Track Roundup: Longhorns gear up for tough weekend matchups ahead

Marcus Krum

Distance runners head to elite competition as Texas men split to four meets 

It’s against the best competition that you often see the best results. This weekend, the distance runners on the Texas men’s track team are putting that to the test, competing at the Bryan Clay Invitational and Mt. SAC Relays.

As the team splits up to four different meets over the weekend, the distance group was sent to these two meets to run against the top competition that the nation has to offer.

“It’s really important,” Texas interim head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey said. “It really helps to try to get a good mark in, not only for qualifying but just for confidence and to know where you are in training.”

At Mt. SAC, where four Texas athletes are competing across the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter runs, 10 runners who have posted top-20 times in distance events are running in the 5,000-meter.

In addition, the Longhorns sent a small group of senior Logan Emery, freshman Sam Worley and junior Alex Rogers to Bryan Clay for the 1,500-meter run. Four of the top-five runners from this outdoor season will run in the meet, which includes an Oregon trio that has led the nation thus far.

Elsewhere, a large group of sprinters and jumpers are headed to the LSU Alumni Gold meet, while throwers and pole vaulters are going to Waco, Texas, to compete in the Michael Johnson Invitational. Because the Big 12 Championships in three weeks will be held at Baylor, this weekend looks to give the Texas athletes a great feel for the venue.

“We hope that there is some familiarity there, with being at the facility a couple weeks before,” Buford-Bailey said. “Getting to know the lay of the land, that always helps, especially being not that far away from campus.”

Longhorn women face pivotal weekend 

After starting the season with back-to-back home meets, Texas women’s track and field will be splitting up to compete in four separate competitions this weekend, ranging from Louisiana to California.

The sprinters and jumpers won’t be far from home as they’ll compete in the LSU Alumni Gold meet. The Longhorn women will have to bring out their best performances, as many of the events have more than 20 competitors in the field.

Of the events, the 100-meter dash will be one of the more competitive ones. Junior Teahna Daniels will run in section A and freshman Tamea McKelvy will be in section B in the same event. Both will have their work cut out for them, but Daniels is in a better position, as she is ranked No. 15 in the nation.

The throwers and pole vaulters will be up the road from Austin in Waco, Texas, at the Michael Johnson Invitational. Senior Haley Crouser enters the meet on a hot streak. She has won three straight meets, set a personal record and is inching toward the school record.

Senior Kally Long will also be looking to use this event to vault herself into the top of the Big 12 leaderboard. She finished second in the Big 12 during the indoor season. Long is now trying to get over the hump and finish first in the conference for the first time in her career. A good outing this weekend would certainly put her in a favorable position, as the Big 12 Championships are three weeks out.

With the conference championship meet quickly approaching, this weekend will serve as a critical litmus test for the Longhorns. The team will split up this weekend, see how it stacks up against the rest of the country and try to justify its No. 9 national ranking.