Longhorns close out final day of Texas Relays

Brooke Nevins

An ever-enthusiastic crowd spilled into the Mike A. Myers Stadium one last time on Saturday to witness the Texas Relays’ final showcase of elite competition. Over the course of four days, the Texas track & field women racked up five wins, including two new school records.

Samantha Shulhan, Valery Tobias, Jaylene Vu and Gabby Crank of the women’s 4×800-meter  relay began the day for the Longhorns, fighting to finish fourth with a time of 8:56.91.   

The team was led by Crank, who had a dominating performance in both the sprint and distance medley relays on Friday. The senior made up on lost ground to work her way from last to third during her leg before passing the baton to Vu.

“I’m so proud of all three of these (girls),” Crank said. “It’s their first time wearing the burnt (orange), competing on our home track and it’s definitely a lot of pressure but they stepped up.”  

In her first collegiate relays appearance, Tobias noted the dynamic nature of the home crowd and its influence on her performance.

“It was such a confidence booster to have everyone here, people in burnt (orange),” Tobias said. “You don’t even know them and they’re cheering for you. It’s great to have that system of support.”

After setting a qualifying time in the prelims on Friday, Kynnedy Flannel finished second overall in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.16 seconds.

Following their victorious performance in Friday’s distance medley relay, Destiny Collins and Alex Cruz returned to the track Saturday for the 1,500-meter race. Collins set a personal record with a time of 4:23.09 to take third and Cruz placed seventh with a time of 4:27.44.

The Texas women had a strong presence in the 200-meter dash invitational, where Teahna Daniels claimed first place, Serenity Douglas third and Kennedy Simon fourth.

On the field, Elena Bruckner landed second in shot put with a throw of 16.58m. She also placed second in the discus event with a personal record mark of 57.40m/188-4.

The women concluded their relays performance in style with the 4×400-meter relay, where Flannel, Mariam Abdul-Rashid, Douglas and Zola Golden finished in 3:35.24 to take third place.

The 2019 Texas Relays saw 45,753 total spectators gather to watch over 7,000 collegiate, high school and international athletes perform in the stadium which will also host the NCAA Outdoor National Championships in June. Now, the Longhorns set their sights on the Reveille Invitational held on April 6 in College Station.