Strong winds proved to be no match for the Longhorns’ determination as they surged ahead to claim seven titles in Saturday’s events at the Texas Invitational.
The windy conditions produced gusts reaching 20-30 mph throughout the day’s competition. But Texas simply decided to push all negative thoughts aside and power through it.
“This is exactly the kind of weather we can have at the end of the year,” said head coach Bubba Thornton. “Today will only prepare us for that. For the most part, we handled business today. There were a few mental mistakes, but that is why we have these kind of competitions — to work them out. The wind was not a positive for us but whatever the conditions are, we have to deal with them and beat people.”
Junior long jumper Marquise Goodwin started taking care of business the moment he stepped on the runway. On his first jump of the 2012 outdoor season, he leaped to a winning mark of 26-00.25 and tied for the fourth longest jump in the NCAA this season. Mark Jackson finished close behind in third with a 23-08.75, while multi-event athlete Petter Olson posted a mark of 14-11.25.
In the triple jump, Jarard Bruner finished third among the college athletes with his leap of 50-05.50.
Goodwin continued the trend with his performance in the 100-meter dash with the top collegiate time of 10.32 seconds. He was joined by five other teammates who also placed in the event. Jackson, Trevante Rhodes and Emerson Sanders clocked in at 10.34, 10.45 and 10.46 respectively. Alex Williams finished in ninth at 10.58 and freshman Aaron Scott came in 13th with 10.70.
Texas’ throwers have been reliable competitors all season, and remained consistent with their tosses on Saturday.
Senior Jacob Thormaehlen led the group with his third straight win in the shot put this season and is now the nation’s leader in the event. His second throw of 63-05.50 was enough to give him the edge and ultimately the title. After Thormaehlen, was Hayden Baillio in third and Will Spence in fourth. Blake Jakobsson competed in the event for the first time outdoors, and tossed a 49-07.25 for eighth.
Thormaehlen also finished second in the hammer throw with a heave of 187-11. Baillio posted his first mark of the outdoor season with 169-5 for seventh place. Jakobsson and Spence followed in eighth and 12th respectively.
Freshman Ryan Crouser finished as the top collegiate competitor in the discus, with mark of 182-0. Redshirt freshman Jakobsson came in next behind Crouser, posting a throw of 177-9.
Junior Maston Wallace made his outdoor debut in the pole vault and cleared 17-01.50 for the third best collegiate height and fourth place overall. Sophomore Mark Thomas cleared the same mark as Wallace and came in fifth.
The Longhorns continued to be in favor as they headed into the remainder of the running events.
Junior C.J. Jessett competed in his first 800-meter run of the year and claimed the top collegiate finish with a time of 1:51.50 seconds. Jessett was able to edge past teammate Kyle Thompson in the final strides of the race, as Thompson finished in 1:51.88 for second. Patrick McGregor, Kevin Rayes and Will Antkowiak also ran in the event, coming in fifth, ninth and 14th respectively.
Sheroid Evans made his outdoor debut in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.24 seconds. The event was Evans’ first race of the outdoor season due to an injury he received in February at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.
Dereck Dreyer ran the anchor leg of the Longhorns’ winning 4x400 meter relay. Josh Brudnick and Isaac Murphy got the team off to a strong start in the first two laps, so by the time Evans passed the baton to Dreyer the lead was theirs. The team clocked in at 3:12.54.
“I saw Texas Southern ahead of us so I was thinking that I have to catch up to them,” Dreyer said. “I was thinking that they would be running pretty fast, so my first thought was to catch up and stay behind them but then I saw that I could take the lead. I caught him and never looked back.”