Ryan Crouser

Photo Credit: Texas Sports

Texas opened up the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a bang Wednesday, as junior Ryan Crouser successfully defended his shot-put title.

With a toss of 69 feet, 3 ½ inches, Crouser won his third straight national championship.

Also competing in the men’s Track & Field Championships for the Longhorns are sophomores Johannes Hock and Reese Watson. 

Hock is close to winning another decathlon title after posting a personal-best 4,243 points on day one after competing in five events. Watson tied for seventh in the pole vault event.
For the Texas women, three of the four 400-meter qualifiers advanced to the finals - freshman Kendall Baisden, senior Briana Nelson, and sophomore Courtney Okolo.

In the 100-meter race, sophomore Morolake Akinosun advanced to the finals after posting a career best time of 11.04.

The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship continues Thursday

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

The 87th annual Texas Relays will certainly go down as one of the most memorable of all time, as competitors set 15 records during the four-day meet.

One such record was set by sophomore throwing sensation Ryan Crouser, who picked up right where he left off in his national championship-winning indoor season. Crouser improved the school record he already owned in the shot put with a toss of 69 feet, 9.5 inches. The mark also hit a Texas Relays record. 

Crouser threw a personal best Saturday, this time in the discus. His throw of 199 feet, 4 inches, won him fifth place in a deep field.

Relatively unknown freshman hurdler Spencer Dunkerley-Offor enjoyed a successful meet also, finishing fifth in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.90. Senior distance runner John McNamara finished seventh place in the mile with a time of 4:08.95.

The women responded enthusiastically to their first challenge of the season. The team captured four first-place finishes en route to winning the meet’s “Most Outstanding University/College Team” award.

Senior hurdler Danielle Dowie fed off the energy of the home crowd Friday to finish first in the 400-meter hurdles. Her time of 57.52 edged LSU’s Nikita Tracy by a mere 0.01 seconds, but Dowie did not appear phased by the close call.

“The last part wasn’t pretty, but winning doesn’t always have to be pretty,” Dowie said. “It was just a matter of getting back into a competitive mode.”

In what is becoming routine, sophomore pole vaulter Kaitlin Petrillose won first place in her event Friday night. Petrillose broke her own school record by clearing the bar of 4.5 meters. After securing first place, she set the bar to an NCAA record height of 4.62 meters. Petrillose’s third attempt at history saw her torso cross the mark, but a collective moan from the crowd accompanied the sophomore’s descent after her toes just brushed the bar off its mounts. 

As temperatures rose Saturday, so did the Longhorns’ fever. Grabbing wins in the 4x200-meter relay, the 100-meters and the 1500-meters, Texas was not bothered by the weather.

“It feels good,” said junior sprinter Ashley Spencer, who helped propel Texas to second in the 4x100 and first place in the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. “The key to victory today was chemistry, trusting our teammates and just to run fast and have fun.”

The 4x400 relay — Texas’ specialty event — came just at meet’s close. The Longhorns jostled with Florida until the third leg when freshman sprinter Kendall Baisden pulled away from the pack.

“She’s a tough competitor,” Spencer said. “I can expect hard work from [Baisden] every single time.”

Baisden’s final burst allowed Spencer to carry the baton across the line and end Texas Relays with a win.

“It means a lot.” Spencer said. “This is our track, this is where we practice, this is where we put the hard work in.”

Texas golf returns from Aloha State

Freshman Gavin Hall led Texas to a seventh place tie in the inaugural Amer Ari Invitational tournament this weekend. 

Hall finished the last round with the Longhorn’s low score on the season. His 70 was good for 30th, followed closely by redshirt senior Brax McCarthy who had a score of 69.

Freshman Beau Hossler and senior Toni Hakula rounded out the starting team tied for 42nd, with a 73 and 74 respectively. 

Individual redshirt sophomore Will Griffin ended his first appearance this season in a tie for 64th.

Texas returns to action Feb. 23 at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship in Humble.

No. 10 Men’s Tennis ends undefeated start with loss to Illini

After seven straight victories to earn its top-10 ranking, Texas fell to No. 22 Illinois 3-4 Sunday.

