s track teams, fresh off a record-setting performance in Lubbock, went into Albuquerque and took major strides.
Texas increased its win total and put itself in position to not only contend for a Big 12 championship, but also a national championship. While the Longhorns didn’t set the amount of records they did in the previous meet, their talent was still on full display.
On the first day of the meet, redshirt junior Lauryn Caldwell put herself on notice. Her throw of 18.84 meters in the weight throw set a Texas record. Despite her performance, Caldwell came in second place to Arkansas State’s Calea Carr. Nevertheless, the moment wasn’t any less special for Caldwell as she had been eyeing the record for quite some time.
“I couldn’t have another week where I was short,” Caldwell said. “I had to get it.”
To go along with Caldwell’s showing, Friday brought more joy later in the day for other members of the team.
Each Longhorn who competed in the men’s 200-meter dash set a personal record. Out of those that competed, freshman Micaiah Harris was the one to watch. His time of 20.83 seconds was just shy of a Texas record, but it was still good enough to place second in the event. His teammate, redshirt sophomore Terry Brown Jr., posted a time of 21.43 seconds to earn him an eighth-place finish.
Friday also brought along wins for the Longhorns. Redshirt sophomore John Rice won the seeded 3,000-meter event. Sophomore Destiny Collins also earned a victory in the seeded 3,000-meter event. Her showing was a dominant one as she finished with a time under 10 minutes, leading the entire way for a wire-to-wire victory.
On Saturday, the Longhorns rode the momentum to another successful outing. Freshman Sam Worley won the men’s mile with his time of 4 minutes and 3 seconds. His time puts him at No. 9 in the NCAA, which would qualify him to compete in the national meet. Junior Alex Rogers finished third in the same event with a time two seconds slower than Worley.
Other Longhorns also placed in the top 10. Senior Kally Long posted a season best to earn a fourth place victory in the pole vault. Sophomore Elena Bruckner finished third in the shot put and moved up to No. 11 in the NCAA rankings. Junior Georgia Wahl set a personal record to finish second in the triple jump and was able to move up to No. 7 in the Big 12.
Overall, the weekend showed promise and progress. Several Longhorns moved up not only the Big 12 ladder, but also the NCAA ladder. Head coach Mario Sategna expressed his satisfaction with the outing his team displayed, knowing the goal is to eventually get to national meets.
“You’re trying to really push and solidify some good conference marks at a meet like this,” Sategna said, “but at the same time, you’re looking at those national lists to try and get into the top 16.”