Texas track and field athletes prove stiff competition at USA Outdoor Championships

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Michelle Carter takes her last throw on her way to winning the women's shot put at the U.S. track and field championships in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, June 25, 2015.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Don Ryan

The Longhorns made a strong campaign over the weekend at the USA Outdoor Championships, with 24 current or former athletes competing over the course of four days.

Thursdayʼs opening events saw eight Longhorns advance through preliminary rounds, with one collecting her sixth national title, as Michelle Carter won her third USATF title in a row in the shot put with a mark of 20.02 meters, and her sixth since 2008.

Current Longhorns sophomore Kendall Baisden, junior Courtney Okolo and senior Ashley Spencer joined former Longhorn Sanya Richards-Ross in the womenʼs 400 meters, all of whom advanced to the next round.

Junior sprinter Morolake Akinosun advanced to the semifinals of the 100 meters with a time of 11.08.

After the opening day of events for the decathlon, sophomore Wolf Mahler was in 10th place, Texas alumnus and Olympic silver medalist Trey Hardee was in second place, and volunteer assistant coach Miller Moss was in fourth place.

Buffalo bills wide receiver and UT alumnus Marquise Goodwin posted a long jump of 8.37 meters, finishing in fourth place. Olympian Leo Manzano advanced to the next round with a second place finish in the 1500 meters.

Rachael Reddy took the gold in the Junior 5000 meters on Friday, making her eligible to compete with Team USA at the Junior Pan American Games.

Future Longhorn Teahna Daniels earned a win in the Junior 100 meters. Freshman Caitland Smith finished sixth and qualified for the final, while fellow freshman Shania Collins was 10th.

For the men, Travis Tolliver took silver in the Junior decathlon.

Former Longhorn Trey Hardee managed to win gold in the Senior decathlon, making Team USA for the IAAF World Championships in August.

Moss finished 12th in the decathlon, while Mahler withdrew from competition before the javelin.

In the semifinals of the 400 meters, Baisden qualified for the final with the third-fastest time of 50.50. Okolo finished in the 11th slot, while Spencer finished 13th. Richards-Ross was eighth, but did not make the final because of qualifying rules.

Akinosun finished eighth in her event, the 100 meters, but didnʼt qualify for the final because she was not in the top four of her particular heat.

Senior hurdler Morgan Snow advanced to the semifinals Friday with a time of 12.83. Freshman Ariel Jones and junior Melissa Gonzalez competed in the 400 meters Friday, with Jones advancing to the semifinals.

Freshman Connor Hendrickson earned Saturdayʼs first medal with a third place finish in the Junior 10,000 and a time of 31.53.10.

Zola Golden also got a medal Saturday, with a silver in the 400 meter Junior final. Caitland Smith was next, with a third place finish and a time of 23.58 in the Junior 200 meters.

Snow fell .01 seconds too short of advancing to the final of her heat in the 100 meter hurdles, placing her 11th overall.

Spencer Dunkerley-Offor made Sundayʼs semifinals of the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 13.79. Kendall Baisden completed the final of the womenʼs 400 meters with a time of 52.64 seconds and in seventh place.

Athletes in field events on Saturday included freshman Barrett Poth who finished seventh in Junior menʼs pole vault, with a clearance of 4.90 meters, and Shay Petty, competing in the Junior womenʼs pole vault who tied for 12th, and Ali Uhle who tied for 15th.

Former Longhorn Marielle Hall earned a silver medal in the womenʼs 5,000 meters Sunday, ensuring her qualification for the IAAF Worlds. Hall was just nosed out of first place by .01 seconds by Nicole Tully.

Two other Longhorns were also competing Sunday. Sophomore hurdler Spencer Dunkerley-Offor finished his tournament with an 11th place overall finish in the menʼs 110 meter hurdles. With a time of 13.62 seconds, he was just .03 seconds away from advancing to the final in his heat.

Pole vaulter junior Kaitlin Petrillose was also competing Sunday, and finished in 13th place. After successfully clearing 4.25 meters, she was unable to clear the next height of 4.40 meters.

Several Texas athletes qualified for the World Championships, the Pan American Games, and the Junior Pan Am Games, which will all be contested in July and August.