“We were fortunate to come out of it with a win,” Illinois head coach Brad Dancer said. “We are just finding out how to get gritty and dirty and nasty out there.”

The Fighting Illini did each as No. 46 Tim Kopinski downed Texas’ No. 24 freshman George Goldhoff with a tie break and six straight points.

The match followed a Friday win, as Texas overpowered Michigan 5-2. Michigan defeated No. 3 Texas duo senior David Holiner and junior Jacoby Lewis (6-2) before downing the Longhorns No. 1 of juniors Lloyd Glasspool and Soren Hess-Olsen 6-4. Texas clinched its match with five consecutive singles victories. 

Track & Field Recap

With just one week remainng until the Big 12 Championships, junior shot-putter Ryan Crouser is definitely ready.

Crouser shattered his own school record in the shot put by more than two feet at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic last weekend with a toss of 69 feet, 8 inches.  

The throw strengthens Crouser’s status as the favorite to win the indoor shot-put title and also ranks third on the 2014 world performance list.

Crouser’s toss surpassed those of collegiate indoor competitors since the 2010 NCAA Championships, and he now stands atop the 2014 collegiate performers list by more than two feet.

Freshman sprinter Carlton Anumnu also clocked an impressive performance, finishing second in the 60 meters with a career-best time of 6.87.

The No. 2 Longhorn women’s indoor track and field also finished a successful weekend at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic. Head coach Mario Sategna said it was a successful meet for the squad.

“We are getting more familiar with being on this track, which is important since the NCAA meet will be here,” Sategna said.   

Sophomore sprinter Courtney Okolo led a Texas podium sweep in the 400 meters, while All-American senior jumper Shanay Briscoe’s high jump and sophomore sprinter Morolake Akinosun’s 60-meter topped their rivals as well.

And yet, junior pole-vaulter Kaitlin Petrillose impressed fans most. Already holding the school record, she climbed an additional 5 inches to the 14-foot-7.25-inch pole-vault mark. Securing another first place finish for the Longhorns, Petrillose set a new school record,  and moved to first  on the NCAA 2014 leaderboard.

The team returns to action Friday for its final split group meets, the Iowa State Classic and the Tyson Invitational.

Women’s Golf Season Opener

Round one of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge Tournament sent the Texas women’s golf team off to a rocky start Sunday in Palos Verdes, Calif. Opening its spring season, the team finished the day at 23-over-par, finishing 15th to enter round two. 

Competing against Big 12 opponents Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the players have a lot of ground to make up over the next two days in order to establish the team as a conference contender. 

Leading the team was junior Bertine Strauss, who, after a tough start shooting two bogies and a double bogey, completed the day with three birdies on the back nine to propel the team out of last place and land them one spot ahead of No. 9 Oklahoma State. Texas sits 21 strokes behind the surprising leader, unranked Baylor, who finished the day at just 2-over-par. Texas tees off round two at 8:30 Monday morning.

Longhorns endure another first round exit

The Longhorns struggled through ITA Team Indoor Championship, finishing 0-3 after facing Texas A&M, Alabama and UCLA.

During Friday’s match against the No. 5 Bruins, Texas fell into an early 3-0 deficit. After the Longhorns lost in doubles, the Bruins’ No. 1 Anderson easily swept No. 22 Addison (6-3, 6-1). Neda Koprcina’s loss put UCLA one win from victory. 

Junior Lina Padegimaite and senior Elizabeth Begley kept Texas alive. Both came back from one-set deficits and won in three. Begley upset No. 24 Jennifer Brady before the Bruins clinched the match. 

Four out six Longhorns collected at least one win in Virginia. Sophomore Addison recovered Saturday against Alabama and won in three sets. Begley and Koprcina grabbed singles wins Sunday, but the Aggies clinched the win at sixth singles.

Texas hosts No. 16 Northwestern and No. 14 Vanderbilt at Penick-Allison next weekend.

Track and Field Recap

By Grant Gordon

The Texas track and field program competed in the Cherry and Silver Collegiate Invitational over the weekend, a two-day, unscored event hosted by the University of New Mexico.

