No. 1 Texas women’s track and field team fell just short of winning the title, finishing second, at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Although senior Marielle Hall won the 5,000-meter and the women’s 4x400 relay team took first in its event, their efforts came too late for the Longhorns as Texas A&M had already clinched the team championship.
The Texas men’s team wasn’t as successful as the women’s, however. The men finished 11th in the overall standings.
Despite the teams’ finishing positions, first year head coach Mario Sategna is happy with the outdoor season and is looking forward to the future.
“I think this is a great starting point, with this being a very historic year for the University of Texas,” Sategna said at a press conference. “We knew at the beginning of the season we had the people to win a championship ….”
As for Saturday’s events, Hall was phenomenal, winning the 5,000 with a time of 15 minutes, 35.11 seconds.
“I’ve been feeling really good since cross country and I haven’t had a [5,000-meter] race [lately] and haven’t been able to show that,” Hall said in a press conference after the meet. “So to come out here and have it come together — I’m obviously really excited — but I knew that I had it inside me.”
The 4x400-meter women’s relay team also gave a strong performance at the NCAA meet; the team set a meet record, running the event in 3:24.21 seconds, the second-fastest time in collegiate history. The 4x100-meter women’s team finished third.
Also competing at the meet, Texas’ sophomore Courtney Okolo won the 400 championship Friday.
“It feels really good. I’ve been dreaming about this all year,” Okolo said. “To know that it’s finally here, it feels so amazing.”
Freshman Fabian Jara Dohmann was the only member of the Texas men’s team who competed Saturday, finishing 18th with a javelin toss of 211-4.
The men had plenty of competitors in other events. Junior Ryan Crouser successfully defended his national shot put title. Crouser’s toss of 69-3 1/2 won him a third straight national championship.
Sophomore Johannes Hock failed to defend his decathlon title after struggling in the 1,500 and finishing second.
“He’ll walk away from here feeling defeated, but the decathlon is a different beast,” Sategna said. “He went into the 1,500 — not one of his strong points — in the lead. He gave it a shot for three laps and kind of fell off the pace at the end.”
Also competing for Texas was sophomore Reese Watson who finished seventh in the pole vault.
The NCAA Track & Field Championship concludes the track and field season. The team will now enter the offseason before starting again in the fall with the cross country season.