Micaiah Harris clocks at 20.26 and scored five points as he recorded the sixth-fastest time in UT School history in the 200-meter dash. (photo courtesy of NCAA / texassports.com)

Texas men’s tie for sixth at NCAA Track and Field Championships

Micaiah Harris NCAA 200-meter
Micaiah Harris clocks at 20.26 and scored five points as he recorded the sixth-fastest time in UT School history in the 200-meter dash. (photo courtesy of NCAA / texassports.com)

EUGENE, Oregon- Texas men's track and field at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships scored 29 points, their most at NCAA Outdoors since 2013, to finish in a tie for sixth place in the team standings with in-state rival Texas A&M.

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LSU claimed the men's team title for the first time since 2002, tallying 84 points. That was 31 more than Oregon, the runner-up. North Carolina A&T took third with 35 points at the meet.

Highlighting Texas' performance on Friday was sprinter Micaiah Harris, who took fourth in the 200-meter final, crossing the line in 20.26 seconds. The junior got off to a fast start running in lane eight, as he came around the curve for the last 100 meters in front of Florida's Joseph Fahnbulleh, who ended up claiming the NCAA title in the event with a time of 19.91 seconds. Though Harris failed to finish in the top three due to Fahnbulleh's come-from-behind victory, his fourth-place finish was his best performance at an NCAA Outdoor Championship, as he finished fifth in the event in 2019, and 21st in 2018.

Harris' time ranks as the sixth-fastest in Longhorn history, and the Virginia Beach, Virginia native holds all six of those marks.

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Texas had two runners in the men's 800-meter final in Big 12 Champion Yusuf Bizimana and freshman Crayton Carrozza. While each notched a personal best in the fast-paced race, they struggled to stay in step with the pack, led by USC's Isaiah Jewett, who crossed the line first with a mark of 1:44.68.

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At the 400-meter mark, Bizimana was just under a second behind the leaders, clocking a time of 51.88 seconds as eight of the nine runners in the field were on personal record pace. Carrozza finished the first lap in 52.23 seconds. But Bizimana never had the ability to make a move on the final lap, as he fell several meters behind the leaders as the second half of the race progressed, and had dropped to seventh by time he raced across the line in 1:46.76. Carrozza had the same difficulty, with little room to move up in the pack, and finished ninth with a time of 1:46.94.

Though they placed in the second half of the results, Bizimana recorded the No. 7 time in program history, and Carrozza the 10th all-time fastest mark by a Longhorn.

Charles Brockman III was met with a similar challenge in the men's 400-meter hurdles, as the Longhorn finished eighth in the final with a time of 49.92 seconds, just four and one hundredth of a second off his personal best while at Texas. He seemed to clear every hurdle with ease, and gained ground on the leaders over the first 200 meters of the race. But the junior quickly fell back as the field headed into the final curve and straightaway, and by the 350-meter mark, was out of the race, finishing 2.07 seconds behind first-place finisher Sean Burrell of LSU. He still contributed to Texas' scoring, tallying one point.

Burrell's victory sealed LSU's team title with three events remaining on the evening's schedule.

In the field events, O'Brien Wasome took eighth overall in the men's triple jump to earn one point for Texas, as he recorded a mark of 16.35 meters.

In relay action, the Texas men's 4x100-meter quartet qualified for the final on Wednesday, and placed sixth in a very tight race Friday afternoon, clocking a time of 39.13 seconds, which tied Texas A&M. In fact, the top seven finishers posted times of 39.13 seconds or lower, a testament to the blistering quick nature of the race.

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Wasome led off the relay, handing the baton to Steffin McCarter with a split of 10.8 seconds. Caleb Hublin, who ran the third leg, pulled Texas back into the race with a split of just over 10 seconds, before Harris closed out the race for the Horns.

The only women's event of the day was the Heptathlon, where Texas' Kristine Blazevica made her NCAA Outdoor Championship debut. The first four events of the seven-event competition were contested on Friday, with Blazevica, the Big 12 Champion, closing out her day in sixth place. She currently has a career-best score at the four-event mark of 3,501, and will seek to continue her success on Saturday, when the long jump, javelin and 800-meter events of the Heptathlon are scheduled to take place.

Kristine Blazevica NCAA Championship Heptathlon
Kristine Blazevica competes in the 2021 NCAA Championship Heptathlon (photos courtesy NCAA & texassports.com / graphic by Horns Illustrated)

The Latvian opened her day by clocking a time of 13.94 in the 100-meter hurdles, and found herself in the top 10 after strong performances in the high jump and shot put. She cleared a personal-best of 1.75 meters to tally 916 points in the high jump, finishing third, before placing fifth in the shot put with a throw of 13.21 meters.

A very competitive 200-meter dash saw Blazevica clock a time of 25.33 seconds, four-tenths of a second off her personal best, to place third in her heat and 18th overall. She still tallied 857 points to bring her score to 3,501 headed into Saturday.

The final day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships will be broadcast on the ESPN Family of Networks and WatchESPN.com.

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