Only 32 Longhorn athletes, including 14 first-time performers, competed in the 31-team meet.

After missing last indoor season because of injury, sophomore thrower Ryan Crouser returned to action with an impressive season debut. Crouser won the outdoor shot put title in June and is the favorite to take home the indoor championship as well.

His first meet didn’t disappoint. Crouser won the shot put easily, eclipsing the next competitor by more than five feet with a throw of 20.42 meters and nearly beating the school record of 20.50 meters.

For the women, senior sprinter Danielle Dowie finished sixth in the 400 meters with a time of 54.32 seconds in her first appearance of the season.


Women’s Tennis Recap

By Chris Caraveo 

The Longhorns persevered through a number of tiebreaks to beat Rice on Sunday, advancing to the ITA National Team Indoor Championship.

The final score read 4-1, but the matches were much closer than the scoreboard indicated.

No. 17 Texas (3-0) swept the doubles matches to gain the 1-0 advantage. Then, in singles, freshman Neda Koprcina beat Owl Liat Zimmerman in straight sets to put the Longhorns up 2-0.

Both sophomore Breaunna Addison and senior Elizabeth Begley went to third-set super tiebreaks in their respective singles matches. Addison and Beazant alternated points before Addison broke through with the 10-8 decision.

Begley clinched the match for Texas with her own 10-8 third-set win over Dominique Harmath. The senior held off Harmath’s comeback while up 8-5.

The two points were crucial for the Longhorns to maintain control of their own destiny. 

The team hosts top-ranked Stanford on Friday.


Men's Tennis Recap

By Chris Caraveo

With a third-set tiebreaker in the No. 6 singles, junior Clement Homs rallied from a 5-2 deficit to advance the Longhorns to the
indoor championship.

Trumping Vanderbilt 4-0 Saturday, No. 20 Texas continued to avoid losing a single point in
dual-match play. 

On Sunday, No. 5 Soren Hess-Olesen/Lloyd Glasspool defeated Wake Forest’s No. 30 Adam Lee/Pedro Dumont to clinch the doubles point, a day after knocking off the nation’s No. 2 duo.

Sophomore Nick Naumann upped the Texas lead to 2-0 with a straight set win over Dumont. Junior Hess-Olesen followed with an upset of No. 20 Romain Bogaerts.

But when Glasspool fell in straight sets, the Longhorns suffered their first lost points of the season. The Demon Deacons tied the match 3-all after two more victories.

That left the No. 6 singles as the deciding match. Homs lost the first set but pulled off a comeback in the second to force the tiebreaker. Down 5-2 in the third, he won four straight points and saved Texas (5-0) from defeat.

Texas will compete in the 2014 ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 14-17.

Texas closed the regular season with hosting duties at the Longhorn Invitational on Saturday. The meet served as the Longhorns’ final tune-up before the start of the championship season. 

The Longhorns that performed at the meet took the chance to shine, winning a large number of events. Wins came from Ryan Crouser in the shot put, Will Spence in the discus, Jake Wohlford in the 110-meter hurdles, Reese Watson in the pole vault, Victor Glaze II in the high jump and John Trucilla in the Javelin. Texas’ relay teams in the 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter races also came out as victors in their events. 

A notable performance came from vaulter Watson. The freshman won the pole vault with a personal-best clearance of 17-5 (5.31m), the best vault from a Longhorn this season.

Crouser earned his victory with the second-best toss of his career. The 65-11.5 (20.10m) toss was short of his mark made at Texas Relays, but shows that he will be a force to be reckoned with not only at the Big 12 Championships, but also the NCAA Outdoor Championships. 

The Big 12 Outdoor Championship meet is next up for the Longhorns. The meet will be held May 3-5 in Waco.

Sophomore Ryan Crouser threw a personal best in the shot put during the Texas Relays this past weekend. Crouser has fought back from a string of setbacks, including a torn ligament in his hand and a throat infection, to return to his impressive freshman form

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

The Texas Relays hold a special place in the hearts of young athletes who get to mix and mingle with some of the best track and field stars in the world. Most see the meet as their first real experience in the track and field world. For sophomore Ryan Crouser, his second appearance at the Texas Relays also marked a milestone, but for a completely different reason.

