Track and field set to compete in Arkansas, Seattle meets

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Senior Courtney Okono runs during a practice. The Longhorns split up this weekend to go to Arkansas and Seattle.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Tacy | Daily Texan Staff

The track and field teams will split up once again, traveling to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Tyson Invitational and Seattle, Washington for the Husky Classic.

The Tyson Invitational will feature sprinters ranked in the women’s top 20 for each event, including No. 1 Longhorn senior Courtney Okolo, who turned heads in her world-leading performance in the 400m last weekend. Okolo was also named USTFCCCA National and Big 12 Conference Athlete of the Week. 

Despite her time of 51.16 seconds, Okolo said she was disappointed in her run.

“I met my goal of running faster in the first meet, but I have a spot where I normally kick and I didn’t,” Okolo said. “I don’t see being a world-leader as a big deal at the beginning of the season.” 

Junior Byron Robinson, last weekend’s 400m champion, will also compete this weekend; however, he emphasizes his eagerness for his specialty — the outdoor 400m hurdles. 

“I run the 400 just to win, but I don’t like it because the turns require too much thinking,” Robinson said. “I’m just really mad I don’t get to run my race yet. Hurdles are a natural rhythm for me. I’d rather take time off of that.”

Robinson is also a member of the 4-by-4 relay team with junior AJ Bailey and senior Zack Bilderback with either juniors Senoj-Jay Givans or Chris Irvin being the fourth member of the team. 

The Tyson Invitational will be televised live on SEC Network+, starting Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 2:30 p.m..

Distance runners, pole-vaulters and throwers will travel to the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington. The Husky Classic historically produces many NCAA qualifiers. 

Senior pole vaulter Reese Watson said he hopes to be one of them. 

“I had technical issues in Nebraska last week,” Watson said. “I wasn’t staying with the top of the pole, so my feet were getting thrown off at the bar. It’ll take some fine-tuning, but I hope to qualify before conference.”