Longhorn men run away with Texas Invitational victory

Drew King

Prior to the Texas Invitational, head coach Mario Sategna said he was excited to see how some of the field athletes would perform. They didn’t disappoint.

Discus throwers, freshman Elena Bruckner and sophomore Lauryn Caldwell, both put points on the board for the Longhorns. Bruckner and Caldwell took second and seventh place, throwing for 54.55 and 48.75 meters, respectively.

A trio of men earned personal bests in the throwing events. Redshirt sophomore Brian Peterson won the discus throw, launching it for 56.42 meters, which ranks as the third-best performance in the Big 12. He was followed by redshirt junior Alan Zapalac, who took third place, throwing for 52.85 meters.

“The long throws, it usually takes a few meets because you don’t get a chance to do that at indoors,” Sategna said. “They’re taxing events, it’s not something that you can do week in and week out.”

Redshirt sophomore Barrett Poth reached new heights in the pole vault, clearing a personal best 5.41 meters. The mark was good enough to finish second in the event and also ranks as the third-best height in the Big 12 and ninth-best in school history. 

The success of the field athletes helped spur both teams to high finishes in the meet. The Texas men claimed first place with 131 points, 42 more than second-place Auburn. The women took second, just 10 points shy of first-place Kansas State.

The Longhorns also got large contributions from their track athletes. Freshman Rushelle Burton posted the best time in the nation this season in the 100-meter hurdles, running a wind-aided 12.65 seconds.

Junior Ariel Jones took second place in the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 56.68 seconds. She now ranks first in the Big 12 this season as well as eighth in the nation in the event.

Distance runners, senior Allen Sumrall and redshirt sophomre Jacob Pickle, found success in the 3,000 meter contest. The duo took second and third place in the event, respectively, contributing a combined 14 points to the men’s final score.

“I love having home meets,” associate head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. “It gives the kids some familiarity in what they’re doing. I think that makes them feel a little bit more confident.

Next week, the Longhorns look to continue their stride, sending athletes to the Cardinal Classic, Michael Johnson Classic and the LSU Alumni Gold.