“It was big,” Crouser said. “I’ve had this day marked on my calendar for a long time.” 

A series of injuries have plagued Crouser since tearing a ligament in his hand halfway through the NCAA Indoor Championships, a big stage for the then-freshman athlete. He persevered through the injury, making nationals in the shot put the following outdoor season, still severely hampered by his hand injury.

A throat infection at the end of summer then robbed him of his fall conditioning and forced him to redshirt his sophomore indoor season. His tonsils had to be removed, and a strep infection was then found where his tonsils had once been.

“I couldn’t eat. I could hardly drink water,” Crouser said. “I dropped from 255 pounds to 205 in five weeks.” 

The hardest thing for Crouser was not dealing with the pain, but seeing his Texas teammates travel to and from track and field meets around the nation. 

“It’s tough. They’re flying out on Thursday and coming back Sunday, telling stories about the meet,” Crouser said. 

In their absence, he worked hard on his own at Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field, trying to get back into the form that won him All-American and All-Big 12 accolades, a handful of state titles and set three national high school records.

“I was just sitting at home, working on homework,” Crouser said. “I would entertain myself by going out and throwing by myself. I’d take six throws out here by myself and see how I measured up with the team.”

He kept an even keel and strived to come back to the team as soon as possible. He started feeling healthy halfway through the indoor season and was tempted to return to the team, but sat out the indoor season to continue his rehabilitation and come back at 100 percent for the Texas Relays. 

Crouser’s strong work ethic comes from a deep pedigree of track and field athletes running throughout his family. Mitch Crouser, his father, was fourth in the Olympic Trials, and had to settle for discus alternate as he missed the 1984 Olympics by one spot. His uncle, Dean, was a NCAA Champion in the discus and shot put. The University of Oregon track team also has a strong Crouser backing, with his cousins, Sam and Haley Crouser, currently on the Ducks’ roster.

As for how the Gresham, Ore. native wound up plying his trade for the Longhorns, UT’s esteemed mechanical engineering program, along with Austin’s weather has to take the credit for that. 

“The University of Oregon doesn’t have engineering at all, so that’s a big reason.” Crouser said. “Also, the rainy weather gets to you after a while. I’m really enjoying it down here. I know all the guys back home are jealous of it.”

All the hard work Crouser has put in paid off at the Texas Relays. In his first shot put competition since the long indoor layoff, Crouser threw the shot put a personal-best length of 67 1/2 feet (20.43m) to win the event and place him third on Texas’ all-time performance list. The toss made a statement — Crouser is back and ready to claim the national title that has eluded him since suffering multiple setbacks.

The curtain closed on the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Saturday. 

The meet, which brought together hundreds of qualified athletes from all stages of their careers, from Olympians such as Trey Hardee and Darvis Patton to high school athletes getting their first taste of real competition, came and left almost as fast as the athletes running their hearts out on the track.

Six victories were added to the men’s team already lengthy resume once all was said and done. The long distance team was especially dominant on their home turf, accounting for four of the six victories the Longhorns brought home.

The talk of Thursday’s day of action was an event new to the Texas Relays — the 10,000-meter run. The Longhorns, who held the top five finishes in the event, ruled the first running of the event. The field was led by junior Ryan Dohner (29:34.34), who now holds the top time in the nation this season. He was followed by Craig Lutz(29:39.22), Daniel Vertiz (29:55.62), Rory Tunningley (30:07.35) and Mark Pinales (30:08.09).

“The guys did really good this year,” Dohner said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had that many guys so close to each other in terms of fitness.”

The distance runners’ dominance didn’t stop there, as the rest of the long distance runners stepped in and earned wins in the distance medley relay, the 4x1,500-meter relay and the 4x800-meter relay.

Sophomore Ryan Crouser’s 67-and-a-half-foot (20.43 m) throw in the shot put easily beat the competition and had Texas record writers scrambling, as it now stands fifth in the all-time performance list. The win was especially important as it was his first real action since a long injury layoff.

