Longhorns compete in California and at home

Kristin Otto

The No. 8 Longhorns showed they are a team on the rise this weekend.

Pitted against some of the top, elite, long distance runners in the country, three 5000-meter Longhorn runners held their own at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.

Sophomore Sara Sutherland finished with the seventh fastest collegiate time in the Olympic Development Elite division.
Trailing Sutherland by two spots, freshman Marielle Hall took 19th overall with a time of 16:22.83.

While the 5-kilometer runners finished up at the Mt. SAC Relays Friday night, 23 track and field competitors prepared for Saturday’s Longhorn Invitational — the second consecutive home meet for UT this outdoor season.

Heading into the meet, head coach Beverly Kearney stressed that, to continue moving forward with improved finishes, the team’s mentality would require a shift in focus.

“We just need to stop thinking so much,” Kearney said. “Sometimes, your desire to win can be overridden by trying to figure out how to win — as opposed to just competing.”

Junior Natasha Masterson set the bar high for the Longhorns for the second week in a row and won gold with a 4.02-meter measurement in the pole vault.

Two Texas competitors that also finished first were Okwukwe Okolie in the discus and Amanda Van Dyke in the shot put.

Notable UT performances at the Invitational, however, were not limited to the field events.

Kendra Chambers won the 800-meter dash.

“I was nervous because I am so inexperienced at the 800-meter,” Chambers said. “I feel good because now I feel like I have a place to start and work from there.”

Danielle Dowie won the 400-meter hurdles on Saturday, clocking in at 56.90. In the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Morgan Snow also took home gold.

Angele Cooper also won the 200-meter dash.

“What really stuck out to me was the big improvement for Angele Cooper … [who has] struggled all year with injuries that they thought she would not be able to come back from this year,” Kearney said. “That really says something going into the rest of the season.”