Longhorns set to host 86th annual Texas Relays

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Athletes from all around the world and in all stages of their careers will be drawn to Mike A. Myers Stadium as it opens its doors Wednesday for the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Nearly 40,000 fans will attend the showcase, which will feature athletes from the high school and college track and field circuit and a number of Olympians looking to make their mark on the Longhorns’ home field.  

“It’s definitely my favorite meet to compete in every year,” senior decathlete Isaac Murphy said. “Texas Relays trumps it all. It’s an honor to compete in the burnt orange and have the home crowd cheering for you. I love it.”

The home-field advantage will be important as the Texas men’s team looks to prove itself after a second-place finish at the Texas State Elite Meet last week.

“The key for us to do well is to not make the same mistakes we made last week,” men’s head coach Bubba Thornton said. “If we’re consistent, we have a chance of being much better.”

While the competition is not scored, Texas hopes to add the team of the meet award to its already formidable trophy case that includes the 2013 Big 12 Indoor Championship. Helping the team to that goal will be seniors Keiron Stewart and Murphy, who were rested in their specialty events last week and hope to stun the crowd in their events.

On the women’s side, No. 5 Texas will head into the Relays without former head coach Beverly Kearney for the first time since 1993. For interim head coach Rose Brimmer, however, this year’s Texas Relays will be a special meet despite her absence.

“[The Texas Relays] was great before coach Kearney and it will be great even after she is gone,” Brimmer said. “It’s one of the biggest meets in the country and brings in a lot of great runners from all over the world.”

The Longhorns have performed solidly under Brimmer since January and will look to continue that in the second event of the outdoor season.

Riding strong into the home meet is the Longhorns’ 4X100-meter relay team, consisting of Morgan Snow, Christy Udoh, Danielle Dowie and Chalonda Goodman. The foursome began the outdoor season two weeks ago by winning the relay at the Aztec Invitational. The squad will continue its campaign Friday, beginning with preliminary races.

The Texas Relays begins Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. with the heptathlon and decathlon events, and will continue through Saturday afternoon when the running event finals will be held.