By Steve Lansdale
EUGENE, Ore. — Texas junior Senoj-Jay Givans clocked a 10.25 in the 100-meter dash at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., Friday to finish third in the event. In doing so, he became the first Longhorn since 1977 to finish among the top three in the event.
Givans’ bronze in the event represented UT’s only six points at the meet, putting the Longhorns in a tie for 36th place. Florida won the title with 62 points, while defending the national champion Oregon Ducks finished fourth with 48 points.
Givans’ time was even more impressive, considering the fact that he and the other runners were running into a strong headwind. The event was exceedingly close, with the first five runners being separated by .04 seconds. Jarrion Lawson of Arkansas won the event in 10.22, just edging Tennessee’s Christian Coleman, who finished second in 10.23.
"I guess I wasn't feeling it today,” Givans said. “I didn't get the start I needed and I ran out of real estate. All I know is it hurts. It really hurts.
"It kills me that I didn't win. This has been a rough year. I didn't compete (at NCAA) indoors. I lost the first two months to injury, and to come around in the shape where I know I could have won it if I had executed the way I should have, it really hurts to know I didn't do so."
Texas head coach Mario Sategna said that while he understands Givans’ disappointment, he appreciates his junior sprinter’s desire for nothing short of victory.
"He's heartbroken,” Sategna said. You get to that one moment, especially in the 100 meters, and you're talking about a fraction of a second. He's doing it the right way and I am super, super proud of him. We need more with that type of drive and passion because he wasn't running for anything but first place."
Givans will try to put his third-place finish behind him when he heads home to Jamaica for Olympic Trials, where he will attempt to represent his country this summer in Rio de Janeiro.
"He'll get a chance now to go to the Jamaican Championships to hopefully make their Olympic team, which is no easy feat when you've got the top athlete in the world that you're going to be lining up against in Usain Bolt," Sategna said. "I just can't say enough about Senoj-Jay and what he's brought to our program."