Texas track and field competes in Michael Johnson Invitational over weekend

Kaitlyn Harmon

The women in burnt orange shone among Baylor’s gold and green at the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas, on Friday and Saturday.

Underneath the track lights, Texas seniors Chanel Brissett and Elena Bruckner gave Texas first place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles and discus. Bruckner’s discus performance on Saturday was the fourth-best of her career. The senior now has 14 of the top 20 farthest discus throws in UT history. In the hurdles, Brissett crossed the finish line at 12.85 seconds.

Brissett, the two-time NCAA champion, joined Texas as a transfer from USC for her first outdoor season opener. Due to the windy weather Waco had over the weekend, Brissett’s victorious 100-meter hurdles time is exempt from the NCAA record books as her performance was wind-aided. If tail winds pushing at her back were not as strong, Brissett’s performance would have ranked the Longhorns second in the NCAA for the 2020-2021 season and sixth in Texas history.

LSU senior Tonea Marshall is the owner of the fastest 100-meter hurdles time on record for the NCAA outdoor season. Brissett will meet Marshall next week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at the LSU Alumni Gold meet, where she will look to beat Marshall’s 12.75-second record time.

Texas’ newest track and field member Kelsie Vicknair shattered her own personal records this weekend. The freshman had a 16-second improvement in the 3,000-meter steeplechase from her previous personal best set two weeks ago in a first-place finish against Texas A&M on April 3. On Saturday, Vicknair finished her seven and a half laps around the track with a smile at a time of 10:29.80, earning her second first-place finish of the season.

“The smile says it all,” Vicknair said in an Instagram post about her Waco victory.

On the men’s side, sophomore Patrick Piperi placed third in the shot put and eighth in the discus. Piperi launched the discus 49.51 meters and threw the shot put 17.55 meters. Piperi is the younger brother of senior Texas thrower Tripp Piperi, a one-time NCAA champion and five-time Big 12 champion.

Tripp will miss the remainder of his senior year due to an ankle injury that required surgery, but he congratulated and supported his brother’s performance via an Instagram story over the weekend.

Texas long jumpers also performed strongly over the weekend. Sophomore Jathan Belaire placed third in the men’s long jump with a 7.42 meter leap, beating out two seniors from Kansas and Kansas State in Waco. Belaire’s first attempt was a personal-best leap and earned him a top-three finish.

Also in her first attempt, senior Sophia Falco jumped 6.00 meters through the air, but she did not set a personal record. Falco’s personal best comes from the March 25-27 Texas Relays, where the senior recorded a 6.16 meter jump.

Texas will travel one state over to the Louisiana bayou for the LSU Alumni Gold meet on Saturday. Following the Longhorns’ return home, Texas will wrap up its outdoor season at the Texas Invitational and Aggie Invitational during the first week of May before the Big 12 Outdoor Championships on May 14-16.