Track & Field posts fast times to close McCravy Memorial
Longhorns see personal records in multiple areas
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Teahna Daniels
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – Texas Track & Field closed the Rod McCravy Memorial with more impressive times as the sprinters and hurdlers combined with the mid-distance group to put together a strong overall meet for the Longhorns.
Texas posted some fast times in the sprint events on Saturday highlighted by Spencer Dunkerley-Offor and Teahna Daniels.
Dunkerley-Offor in his second meet back after redshirting last year posted a new personal best during the prelims of the men's 60 meter hurdles. He crossed the line 7.78 seconds, shaving .04 off his previous best. It was the fastest time in the prelims and ranks No. 3 in the NCAA this season. It also moved him into No. 4 in school history.
"I think I can go faster, but it was a great second meet back. I'm probably more motivated than I've ever been," Dunkerley-Offor said of his return to the track. "Not running last year was really hard. It kind of took a toll on me, but once I started training, and especially once we started hurdling, I'm really ready to post some times that I haven't done yet."
Multi-events specialist Steele Wasik also ran his fastest time of the season in the prelims to make the final with a time of 8.08 seconds. He and Dunkerley-Offor both clipped a few hurdles to slow their times in the final.
Daniels looked strong in the 60 meter dash, clocking in at 7.21 seconds in the final to finish second. She also ran 7.36 in the prelims as she improved from last week. That time ranks third in the NCAA this season and is significantly faster than her times at this point of the season last year.
Also running well for the men in the 60 meters was senior Aldrich Bailey Jr. He finished fourth with a time of 6.78 seconds. That time was .01 off his PR. Sophomore long jumper Steffin McCarter ran the 60 and he posted a time of 6.93 seconds.
Mid-distance runners had a good day for the Longhorns with all four competing in the 800 meters posted new personal records. Mary Beth Hamilton finished third for the women in 2:07.72. Sophomore Gabby Crank was seventh. For the men Derrell Manhertz and Jake McConnell both ran their fastest times indoors.
It was another strong showing from triple jumper Obrien Wasome for the Longhorns. The freshman leapt 15.73 meters (51-7.00) on his third attempt to lead halfway through the competition. He would finish in second after being passed in the fourth round of jumps. Senior Nick Phynn placed fifth on a jump of 15.34 meters (50-4.00).
In the longest event of the day, sophomore Alex Rogers ran strong for the men's team taking fifth in the 3,000 meters. He clocked in with a new PR of 8:11.78 and is now ranked in the top 15 in school history for the event.
The day closed with a gutsy performance from the men's 4x400 relay. The team of Chris Irvin, Bailey, Senoj-Jay Givans and Carlton Anumnu combined to run 3:08.41 to win their heat and finish second overall.
Bailey and Givans both helped keep Texas in the lead before Anumnu was in a seesaw battle on the anchor leg. Anumnu saw runners from Clemson and Baylor move up on his hip and he fought both of them off down the final stretch to get the win and rank fifth in the NCAA this season.
Head Coach Mario Sategna said he was pleased with the performances overall and is looking forward to a week off to focus on training with three big meets on the schedule the first weekend in February.
"I think the great thing is we come out of this weekend with no major injuries or anything. We have two weeks until the next competition. The fact that the semester has started now, everyone can get back on a regular schedule," Sategna said. "The first leg of the indoor season is complete. We can all evaluate and I think we're going to see some significant improvements and rightly so."
The bulk of the team will take next week off from competition while just a handful of athletes are expected to run at the Houston Invitational. After the time off, Texas will then split up for the Husker Invitational, Husky Classic and Armory Track Invitational.
Coach Talk
Head Coach Mario Sategna
On Spencer Dunkerley-Offor:
Spencer ran a great prelim in the hurdles, but with time away last year you can see where he would hit a couple hurdles in the final, but you know it's there.
On men's 4x400 relay potential: Once we get to Nebraska and have Byron Robinson back, that's going to completely change our 4x4 and where we're at. To run 3:08 knowing that we still have him to add to our relay pool, I think there are some great things to come there.
Associate Head Coach Tonja Buford-Bailey – Sprints/Hurdles
On her women's sprint group:
Zola she really came into her own today. She looked good on the relay as well. That was huge for Teahna. That's the fastest she ran all year last year until nationals. To have 7.21 in the second meet, she's on target.
On how the season is progressing with her group: We'll get to see a little bit more once we get to Nebraska in two weeks. When people start to branch off and run their main events, you'll start to really see some stuff.
Assistant Coach Zach Glavash – Men's Sprints
On Aldrich Bailey Jr.:
I was proud of AJ. He competed. He looked really smooth in the 4x4. I think he's starting to figure out his race strategy and how smooth he can be.
On Carlton Anumnu's anchor leg of 4x400 relay setting the tone to close the meet: Carlton was awesome. Carlton gave us a spark that is always needed leading into two weeks of training, so that was inspiring.
Assistant Coach Brad Herbster – Distance
On Alex Rogers:
Alex stepped up. Usually 8:14 or under will get you into the fast section of the 3K at the conference meet. That's done, so now he can focus on running a really fast mile.
On his group overall and preparing for the Armory Track Invitational: We had some good performances overall. We've got a lot of work to do as we go into this off-week and then go into New York. It's going to be a fun week. We'll get back on the track and get some good training in over the next two weeks.
Assistant Coach Seth Henson – Jumps/Multis
On men's triple jumpers:
It was nice to see Obrien progress and get a little further out into the sand than last week. Nick Phynn opening up also showed some promise with having a tight grouping of performances. It was like that for all the jumpers this weekend. We're in a good spot heading into the rest week and then into February.
On Georgia Wahl: I was really pleased with Georgia's consistency on her approach. Now we just got to get back to Austin and work a few things technically and get them timed up, and I think we're really going to be ready to go come championship season.
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