Texas entered a weekend full of track and field action ready to kick its season off to a hot start.
Head coach Mario Sategna said his team needed to set the tone for the remainder of the season.
“The thing with the indoor season is that it comes and goes in such a hurry,” Sategna said. “Our success as a team never relies on just one athlete or one group. It’s a complete team effort if we’re going to have great success, and that’s what we’re all trying to do.”
The sprinters helped contribute to that success on the first day of the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational.
Seniors Aldrich Bailey Jr. and Byron Robinson made their 400 meter debuts and finished first and second, respectively. Bailey’s time of 46.38 seconds ranks No. 5 in the nation this season. Robinson, who made his season debut, finished with a time of 46.68 seconds, which ranks No. 10 in the country.
For the women, senior Chrisann Gordon and sophomore Zola Golden also finished in the top two spots in the 400 meter race. In her first time running the 400 meter, Gordon finished with a mark of 53.31 seconds, while Golden clocked in at 53.77 seconds.
Meanwhile, the vaulters and throwers claimed a handful of personal records at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic.
Redshirt sophomore pole vaulter Barrett Poth secured a victory for Texas by clearing 5.40 meters (17-8.50), which ranks eleventh nationally. In doing so, Poth also achieved his third personal record of the season.
Redshirt sophomore weight thrower Lauryn Caldwell finished in fifth place with a distance of 18.08 meters (59-4.00). Caldwell’s throw is a personal best and ranks second all-time in school history.
The Longhorns closed out the second day of competition with superior performances across the board.
After taking in second place in the 400 meters in debut on Friday, Robinson opened the men’s 4x400 meter relay on Saturday at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational. The team placed second with a time of 3:07.83, falling to Kansas who finished just .01 seconds quicker.
The Longhorns also secured a victory in the women’s 4x400 meter relay, led Golden. Golden helped the Longhorns set the meet record at 3:33.71.
At the New Mexico Classic, Texas’ field athletes achieved a total of nine personal records, including redshirt freshman thrower David Rueff. His distance of 15.65 meters (51-4.25) in the shot put beat his previous best by more than five feet.
Junior Shay Petty and redshirt sophomore Ali Uhle both surpassed their season bests in the pole vault. Petty’s height of 4.12 meters (13-6.25) ranks 19th in the country while Uhle’s height of 4.02 meters (13-2.25) ranks ninth in the Big 12.
Texas also ran for a few personal bests at the Armory Track Invitational.
Sophomore distance runner Meghan Lloyd took fourth place in the 3,000 meters with a personal record of 9:37.13. She was followed by senior Sandie Raines, who finished seventh at 9:36.32 seconds.
The men completed strong races as well as redshirt freshman John Rice finished the 3,000 meter in 8:16.66, placing third. Redshirt sophomore Connor Hendrickson trailed closely, finishing seventh with a time of 8:20.56.
“I think the main thing is we definitely had to see some improvements this week and we were able to do that,” head coach Mario Sategna said. “It was a total team effort of not just the athletes and coaches but the support staff behind the scenes that make this happen.”
Up next for the Longhorns are the Husky Classic and Tyson Invitational, both of which begin on Feb. 10.