“I’ve had this day marked on my calendar for a long time.” Crouser said, “Your first meet [back from injury] can really decide a lot for how the season goes.”

The final win for the men’s team came from senior Jarard Bruner in section B of the triple jump.

After a fairly uneventful first two days at the relays, the women’s team exploded out of the gates Friday and Saturday.

A hot start by the 4x100-meter relay team Friday morning in the preliminaries began a solid last two days for the Longhorns. The quartet of juniors Christy Udoh, Chalonda Goodman and Danielle Dowie along with sophomore Morgan Snow ended up snatching a second-place finish in the finals Saturday with a time of 43.59. 

The squad only fell short to Texas A&M, which tied its own Texas Relays record with a 42.56 mark.

Star performances of the meet came from incredible showings in both the 400-meter hurdles and the 4x200-meter dash.

Domination defined the performance Danielle Dowie had in the 4X100-meter hurdles on Friday. The three-time All-America rounded the track fiercely ahead of her competition and earned herself the first-place finish. With a time of 56.58 seconds, Dowie’s mark now ranks as the nation’s top time in the event.

“From my freshman year I made up in my mind that I was going to win my junior year,” said Dowie. “I’m really happy with what I did.”

On Saturday, the 4x200-meter team also beat out their field and were able to clock a 1:32.37 and edge out second-place Texas A&M by .25 seconds. With an elite 200-meter runner in Udoh, along with three other solid sprinters in Goodman, Courtney Okolo and Kiersten Duncan, the group has was it takes to keep the victories rolling this outdoor season.

Overall, the women qualified for the finals in every relay competition during this year’s Texas Relays and placed among the top three in each event.

With the end of another memorable Texas Relays, Austin will now set its sights on hosting the Texas Invitational on April 13. Until then, the men’s team will head to Tuscon, Ariz., this weekend to compete in the Jim Click Shootout while the women will travel to Gainesville, Fla., for the Florida Relays.

Song remains the same as distance runners steal show on Day 3 of Texas Relays

The date on the calendar might have changed, but the story remained the same for the Longhorns as the distance runners once again excelled in the third day of the Texas Relays.

The distance medley team pulled out a win over the Texas A&M Aggies in their event. The team, comprised of sophomore Kyle Thompson, seniors Patrick McGregor and Zack Bilderback and freshman Trevor von Ackeren, stayed close through the race with the Aggies, but managed to take over the lead in the final stretch of the race cheered on by the Texas Relays crowd and their teammates.

“It’s great to have the crowd.” Thompson said, “It allows me to step it up just one more notch at the end; just hearing everyone cheering.”

The long distance team didn’t stop there, though. The Longhorns’ 4x1500 team, made up of seniors Austin Bussing and Kyle Merber, junior Kevin Rayes and freshman Brady Turnbull, also won their event over UCLA.

With Texas’ long distance runners winning the distance medley relay, the 10,000 meter run, the 4x800 and now, the 4x1500, the Texas team seems unstoppable.

“We’ve just been building on momentum,” Turnbull said, “This is the third distance relay that we won. You see [the other wins] and you get excited. You kind of have to finish the job.”

Back from a long indoor layoff due to injury, Ryan Crouser also made a statement at the Texas Relays. His 20.43m throw in the shot put won the event easily.

“It’s a great start,” Crouser said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve competed healthy. It’s just really, really fun to get out there.”

The throw also earned him a spot among Texas legends. The toss now stands as 5th in the UT record books.

Jarard Bruner leaped past the competition in section B of the men’s triple jump with a 15.53m mark that earned him a win and a new personal best. The wind worked in his favor, but wasn’t quite as strong as it was with competitors below him. Nonetheless, the wind’s help wasn’t needed as Bruner won the event easily.

The competition in the high jump was too strong for Victor Glaze. The freshman, making his first appearance at the Texas Relays, participated in section B of the high jump, ending up in fourth place. Although the rest of competition failed to also clear the 2.16m jump, Glaze had a higher number of misses at earlier heights.  

