PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Texas closed the 121st Penn Relays with a pair of victories on Saturday, including one of the most sought after titles at the meet.
The Longhorns won the Women’s 4×400 Meter Relay Championship of America with a time of 3:29.46 to repeat as champions. The team of Kendall Baisden, Morolake Akinosun, Ariel Jones and Courtney Okolo bested the field to give Texas its 12th title all-time in the event at Penn Relays. That total is twice as many as South Carolina’s six and no other school has more than two.
“It was definitely an awesome job by the women in the 4×4,” said Head Coach Mario Sategna. “We had the three veterans do what they always do. Courtney brought home the gold as the anchor, but Ariel stepped up huge as a freshman. That’s going to pay dividends down the road when we need some help at conference, regionals and nationals.”
Texas got another win on Saturday thanks to senior Morgan Snow. She crossed the line first in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 13.13 seconds. She also ran the fastest time during prelims on Friday.
BJ Adeokun joined Snow in the final of the women’s 100 hurdles and finished seventh. She took second in her heat on Friday to advance to the championship final and ran 13.63 on Saturday to just miss her personal best time of 13.57.
Reese Watson had the best individual performance of the day for the men’s squad, taking second place in the men’s pole vault championship section. He cleared a season-best mark of 5.30 meters (17-4.50) to trail Tennessee’s Jake Blankenship and his clearance of 5.50 meters (18-0.50).
Clint Harris also had a big performance for the Longhorns in the field events. He posted a new personal record in the discus championship section and finished seventh in a field that included three of the top six throwers in the NCAA in the event. Harris threw 58.38 meters (191-6) and now ranks as the No. 9 Longhorn in school history.
With their marks, Harris and Watson both rank in the top 20 in the NCAA this season.
The men were in action in a series of relay championship finals on Saturday as well.
Texas posted fifth-place finishes in the 4×100 and 4×200. The team of Charles Anumnu, Carlton Anumnu, Byron Robinson and Senoj-Jay Givans ran 40.44 in the 4×100. In the 4×200 it was Charles Anumnu, Zack Bilderback, Robinson and Givans.
The final race of the day saw Texas finish seventh in the men’s 4×400 final. Chris Irvin, Bilderback, Derrell Manhertz and Carlton Anumnu ran 3:11.03.
Texas also ran in the highly anticipated 4xMile relay. The Longhorns finished ninth in a strong field with the team of Brady Turnbull, Mark Pinales, Craig Lutz and Logan Emery.
Two more individuals made finals in running events for the Longhorns and ran well on Saturday.
Freshman Caitland Smith finished fifth in the women’s 100 meters, clocking in at 11.76 seconds. Spencer Dunkerley-Offor ran 14.09 into a strong headwind to finish fifth in the men’s 110 meter hurdles.
In other field events, Fabian Dohmann took eighth in the javelin championship section. Nick Phynn finished 15th in the college triple jump. Will Spence was ninth in the championship discus behind Harris, and Mark Thomas finished ninth in the championship pole vault.
In all Texas claimed eight finishes in the top five, including the pair of wins on the women’s side at Penn Relays. Cooler temperatures may have kept some from performing even better, but Sategna said it helped get his team ready for the championship season.
“It’s a little different here with the cooler conditions compared to back home at Texas,” Sategna said. “But I think it prepares us for conference this year at Iowa State and potentially for nationals at Eugene. We get accustomed to warm weather so it’s good for our athletes to get out of that element.”
Texas returns home next weekend for the Longhorn Invitational on May 2 at Mike A. Myers Stadium. It will be the final meet before the championship season gets going with the Big 12 Conference Championships in Ames, Iowa on May 15-17.