30 Mar

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Texas Longhorns Shine in Record-Setting Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays

UT women earn the Most Outstanding University/College Team award; 15 records set during 87th annual four-day meet. (Image via University of Texas Athletics)

UT women earn the Most Outstanding University/College Team award; 15 records set during 87th annual four-day meet. (Image via University of Texas Athletics)

The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, which annually attracts some of the top high school, collegiate and professional track and field athletes in the nation, had an exciting conclusion Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium.

During the 87th annual four-day meet, there were 15 records set, including eight meet mark. The Texas Longhorns women’s team didn’t register a meet record, but tallied four first-place finishes in impressive fashion to earn the Most Outstanding University/College Team award before a final-day home crowd of 20,159.

In one of the first events of the afternoon session, Morolake Akinosun, Christy Udoh, Briana Nelson and Ashley Spencer teamed up to bring the Longhorns their first win of the day, running the 4x200-meter relay in 1 minute, 31.58 seconds. Former Big 12 foe Texas A&M finished just behind the Horns in 1:31.82.

The Track Texas Relays“It feels good,” said Spencer. “We put in the work and we knew this was going to be a big meet, especially coming off Indoor Nationals. It feels great to get the day started this way. The key to victory today was chemistry, trusting our teammates and just to run fast and have fun.”

The Longhorns went on to claim wins in the 100 meters, mile and mile relay. Akinosun captured the 100 in a wind-aided 11.10 while Marielle Hall won the 1,500 meters Section A in 4:17.10 – a new personal best as well as the nation’s top time of the year.

Texas capped off the day with an impressive performance in the Invitational 4x400-meter relay. The foursome of Nelson, Courtney Okolo, Kendall Baisden and Spencer cruised home to victory in 3:26.38, which was not only the top time in the nation this season, but also the third best mark in school history.

Florida also had some strong performance on the track. The Gators (43.60) were able to squeeze past Texas (43.64) in the women’s 4x100-meter relay. They also won the men’s 4x100-meter relay in 38.29, a Myers Stadium record, while Texas A&M finished second in 38.30. Both times beat the previous facility record.

Texas senior Shanay Briscoe, coming off a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships, took second in Section A high jump with a clearance of 5 feet, 11 1/4 inches (1.81m). Central Arizona’s sophomore, Kimberly Williamson captured first as she jumped the same height in fewer attempts.

On the high school side, pole vaulter Desiree Freier, from Justin Northwest High School, set a national high school record, as well as meet and facility marks, by clearing 14-31Ž4 (4.35m). With the feat, Freier earned the meet’s Most Outstanding High School Performer award.

St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) set a national record in the high school girls 4x200-meter relay with a time of 1:33.47, breaking the mark of 1:33.87 set in 2004. The record-setting time earned St. Thomas the Most Outstanding High School Team award and also smashed both the Myers Stadium record (1:34.51 by Alief Elsik, 2003) and Relays mark (1:35.06 by Long Beach Wilsonm 2006).

Baylor freshman Trayvon Bromell captured the men’s 100 meters in a meet-record 10.01, which also tied the World Junior 100 record, earning him the Most Outstanding University/College Performer award. In Friday’s prelim, Bromell snapped the Relays 100-meter record by clocking a time of 10.02. He bettered the mark of Texas A&M’s Gerald Phiri who clocked a 10.06 in 2011.

Ricky Robertson of Mississippi won the men's University high jump with a clearance of 7-6 (2.28m).

One day after setting school and Texas Relays records with his winning toss of 69-9 1/2 (21.27m) in the shot put, Texas’ Ryan Crouser was fifth in a deep discus field with a personal-best toss of 199-4 (60.76m). Freshman Fedrick Dacres of the University of the West Indies won in a meet-record 219 feet (66.85m). He snapped the one-year old record of UCLA’s Julian Wruck (216-7), who was second in the event with a mark of 213-3 (65.01m).

In the meet’s final event, Florida established a new nation’s best time in the men’s 1600-meter relay with 3:01.26.

James Schleicher is the publisher of Horns Illustrated magazine. He's also a fifth generation Texan and lifelong Austinite. Follow @HornsIllus twitter to keep up with all things Horns Illustrated.