Longhorn women win third-straight Big 12 title, men settle for second-place

Leah Vann

The men’s and women’s track and field teams were at different ends of the emotional spectrum on the final day of the Big 12 indoor track and field championships.

For the women, Saturday saw the Longhorns clinch their third-straight Big 12 championship behind strong finishes in the sprint events. Senior Courtney Okolo bested her fastest time of the year, taking the 400-meter race in 51.06 seconds. Texas also secured second, fourth and seventh-place finishes in the race. 

Okolo also took the 200-meter race in 22.79 seconds, a Big 12 record and third-best time in school history.

Senior Morolake Akinosun took her third-straight Big 12 championship in the 60-meters with a time of 7.30 seconds, edging out freshman teammate Teahna Daniels by .01 seconds.

The Longhorns also finished strong in the 60-meter hurdles. Sophomore Ariel Jones posted a personal best time of 8.18 seconds to finish third in the event. Freshman Ashley Miller and senior Mobolaji Adeokun finished fourth and fifth.

But the biggest haul for the women came in the 400-meter contest. Junior Chrisann Gordon, Jones and freshman Zola Golden finished second, fourth and seventh — all with personal best times — to give the Longhorns 25 points from the event.

The Texas men narrowly missed an opportunity to capitalize on a strong first day, falling just short of the title.

Oklahoma State won the overall event, finishing with 130 points. Texas followed them in second place with 128.5 points and Kansas State finished in third with 98.5. Going into the final day, Oklahoma State led the meet with 37 points, followed by Kansas State with 35 points and Texas with 34.5 points.

Longhorn senior Zack Bilderback took home the title in both the 200-meter and 400-meter races, and was the highest scorer in all of the Big 12 this weekend. 

The men’s biggest moment came from senior Ryan Crouser who won the shot put and tied the collegiate record with a throw of 21.73 meters. 

Junior Byron Robinson was also record-worthy, winning the 600-yard race with a school record of 1:07.99.

With the championship within grasp in the last event, Texas finished second in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:05.17, 1.01 seconds behind Baylor. A win in the event would have clinched the title for the men, who settled for second place.