Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas women’s track and field looks to win big at indoor national championships

Skyler Sharp
The women’s Track & Field/Cross Country team chants before heading to the starting line at the Cowboy Jamboree Meet on September 23, 2023. The Longhorns placed second as a team with a score of 52 points.

The No. 3 Texas women’s track and field team will travel to Boston, Massachusetts this weekend to compete in the 2024 NCAA D1 Indoor Track and Field Championships. 

The top 16 qualifying athletes in each individual event and the top 12 in relays were selected to compete. Texas saw nine athletes qualify across eight events and is predicted to contend for the third place trophy. 

Despite being last year’s runner-up, Texas lacks event winners and depth in the variety of events, unlike No. 1 Arkansas and No. 2 Florida, who will most likely battle it out for the title. 

Junior outdoor national champion Ackelia Smith will be key to Texas’ placement. Smith is the projected favorite to win the long-jump, coming in as the No. 1 seed over Florida’s Claire Bryant, with a mark of 6.85 meters. Smith has jumped farther than Bryant at every meet this season and is also the No. 13 seed for the triple-jump. 

Freshman Aaliyah Foster also qualified in the long-jump as the No. 11 seed. Just one of three freshmen to qualify, Foster’s personal best of 6.46 meters is just 0.05 meters off the eighth seed’s mark. 

Senior All-American Kristine Blazevica could be a significant contributor, as she comes in as the second seed in the pentathlon event behind Southern California’s Allie Jones. Pentathlon results are challenging, as the athletes have to do well in all five events. While Blazevica’s personal bests in the field events outperform her competitor, Jones has the edge on the track. 

Texas will look to score big in the shot-put, as it has three qualifiers in the event. Freshman Big 12 Champion Nina Ndubuisi comes in as the sixth seed with a mark of 18.08 meters. Although junior Chrystal Herpin and senior Marilyn Nwora sit outside the top eight as the No. 11 and No. 13 seeds, respectively, the margin amongst the bottom eight seeds is just 0.53 meters. 

The Longhorns’ biggest weakness lies in their lack of depth in the track events. While junior Big 12 Champion Emelia Chatfield is predicted to breeze into the 60-meter hurdles final and could place within the top five, the Longhorns may struggle to get their other qualifiers into the finals and position themselves in point-scoring placements. 

Senior Kevona Davis is the No. 16 seed for the 200-meter dash, but the difference in times top-down is just 0.61 seconds, making the margins incredibly thin. 

Sophomore Dejanea Oakley sits in the No. 13 seed for the 400-meter dash. Oakley, who won the event at the Big 12 Championship, will have to run under her personal best of 51.75 seconds to get into the top eight as it stands. 

Texas has qualified a team of Oakley, Davis, Smith and senior Ziyah Holman in the 4×400-meter relay. The Longhorns will hope to maximize the most out of this event, as they come in as the No. 6 seed.

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