Johannes Hock

Longhorns track and field sophmore decathlete Johannes Hock during the decathlon shot put at the NCAA track and field championships on Wednesday. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rick Bowner | Daily Texan Staff

Heading into Day 2 of the NCAA Track & Field Championships, it appeared as if Longhorn sophomore Johannes Hock would win his second decathlon title. With only one event — the 1,500 meter run — remaining, Hock held a small lead of 23 points. But Hock saw his chances at winning dissapear after finishing 12th in the 1,500.

"He'll walk away from here feeling defeated, but the decathlon is a different beast," Texas head coach Mario Sategna said. “He went into the 1,500 — not one of his strong points — in the lead. He gave it a shot for three laps and kind of fell off the pace at the end.”
The Longhorn women continued a solid qualifying effort. Three Texas runners advanced to a finals event Thursday.
Sophomore Morolake Akinosun was able to advance to her third final at the championships with a victory in her 100-meter heat.
The women’s 4x400 meter relay team was able to advance to finals with a top time of 3 minutes and 28 seconds.
The NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship continues Friday.

Sophomore Johannes Hock finished the first day of the Texas Relays in third place for the Longhorns, despite a less than stellar showing in the javelin throw.

Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

Rainy skies greeted the 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Wednesday, but the Longhorns did not have to look far to find their silver lining.

On the men’s side, the story of the first two days of competition certainly centered around sophomore Johannes Hock in the decathlon. Hock, who took home the decathlon national championship last outdoor season, was competing in the event for the first time since that meet because of an elbow injury. Hock competed during the indoor season but only in individual events.

For most of the competition, Hock looked like his old self.  With only two events remaining, he was in the lead by more than 200 points with a score of 6,543. 

Then came the javelin on Thursday.

Heading into the week, Hock knew that because of his elbow surgery he would have to throw javelin left-handed, a strategy he had little experience with.

“I’ve thrown a couple times, you know not a lot, because it’s kind of weird and it doesn’t feel good,” Hock said. 

The adjustment ended up proving detrimental to his final score, as he finished 16th in the javelin, dropping him to fourth overall in the competition. Hock made up some ground with a strong finish in the 1500 meters but could only manage to climb to 3rd place overall after the final event with a score of 7,573, just 69 points below first place.

Blue skies and a light breeze greeted the Longhorn women as they began competition in front of their home crowd on Thursday.

Senior Danielle Dowie fed off of the atmosphere and the pristine running conditions to finish first in her heat en route to a second place finish in the 400-meter hurdles preliminaries.

The Texas 4x800 meter relay team of senior Marielle Hall, junior Connor Ward, freshman Mary Beth Hamilton and senior Katie Hoaldridge finished second in their final. The team fell behind early, but Hamilton covered a ton of ground in the third leg, reaching second place and showing the kind of talent that will allow her to benefit the team immensely in the future. In the final leg, the Longhorns managed to take the lead before finishing just behind Baylor with a time of 8:47.79.

The conditions could not help everyone though. The women’s 1500 meters B-final saw the Longhorns finish uncharacteristically low in the event. The race began well, with three Longhorns jostling for position in the lead pack, but at the finish, Texas held the last five places in the field of eleven.

The Texas Relays continue Friday and Saturday, when national champions sophomore Ryan Crouser and sophomore Kaitlin Petrillose will show off their skills before the home crowd.

Athletes prepare to run the 110-meter hurdles in last year's Texas Relays. The 2014 event will daw 652 high schools, 232 colleges and competitors from nine countries.

Photo Credit: Lawrence Peart | Daily Texan Staff

This week’s Texas Relays marks the beginning of outdoor competition for the Longhorns. The meet, which takes the top athletes from 652 high schools, 232 colleges and nine countries, will show how Texas stacks up against elite competition.

Heading into his first outdoor season as head coach, Mario Sategna knows how important the Texas Relays can be.

“You set the tone early,” Sategna said. “It sends a message to not only the conference, the Big 12 but also [the nation].”

The meet is the outdoor season debut of national champion sophomore pole-vaulter Kaitlin Petrillose and the rest of the Longhorn NCAA Indoor National Championship team.

The 4x400 meter relay team consisting of senior Briana Nelson, sophomore Courtney Okolo, freshman Kendall Baisden and junior Ashley Spencer also returns to action. The group hopes to improve upon their second place finish at the indoor national meet.

“Just the fact that you’re outside on a track and it’s only one lap, I feel like it just makes it faster,” Okolo said.

Sophomore decathlete Johannes Hock, last year’s outdoor national champion, did not compete during the indoor season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Due to the surgery, the right-handed Hock will throw the javelin with his left hand. Despite this tweak in his style, Hock is excited for what’s to come this season.

“Indoors is always a little different for us because we train outdoors year-round,” Hock said.  “I think Texas Relays is going to be the first meet where we can really show what we’ve been working on in the winter.”

The competition will take place Wednesday through Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

The NCAA Indoor Championships gathers the best and brightest athletes in the college track and field circuit on one track. Within the group of talented individuals competing this year will be four Longhorns, ready and waiting for their shot at an individual national championship.

The group that will head to Fayetteville, Ark., for Friday and Saturday’s meet is made up of a trio of seniors — thrower Hayden Baillio, long distance runner Joe Stilin and hurdler Keiron Stewart — and freshman Johannes Hock. All come off solid indoor seasons and have a chance to prove themselves as the best in the country after testing their formidableness at the Big 12 meet.

Stewart, Hock and Baillio easily outmatched their competitors in Iowa, winning Big 12 titles in respective events and will hope to do just as well against top-notch competition in Arkansas. Their nerves shouldn’t be frayed as Baillio and Stewart are marking their third and fourth appearances at the meet.

Hock, who hails from Germany, will make his first NCAA appearance after a dominant first-place finish in the heptathlon at the Big 12 meet. He has grown well in a short time after joining the team in January.

Stilin, another new face to the team, will mark his second NCAA meet, but first in a Texas uniform. The Princeton transfer has already become an integral part of the team and is now part of Texas’ record books, holding the school’s top marks in the 3,000 meters and the mile.

Men's Track and Field

No. 8 Texas captured the men’s Big 12 Indoor Track and Field Championship this weekend in Aimes, Iowa. This title is the sixth indoor title in Longhorns’ history and came on the back of strong victories by two seniors — Keiron Stewart  and Hayden Baillio — and a brilliant campaign from freshman heptathlete Johannes Hock.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” head coach Bubba Thornton said. “What a great team effort. We scored in every event but three, and every guy on the team scored a point.”

The Texas team captured the title with a strong 135-point total for the weekend, beating out second place Oklahoma who totaled 108.50 points. Stewart captured his second Big 12 title in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.72. Baillio won the shot put and his first Big 12 title with a toss of 64 feet, 5 inches — the second best toss in his career.

Johannes Hock, a multi-event athlete from Germany, gained a commanding lead in the heptathlon Saturday which he never gave up. He won the 60-meter dash with top marks, long jump, shot put and tied for first in the pole vault.

The three members of the team might have punched their tickets for the NCAA Indoor Championships with their strong performances at the Big 12 meet. The Championships will bring together the holders of the top marks in each NCAA event and will be held March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.