411OnTheForty: Tripp Piperi earns national, conference recognition after leading Texas at Charlie Thomas Invitational

His record-setting performance at the Charlie Thomas Invitational earned Tripp Piperi weekly accolades from the USTFCCCA and the Big 12 (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas thrower Tripp Piperi was named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Men's National Athlete of the Week, and Big 12 Men's Athlete of the Week after his record-setting throw won and broke the UT record in the indoor shot put at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station, and were rewarded upon arrival back in Austin.

Both the men and women were ranked in the top 10 of the USTFCCCA weekly poll that was released Monday: the women climbed to No, 4, switching spots with USC for the second straight week, while the men came in at No. 9.

Piperi posted the second-best indoor mark in the NCAA all-time in the shot put this past weekend. His throw of 21.74 meters / 71 feet, 4 inches broke Ryan Crouser's five-year-old school record, and was also the top mark ever for both the facility and the Charlie Thomas Invitational. His Big 12 Male Athlete of the Week award marked the fourth time he has won the award.

The indoor season will conclude March 12-13 at the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. A schedule for outdoor competition has not yet been released.

Cruz Gomez won the men's breezing through the event with a personal-best time of 4:01.41, the 10th-fastest mile in the NCAA this season. The Longhorns swept the top three places in the event: Graydon Morris finished second in 4:02.08, followed in third by Brendan Hebert, in 4:05.37.

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Sophomore Yaseen Abdalla won the 5,000 meters in 14:11.48, nearly eight seconds ahead of teammate Abraham Avila-Martinez, who finished second in 14:19.38.

Julien Alfred broke the meet record in the preliminary round of the 60-meter dash, with a time of 7.15 seconds. She followed that up by easily winning the final in 7.17, edging teammate Kynnedy Flannel, who finished second in 7.23.

Texas also won the women's 4x400-meter relay in 3:35.84. In field events, senior Sophia Falco won the triple jump with a winning leap of 42-05.25, and UT teammates Olivia Buntin and Madison Gawthorp tied for first in the pole vault when they each cleared 12-6.75.

Other standouts on the women's side included Valery Tobias, who won the 800-meter run in 2:08.26, freshman Gracie Morris, who won the mile in 4:51.97, junior Beth Ramos, who won the 3,000 in 9:44.19 (topping teammate Ava Peeples, who placed second in 9:57.22) and Chanel Brissett, who won the 60-meter hurdles in 8.10.

Valery Tobias won the 800 meters at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, finishing in 2:08.26 (photo courtesy of texas sports.com).

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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