The UT Tower will be illuminated in burnt orange tonight (Tuesday) to commemorate last weekend’s Big 12 track-and-field championship by the Longhorn women’s team in Lubbock. The UT women took its eighth Big 12 outdoor crown, which also marks the 19th outdoor league title by UT’s track women, including 11 won during the Southwest Conference days.
The UT men didn’t too badly either. The Longhorn men finished second to Texas Tech over the weekend.
Highlight of the meet was unquestionably the 400-meter win by Courtney Okolo, a sophomore from Carrollton. Okolo’s winning time of 50.03 broke the collegiate record by running seven hundredths of a second faster than UCLA’s Monique Henderson. Her record has stood since 2005. The other standout for Texas was Morolake Akinosun, who won the 100 (10.96) and 200 meters (22.17) and was part of UT’s winning 4×100-meter relay. Akinosum, a sophomore from Auroria, Illinois, totaled 22 ½ points in the meet.
All told, the second-ranked UT women won seven individual events as they completed a sweep of the Big 12s by winning the indoor and outdoor crowns. Other individual winners were Danielle Dowie in the 400 hurdles (56.62), Marielle Hall who won the 1500 in 4:20.82, Shanay Briscoe in the high jump (5-11 ¾) and Kaitline Petrillose who won the pole vault with a meet record of 14-6.
The Longhorn men were led by the phenomenal Ryan Crouser, who set the meet and UT record on his final throw in the shot with a toss of 70-2 ½. He became the first in four years to toss the shot at least 70 feet. Crouser was already leading the nation in the shot before his record throw on Saturday, which earned him his fourth Big 12 shot title.
Other UT men who won individual Big 12 titles were Senoi-Jay Givans (200), Zack Bilderback (400) and Fabian Jara Dohman (javelin).
The NCAA West preliminaries begin next Thursday (May 29) at the University of Arkansas with the NCAA Champs getting underway on June 11 at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.