Men’s, women’s track place 2nd overall at NCAA Outdoor Championships

Katie Borchetta , Sports Reporter

After a four-day meet spanning from June 8-11, both Texas men’s and women’s track teams took home second-place finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

With the conclusion of the track and field season, the Longhorn women finished the year with two runners-up titles at the indoor and outdoor championships, while the men recorded their first-ever NCAA indoor title in March to go along with their runner-up finish outdoors in Oregon.

The women’s team finished the meet with 64 points on Saturday. Helping out the score, senior Julien Alfred, sophomore Rhasidat Adeleke, sophomore Kevona Davis and senior Kynnedy Flannel won the 4×100 meter relay in 42.42 seconds, tying the fourth-best time in school history. 

Later that same day, Alfred took first in the 100-meter dash in 11.02 seconds, earning herself two national championships in one day.

“I knew all I had to do (Saturday) was to get out there and, like my coach said, ‘See you on the other side of the track,’” Alfred said in an interview after winning the 100-meter dash. “And that’s what I did.”

The 4×400 relay team consisting of Adeleke, Alfred, senior Kennedy Simon and senior Stacey Ann Williams came in second after running a time of 3:23.35 minutes.

Simon came third in the 400 meter, with her teammate Williams following in fifth. Flannel and Davis also finished fourth and fifth in the 200 meter, respectively. Senior Valery Tobias added three team points by placing sixth in the 800 meter.

As for field events, senior Tyra Gittens produced six points with her third-place effort in long jump, and freshman Ackelia Smith had a fourth-place finish in the triple jump with 13.79 meters and followed Gittens with an eighth-place finish in long jump.

On the men’s side, the team made history by scoring 38 points at the meet, its best performance at the outdoor championships in 25 years. The team has finished as runner-up three other times in school history, with the most recent second-place finish coming in 1997. 

Junior decathlete Leo Neugebauer proved himself during the meet, finishing runner-up in the decathlon Wednesday with a personal best score of 8,362 points and giving Texas another eight points toward its final score.

Other notable finishes from the men’s team included sophomore Stacy Brown Jr. taking seventh place in the long jump, graduate student Micaiah Harris placing fourth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 20.45 seconds and senior Jonathan Jones finishing fourth in the 400-meter dash, giving Texas another five points. His time of 44.93 seconds sits among the fastest times in school history.

Sophomore Daniel Garland, sophomore Caleb Hulbin, junior Marcellus Moore and Harris made a sixth-place effort for the 4×100 meter relay with a 39.06 run time, recording the sixth-fastest time in Texas history in the process.

In addition, Texas’ 4×400 relay team, which included junior Brian Herron, senior Willington Wright, Hulbin and Jones, gave Texas another five points to add its overall score by placing fourth with a time of 3:01.69. Both relay teams earned first-team All-America honors, a first for Texas since 1988.

But the biggest chunk of Texas’ 38 points came courtesy of the 10 points fifth-year shot putter Tripp Piperi earned with his 21.52-meter throw Wednesday. The throw was Piperi’s first of the day and landed him best in the category, making him a two-time NCAA outdoor national champion in shot put.

“It’s kinda bittersweet to be honest,” Piperi said in an interview after his win. “This is my last time competing as a collegiate athlete, so this is how I should have finished it.”