Lifetime Longhorns and Olympians Ashley Spencer and Morolake Akinosun walked up to senior Byron Robinson at the track last week.
“Who you trying to beat this weekend, Byron?” Akinosun said.
“Everybody,” Robinson said.
Robinson was one of eight track and field Olympians to represent the Longhorns this summer in Rio de Janeiro, running a 48.65 in the semi-finals of the 400 meter hurdles. He missed the finals by 0.01 seconds and is hungrier than ever to improve his race.
“No one knows about it, but I want to make an honest effort to break the collegiate record in the 400 hurdles,” Robinson said. “And say 10 years from now, I win two Olympic gold medals. If I couldn’t look back and say that I at least tried to break the record collegiately, then it wouldn’t have sat well for me.”
The current collegiate record is held by Rio Olympic gold medalist Kerron Clement at 47.73 seconds, but before Robinson hits the hurdles, he hopes to take home the national title in the men’s 4x400 meter relay and open 400 at NCAA Indoors.
“Indoor is not my favorite, at all,” Robinson said. “I’m a 400 hurdler by heart, but I think I could run with and beat these 400 guys, so I want to give them a run for their money.”
Texas experienced much disappointment as a team last season, taking fifth in the NCAA Indoors and only sending Senoj-Jay Givans to the finals of the NCAA Outdoor competition.
But Robinson believes the momentum can shift, starting this weekend at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas. As an Olympic veteran, he looks to lead the team to success this season.
“Byron is just feisty,” sprints coach Tonja Bailey said. “He’s just very aggressive and wants it really bad. Byron is actually vocal, he’ll come to you at practice and be like, ‘Get it together!’”