Track roundup: Longhorn women return with Big 12 title, men finish second


Texas track & field associate head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey qualified for the Olympics three times in her career. She helped five Longhorns qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Athletics

Texas women claim fourth Big 12 title in last five years

For the fourth time in five years, the Longhorn women can call themselves Big 12 champions.

The women pulled out a close, five-point victory over Kansas. Their performance on Saturday gained them 79 of their 117 total points, securing the Big 12 title in the process.

“I told them to put the T back in Texas,” interim head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. “They want a T Ring. They want a T Jacket. This is what we’re doing this for.”

One of the main areas of dominance came in the 60-meter hurdles. Senior Pedra Seymour took first place in the event with her time of 8.09 seconds. Her running mates, senior Ariel Jones and junior Miriam Abdul-Rashim, came in third and sixth, respectively. The combination of those three gave the Longhorns 27 points.

Redshirt junior Ashtin Zamzow also contributed in a big way with her performance in the pentathlon. Not only did she come in first place while setting a Texas record, she also became the first woman in Texas history to win the event.

Despite only winning two events, the Longhorn women were able to score well in many others.

Junior Teahna Daniels, who has been a staple in the 60-meter dash, came in second with a time of 7.33 seconds. Sophomore Elena Bruckner came in second as well in the shot put, as she was a foot away from setting a personal best. Junior Georgia Wahl came in eighth in the triple jump and fifth in the heptathlon.

The women will be back in action in two weeks at the NCAA Championships.

Wild Big 12 Championships end with Longhorn men in second place

In a Big 12 title meet with plenty of drama, it was only fitting that the men’s indoor championship came down to the final four events of day two.

Despite several huge performances in those last events, including personal records set by redshirt sophomore John Rice in the 3000-meter and by freshman Sam Worley in the 800, the Longhorns finished second in the meet behind Texas Tech.

The weekend’s dramatics began with redshirt sophomore Steffin McCarter, who long-jumped a new personal record at 7.96 meters, moved from seventh place to first on his final run.

“My team was right there supporting me, and I told them if they came out and they lined the runway that I would put something out there for them,” McCarter said. “Really in my mind I was like, ‘I’m doing this for them’ and not for myself.”

It continued with sophomore heptathlete George Patrick, who built a large lead in Friday’s events despite sustaining a minor injury. On Saturday, Patrick did just enough to take home first place.

“The hero of the group was George Patrick. He really fought hard,” Buford-Bailey said. “He just pushed, pushed, pushed himself so hard and put himself in a position where he didn’t have to do much in the 1,000 to win, which is great.”

Freshman Tripp Piperi, who has easily led the Big 12 in shot put all season, needed a clutch fifth throw to take over first place late in the event. He then held off Kansas senior Nicolai Ceban with a final throw of 19.52 meters.

As Saturday ended, Texas Tech was able to hold on late. But the Longhorns stayed in it throughout the weekend, matching the nation’s No.1 team stride for stride.