Women’s distance medley relay heads to South Bend

Sam Bellessa

The Texas track and field team is quickly racking up frequent flyer miles. 

On Saturday, four members of the Texas women’s track and field squad will compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational, the fourth meet of the month and the eighth of the spring season for the team, in South Bend, Indiana. The Longhorns have had to travel for each competition. 

A team made up of senior Destiny Collins, freshman Brooke Jaworski, sophomore Valery Tobias and graduate student Kathryn Gillespie is slated to run in the distance medley relay. The Texas women currently have the seventh-fastest indoor distance medley relay time in the country this season, with their best time of 11:04.31 setting a Texas record. That record was set at the Razorback Team Invitational on Jan. 31 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Saturday will be the debut of the Collins-Jaworski-Tobias-Gillespie distance medley relay team. This will be the third different lineup for the distance medley relay that the Texas women’s team used this season. 

Tobias ran the 800-meter leg in both of her other competitions and Gillespie ran the final 1,600-meter leg on the team that set the top mark in Fayetteville. Collins will run in her first distance medley relay of the season, but she was on the team that won the event at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in 2019. Jaworski will make her first distance medley relay start for Texas, and will likely run the 400-meter leg.

Even though Jaworski is in her first year, she has already impressed. In the Razorback Invitational, she set a personal best in the 400-meter to finish second. She’s also recorded top-five finishes in both the 800-meter run and 600-meter run already in her young career.

“I think Brooke Jaworski is a phenomenal talent,” head coach Edrick Floréal said in a press conference. “She’s got a heart of an absolute tiger. I think she is going to be really good as long as we can manage her.”

This weekend will be the final chance for Texas to compete before heading to Ames, Iowa, for the Big 12 Indoor Championships. Only two other Big 12 women’s teams, West Virginia and Oklahoma, ran a distance medley relay this season. Texas has the best time out of the three squads by nearly 40 seconds. This weekend could be a chance to determine who will be in the lineup for that event. 

After finishing sixth in last year’s Big 12 Indoor Championships, this year’s team will look to bring home the title. 

“I want to win the conference,” Floréal said. “My philosophy is, if they’re giving a trophy, I want that trophy.”