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.

Notre Dame’s Carly Loeffel competes in the 100 meter hurdles portion of the women’s heptathlon at the Texas Relays athletics meet Wednesday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The 85th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays kicked off with the seven-event heptathlon Wednesday afternoon. The heptathlon embodies the essence of the Relays; the competition is multi-faceted, it challenges mental endurance and it requires well-rounded athleticism.

Approximately 30 years ago, the javelin and the 800-meter were added to the former five-event pentathlon. Consequently, the heptathlon was born. It is now the most prominent women’s multi-event competition in track and field.

Out of 25 qualifiers, 22 women from 19 universities and colleges across the nation showed up to Mike A. Myers Track & Soccer Stadium to go head-to-head in the university/college heptathlon, the first event of the four-day track and field meet.

The schedule for the long-running Texas Relays reflects the traditional format of a women’s outdoor heptathlon in which, on the first day, athletes compete in four events, two field and two running. Then, the heptathlon resumes the following day with two more field events and ends with a track race.

The heptathletes, seven of whom were coming off of performances at the NCAA Indoor Championships, opened the meet by running in the first of the competition’s seven events, the 100-meter hurdles. With a finish of 13.40, West Virginia senior Chelsea Carrier-Eades clenched first, earning a whopping 1,065 points.

The second and third heptathlon trials were a pair of field events: the high jump and the shot put, respectively. In the former, Allison Barwise from Boston University leaped the highest of the bunch with a 1.78-meter mark. However, Carrier-Eades remained at the front of the pack with a second-place finish for 879 more points.

In the shot put, all eyes were on Notre Dame senior Maddie Buttinger, whose second-round throw for 12.34-meters earned her a victory.

Clocking in at 24.16, Carrier-Eades took another second place in the 200-meter dash, Wednesday’s last heptathlon event, while Texas Tech’s Precious Nwokey snatched first by a 0.05-second margin.

After the first day of competition came to a close, the top two finishing competitors in the 200-meter occupy the top two seeds in the Heptathlon ranking. No. 2 Nwokey trails Carrier-Eades, who sits in first with a total of 3,536 points.

Today at noon, the athletes will face off in the heptathlon’s final three events: the long jump, the javelin and the 800-meter race.

Printed on Thursday, March 29, 2012 as: Heptatholon lacks Horns, still provides excitement