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 track and field sends 10 past, present Longhorns to Paris for Summer Olympics


It was a busy weekend for the current and former stars of the Texas track and field team, as numerous federations held their Olympic trials to determine their teams for the Summer Olympic Games this month. A total of 10 current and former Longhorns have punched their tickets to Paris. 

Texas Ex and indoor World Champion Tara Davis-Woodhall earned a spot for her second Olympics after winning the long-jump event in the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon. Davis-Woodhall experienced a rocky start to her trials, fouling on her first two attempts. Her fifth-round jump of 7.00 meters, a rarified mark, was enough to secure the U.S. national title and Olympic spot. 

“It was honestly one of the scariest moments of my career,” Davis-Woodhall told “I did not let that get to my head. I had to stay focused and present.” 

Davis-Woodhall is currently No. 2 in the World Athletics rankings for women’s long jump and is expected to contend for a medal in Paris. 

Alumnus Ryan Crouser is set to defend his Olympic title after winning his fifth-straight U.S. national title in shot put with a throw of 22.84 meters. If the four-time NCAA Champion wins in Paris, he will become the first Olympian in history to win three straight gold medals in the event.  

Three Longhorns made up the final seven of the women’s 200-meters at the Jamaican National Championships in Kingston. Former Longhorn Lanae-Tava Thomas placed second, earning her first Olympic berth. Rising junior Dejanea Oakley just missed out on the team by 0.27 seconds, placing fourth, while recent graduate Kevona Davis placed sixth. 

Former Longhorn and European Champion Rhasidat Adeleke is now the fastest woman in Ireland. After obliterating the national record in the 100-meter event at the Irish National Championships, Adeleke will head to her first Olympic Games. Winning with a time of 11.13 seconds, Adeleke now holds every single Irish women’s sprint record. 

Recent graduate Emelia Chatfield is set to represent Haiti in her first Olympic Games in the 100-meter hurdles. Chatfield, who recently changed her international registration from the United States, was chosen by the Haitian Amateur Athletic Federation after achieving the Olympic standard in the NCAA West First Round earlier this year. 

After winning her second NCAA long jump title less than a month ago, Jamaican rising senior Ackelia Smith has qualified for her first Olympics after winning her second national title. Like Davis-Woodhall, Smith fouled on her first two jumps, but put together a third-round jump of 6.53 meters to secure her spot. 

Back on track, former Longhorn Stacey Ann Williams is going to her second Olympic Games after placing second in the 400-meter dash in Kingston with a time of 50.56 seconds. 

Texas alumna Mariam Abdul-Rashid will represent Canada in Paris after winning the 100-meter hurdles event at the 2024 Canadian Bell Track and Field Trials with a time of 12.83 seconds. 

Akala Garrett finished seventh in the 400-meter hurdles finals in Eugene. The rising sophomore was the youngest competitor to reach the finals at the American trials. 

Bowerman winner Julien Alfred has already qualified for Paris to represent St. Lucia in the 100-meter and 200-meter events by meeting the Olympic standard, earning a nomination from her federation.  

Collegiate record holder and Bowerman finalist Leo Neugebauer also earned his spot in the decathlon outside of a trials event by achieving the standard and a nomination. 

Despite winning the Latvian National Championships, recent graduate Kristine Blazevica failed to qualify for the heptathlon event, as she didn’t meet the Olympic standard. Blazevica announced that she has transferred to the University of Illinois to continue her collegiate career, and will look ahead to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. 

The track and field events in Paris will begin Aug. 1 in the Stade de France and are set to feature many familiar faces from the Forty Acres.

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