The Longhorn men’s track and field team had 15 athletes qualify in nine events in the West Preliminary Round to advance for the NCAA Outdoor Championship.
"We feel really good," head coach Bubba Thorton said. "We talked about getting through this one, and once you get [to nationals], it's another ball game.”
Senior Keiron Stewart qualified for the fourth straight year in the 110 meter hurdles, after overcoming an injury he has been working back from for two months.
"It's a bittersweet feeling," Stewart said. "I wish my senior year could have been a more memorable one, but in life we have obstacles and we just have to face them as they come."
Texas had three athletes advance in discus, including sophomore Ryan Crouser, who leads the nation in the event. Crouser, sophomore Blake Jakobsson and junior Clint Harris each secured spots, and this will be Crouser and Jakobsson’s second-straight NCAA appearances. For shot put, senior Hayden Baillio and sophomore Will Spence finished out the throwing side of the Horns.
Freshman Reese Watson secured his first trip the national meet in the pole vault as the only freshman to qualify from the West in the event.
Watson skipped 5.30 meters and opted instead to try the five-forty and made it. He said he was excited for the opportunity.
“I’m super excited,” Watson said. “I finally got a new outdoor PR and I get to join the rest of the team in Eugene.”
Thornton said the team will continue to prepare for nationals and that he believes in the team’s ability going forward.
“We’re in a good place. Our freshmen class looks really good, our graduating senior look really good, our underclassmen look really good," Thornton said. "The program looks solid, so let’s go get after them now.”