In the the preliminary round of the 110 meter hurdles, senior Keiron Stewart qualified for the finals with a fifth place finish and a time of 13.71 seconds. Eddie Lovett of Florida flew past the competition, leading the race with a gap of .18 seconds between him and second. He’s running at top form and will be tough to beat in the finals.

Casey Wicker ended up in 15th place in the Pole Vault after failing to clear the 17’07 bar as another competitor, Mississippi’s Sam Kendricks, put on an exhibition in the event. The referees put bar after bar on the vault stand, but Kendricks cleared them all, finally failing to clear a height of 5.85m. His 19-00.75 (5.81m) mark not only set a Myers stadium record, but also is the best pole vault performance so far in the NCAA circuit.

Men's Track & Field

The Longhorns proved to be a strong presence in the field events during competition at the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

Senior Marquise Goodwin remained consistent with another win in the long jump. Goodwin won with a jump of 7.86 meters.

Jacob Thormaehlen claimed UT’s top spot in the championship division shot put with a throw of 19.6 meters for third place. Hayden Baillio finished in seventh with a mark of 18.75 and Ryan Crouser was tenth.

In the shot put college division, Will Spence won the title with a throw of 17.84 meters.

Spence and Crouser also represented Texas in the championship division of the discus throw. Crouser’s mark of 55.67 meters placed him fourth overall, while Spence finished five spots behind at ninth with a heave of 50.77.

Three Texas athletes competed in the college division of the discus throw. Freshman Blake Jakobsson was the top Longhorn among the leader board with a second place throw of 52.26 meters. Baillio finished two spots behind in fourth with a mark of 50.37. Thormaehlen’s throw of 49.10 placed him farther down the pack in 10th overall.

But Thormaehlen was able to regroup and attack the hammer throw at full force. His heave of 56.37 meters placed him third overall in the college division.

During Saturday’s 4x100-meter relay finals, Alex Williams, Goodwin, Mark Jackson and Trevante Rhodes ran the event together and came in fourth at 40.69 seconds.

While the relay group celebrated in Philadelphia, Longhorn distance runner Kevin Rayes was doing the same in San Marcos. Rayes, along with several other Texas runners, competed in the Texas State Bobcat Classic on Saturday.

In the 1500-meter run, Rayes clocked in a time of 3:56.43 seconds to win the event.

Printed on Monday, April 30, 2012 as: Goodwin leaps to another gold in long jump

Clutch performances by Texas’ fielders and heptathletes boosted them into an eighth place finish behind Indiana at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a total score of 22.5 points.

Senior Thrower Jacob Thormaehlen got the intensity levels cooking pretty high early on with his final heave of 67-03.75 in the shot put to break the school record previously held by freshman Ryan Crouser. Thormaehlen became an All-American for the second year indoors and earned second place overall in the event.

Crouser was tied for the lead with his first throw of 65-5, but hit a slump after that and fouled his remaining five attempts. Despite the major setback, he finished fifth overall to gain All-American status.

Continuing the trend was junior Marquise Goodwin in the long jump with his second straight third place finish indoors. His leap of 26-02.25 on his second attempt put him just over one inch shy of the gold.

Junior pole vaulter Maston Wallace matched his season best height of 17-8.5 to vault himself into the top eight. He finished sixth overall and became an All-American for the second time in his indoor career.

Heptathletes junior Isaac Murphy and freshman Petter Olson were among 16 competitors in the multi-event competition. The two men shattered day one’s first four events with a slew of personal bests.

On Saturday, Murphy and Olson returned fully charged to compete in the final three of the seven events. Their performances were among the highest scoring heptathlons in NCAA history.

The second event boosted Olson into a tie for seventh place as he matched a personal best height of 16-00.75 in the pole vault. In the final event, he clocked a 2:39.97 in the 1000 meter run and posted a career-high 5,868 points to earn seventh place overall.

Murphy came in seventh in the 1000 meter with a time of 2:45.49, earning him a 10th place overall finish with a season-high 5,571 points.

Eagerness and mental toughness gave rise to gritty performances on the NCAA Indoor battleground, shedding light on the Longhorns’ future success in the upcoming outdoor season. In two weeks Texas will dual unranked UCLA on March 24.