Women clench victory to conclude Texas Relays

WOMENS_RELAYS_2012-03-31_Texas_Relays_Saturday_RyanEdwards1615

Ryan Edwards

Texas comes through on the final leg of the 4×400 relay. It was the Longhorns 17th 4×400 relay victory.

Kristin Otto

If the humidity and heat weren’t doing the trick, the caliber of competition that characterized the final two days of the 85th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays was enough to get athletes and fans sweating.

Beginning bright and early, nine Longhorn runners represented Texas on Friday in a series of preliminaries in four of the most highly anticipated events in track: the 4×100-meter relay, the 100-meter hurdles, the 100-meter dash and the 4×400-meter relay.

With the exception of 100-meter hurdles, in which Morgan Snow finished 14th with the fastest time of any freshman, the Texas athletes successfully qualified for the finals in the other three events of the morning session.

While Longhorns Jessica Doyle and Natasha Masterson, who placed fifth and last, respectively, didn’t put on their best show in the Section B Pole Vault, Friday was not fruitless for all UT field competitors.

Despite an underthrown first attempt and a foul on her second, senior Okwukwe Okolie’s final launch for 52.52-meters earned her third place in the Section A Discus Throw.

The last day of Texas Relays began with the Section B Discus Throw in which sophomore Bertha Sencherey finished eighth out of 15 competitors.

Mediocre Texas finishes became the theme for Saturday’s field events.

In the Section A High Jump, Victoria Lucas and Shanay Briscoe finished in a three-way tie for third with a 1.81-meter mark while Alicia Peterson and Beverly Owoyele both leaped for 1.73-meters, landing them in a three-way tie for seventh place.

Closing out the meet’s field events, senior Amanda Van Dyke took sixth place in the Section A Shot Put and sophomore A’Lexus Brannon settled for 12th out of a field of fourteen athletes in the Section A Long Jump.

On Saturday, the running event finals commenced with the 400-meter hurdles. Although sophomore Danielle Dowie finished first on Thursday in the event’s prelims, she claimed second-place with a time of 56.90 and was followed by senior Angele Cooper who came eighth.

A bad baton exchange in the 4×200-meter relay Invitational ultimately cost the Texas team — composed of sophomore Briana Nelson, sophomore Christy Udoh, junior Chalonda Goodman and sophomore Allison Peter — a victory, finishing second (by less than a second) behind LSU.

Coming off a first-place qualifying performance in the 4×400-meter prelims on Friday, senior Stacey-Ann Smith, junior Kendra Chambers, sophomore Peter and sophomore Nelson clenched a victory in the final event of the meet — marking the 17th win for UT in the women’s 4×400-meter relay in the history of Texas Relays.

“Even before [anchor Nelson] crossed 100-meters-to-go, I just put my Longhorns sign up because I knew it was a done deal,” said Peter, who set up the team’s first-place finish with a jaw-dropping third-leg run. 

Printed on Monday, April 2, 2012 as: Texas earns pdoium finishes, wins 4×400 relays.