Track and Field opens season with success at Texas A&M

Leah Vann

Texas track and field dusted off their spikes and traveled down the road to College Station over the weekend for their first indoor track meet of 2016.

The Texas A&M 11-Team Invitational also featured top-ranked No. 21 A&M women’s, No. 11 Baylor women’s and No. 7 TCU men’s teams. The No. 3 Longhorn women finished with the gold at 122.5 points, with the Aggies trailing at 92.75 points, while the No. 2 men’s team placed second with 87.50 points behind No. 9 Texas A&M’s 146-point effort.

Texas freshmen Teahna Daniels and Asa Garcia of the women’s team won their first events of their college careers. Daniels’ time of 7.252 seconds edged senior teammate Morolake Akinosun by 0.008 seconds to win the 60-meter dash, setting a Texas A&M meet record. Garcia jumped 42-feet-1.25-inches to grab the gold in triple-jump, putting her sixth in school history.

Senior BJ Adeokun and sophomore Ariel Jones placed second and third in the 60 meter hurdles with times of 8.40 seconds and 8.41 seconds respectively, while freshman Ashley Miller finished seventh overall at 8.50 seconds. Akinosun also finished second in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.47 seconds.

The men’s field events opened strong with redshirt sophomore Alan Zapalac grabbing the gold in the weight throw at a mark of 63-feet-6.75-inches — good enough for second in school history. Senior Ryan Crouser, looking for his fourth NCAA title, won the shot put with a toss that eclipsed the 65 foot mark.

In pole vault, senior Reese Watson finished third overall with redshirt freshman Barrett Poth close behind at fourth.

On the track, redshirt junior AJ Bailey placed third in the 200 meter dash with a time of 21.11 seconds, good for the sixth best time in school history. Senior Zack Bilderback finished fifth, trailing 0.06 seconds behind Bailey and shaving 0.01 seconds from his personal best.

The Longhorns have a short road ahead with just three indoor meets left until the Big 12 championships. Most of the team will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, this weekend for the Conference Class Power Five Invitational, while throwers and pole-vaulters will travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Lobo Collegiate Invitational.