Track and field gears up for Texas Invitational

Daniel Clay

The Longhorns are preparing for their second home meet of the outdoor season on Saturday at the Texas Invitational. The one-day home meet will feature teams from all over the state.

The Texas men will try to build off a successful Stanford Invitational meet last weekend, a performance that led to the team’s jump from 18th to 16th in the outdoor national ranking. 

The men will look to the field events to help them score points this Saturday.  

“Our success on the men’s side is definitely not going to just be with the sprints and the distance, but a lot is going to come from the field events — especially the discus, the javelin and the hammer throw,” Sategna said. “They’ve shown some great things the last couple weeks in practice. Now they’ve got to do it in a meet.”

The No. 3 women’s elite stable of sprinters and field competitors will also return to competition this weekend.

“On the women’s side we’ve got two of the very best relays there in the 4x[100-meters] and the 4x[400-meters],” Sategna said. “We are still putting our attack together in some of those individual events, and so we will kind of touch on those this weekend.”

Junior pole-vaulter Kaitlin Petrillose has been a regular first place finisher for the Longhorns’ individual performers. The last home meet saw Petrillose fall millimeters short of an NCAA record.

Marielle Hall, senior distance runner and U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Female Athlete of the Week, has helped Petrillose carry the individual events burden recently. Hall hopes to build off a strong performance last weekend at the Stanford Invitational and impress the home crowd.

“It’s my senior year, so I’m always excited to have a meet on this track,” Hall said. “There’s going to be some great competition this weekend.”

After a couple season opening meets to get the wheels turning, head coach Mario Sategna is already looking forward to the postseason.  

“Now we can start to look to the conference meet once again,” Sategna said.  

Sategna must choose 32 men and 32 women to compete in the conference meet, with the hopes of advancing them to the regional and NCAA Championships.