Texas debut running prelims and show depth in pole vault

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Freshman Blake Scott took second place the men’s pole vault at day two of the Texas Relays on Thursday. The competition will continue this weekend.
Photo Credit: Rachel Zein | Daily Texan Staff

Day two of the Texas Relays started with the final events of the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon. Sophomore Ashtin Zamzow finished fourth overall with 5,829 points after setting a new personal record in long jump of 5.73 meters. 

Freshman Reese Thompson also finished fourth in the men’s decathlon with 7,136 points. His 14.66 second performance in the 110 hurdles and 4.80 meter vault carried his way to victory amongst other strong finishes.

In the 400 hurdles, No. 1 Ariel Jones was announced as the top competitor in the nation. 

“I’m taking advantage of that,” Jones said, “I want to keep that title as long as I can.”

Jones finished with the top time in the preliminaries at 56.91 seconds, with her closest competitor Kiana Hawn from Baylor sitting at 57.48 seconds. Jones will advance to the final rounds on Saturday and participate in the 4x400 relay tomorrow.

No. 2 Byron Robinson sprinted far past the competition to start the race, but took a bad fall on the last straight of the 400 hurdles, and didn’t advance to the final.

“I was just chopping my steps,” Robinson said,  “I was running too much to the hurdles. Instead of switching my legs, I tried to chop it in and reach for it.”

Robinson could redeem his performance in the 400 hurdles tomorrow morning. 

Texas had a strong showing in the Men’s Pole Vault Collegiate C Division. Freshman Blake Scott cleared 5.21 meters on his first attempt, then 5.31 meters on his second attempt, which set him apart from the third place competitor, Brandon Bray from Texas Tech. Brad Johnson from Virginia Tech cleared 5.31 meters on his first attempt, sealing the gold.

“It’s a dream come true to come back to Texas Relays after high school and compete for the home team.” Scott said. 

Ending the night was Olympic silver medalist and former Longhorn, Leo Manzano, running his first 800 meter race of his outdoor season. Although he didn’t get the performance he had hoped for, he said the Texas Relays is a special competition. 

“This is a family event,” Manzano said, “I brought Max, my son, and he loves it. I hope everybody will get to experience it.”