The date on the calendar might have changed, but the story remained the same for the Longhorns as the distance runners once again excelled in the third day of the Texas Relays.
The distance medley team pulled out a win over the Texas A&M Aggies in their event. The team, comprised of sophomore Kyle Thompson, seniors Patrick McGregor and Zack Bilderback and freshman Trevor von Ackeren, stayed close through the race with the Aggies, but managed to take over the lead in the final stretch of the race cheered on by the Texas Relays crowd and their teammates.
“It’s great to have the crowd.” Thompson said, “It allows me to step it up just one more notch at the end; just hearing everyone cheering.”
The long distance team didn’t stop there, though. The Longhorns’ 4x1500 team, made up of seniors Austin Bussing and Kyle Merber, junior Kevin Rayes and freshman Brady Turnbull, also won their event over UCLA.
With Texas’ long distance runners winning the distance medley relay, the 10,000 meter run, the 4x800 and now, the 4x1500, the Texas team seems unstoppable.
“We’ve just been building on momentum,” Turnbull said, “This is the third distance relay that we won. You see [the other wins] and you get excited. You kind of have to finish the job.”
Back from a long indoor layoff due to injury, Ryan Crouser also made a statement at the Texas Relays. His 20.43m throw in the shot put won the event easily.
“It’s a great start,” Crouser said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve competed healthy. It’s just really, really fun to get out there.”
The throw also earned him a spot among Texas legends. The toss now stands as 5th in the UT record books.
Jarard Bruner leaped past the competition in section B of the men’s triple jump with a 15.53m mark that earned him a win and a new personal best. The wind worked in his favor, but wasn’t quite as strong as it was with competitors below him. Nonetheless, the wind’s help wasn’t needed as Bruner won the event easily.
The competition in the high jump was too strong for Victor Glaze. The freshman, making his first appearance at the Texas Relays, participated in section B of the high jump, ending up in fourth place. Although the rest of competition failed to also clear the 2.16m jump, Glaze had a higher number of misses at earlier heights.
In the the preliminary round of the 110 meter hurdles, senior Keiron Stewart qualified for the finals with a fifth place finish and a time of 13.71 seconds. Eddie Lovett of Florida flew past the competition, leading the race with a gap of .18 seconds between him and second. He’s running at top form and will be tough to beat in the finals.
Casey Wicker ended up in 15th place in the Pole Vault after failing to clear the 17’07 bar as another competitor, Mississippi’s Sam Kendricks, put on an exhibition in the event. The referees put bar after bar on the vault stand, but Kendricks cleared them all, finally failing to clear a height of 5.85m. His 19-00.75 (5.81m) mark not only set a Myers stadium record, but also is the best pole vault performance so far in the NCAA circuit.