Texas made big waves across the country over the weekend, posting an impressive five wins and 23 personal bests, including two school records, between two meets in Lubbock and Seattle.
The team split for a second time this season, where the majority of the athletes competed in Lubbock and the distance runners competed in Seattle. On Friday alone, two school records were broken as three Longhorns won their events and another 12 posted personal bests.
At the Husky Invitational in Seattle, Sam Worley broke his own school record in the mile with a time of 3:57.98 — currently the best mile time in the NCAA. With a record win so close to nationals, Worley said he must continue to focus not only on his own times but on overall team success.
“It’s exciting as things are starting to click just before championship season,” Worley said. “To have a national markdown takes a lot of pressure off. Now the focus is about winning races and chasing team titles.”
Alex Rogers continued building onto his monumental season as well by breaking the 3000m school record by nearly five seconds. Like Worley, he also believes the Longhorns are finding success at an ideal time in the season.
“This is something special,” Rogers said. “It’s been a long time coming and things are falling into place at the right time. Coach Watson has us working at full capacity and all the guys are having fun and running fast. There is more to come.”
At the Texas Tech Shootout, rising star Kynnedy Flannel took first in the women’s 60m with a time of 7.292, and John Burt won the men’s 60m hurdles for the second straight meet. True freshman Jonathan Jones claimed victory in the 400m, and his time of 45.38 is the No. 2 best time in the world this season, the Barbados Indoor National record, and the second-best time in school history.
On Saturday, the Longhorns were back in action in Lubbock, recording one event win and 11 personal bests.
Once again, Elena Bruckner reigned victorious in the women’s shot put with her season-best throw of 16.72m/54-10.25, and has now won the event all four times she has competed.
In the same event, Tripp Piperi claimed second in the men’s shot put with a mark of 20.19m/66-3 and is the event’s No. 3 thrower in the NCAA.
In the men’s 200m, two Longhorns battled for the No. 10 time in school history. Terry Brown Jr. claimed the spot with a time of 21.18 before Jonathan Jones narrowly secured the Top-10 finish in 21.16.
In the women’s 200m, Flannel was the top collegiate finisher with a time of 23.11, only trailing Keni Harrison, who trains in Austin and serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the Longhorns.
Before heading to Lubbock for the Big 12 Championships on Feb. 22-23, the team will once again split next Saturday and head to the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Indiana, and the Aggie Twilight in College Station.
“Our student-athletes took advantage of great opportunities this weekend to hit big marks and put themselves in position to have Big 12 and NCAA qualifying marks,” head coach Edrick Floréal said. “Many of our student-athletes better positioned themselves to come back here to Lubbock in two weeks and compete for Big 12 Championships.”