By Steve Lansdale
LUBBOCK, Texas — For the second time in as many years, and for the fifth time in the last six years, the Texas women’s track and field team won the Big 12 Indoor Championship, with 128 points; Texas Tech finished second, with 108.5 points. On the men’s side, Texasfinished fifth, with 69.5 points.
The women’s team was led by a pair of individual champions: senior Teahna Daniels won the 60-meter dash in 7.22 seconds, while freshman Kynnedy Flannel won the 200 in 22.89.
"It was a great relief,” Daniels said of her victory. “During my warm-up, I felt ready to run. My only goal was to run as fast as I could, get a nationals mark and score points for the team. I'm really blessed and grateful to have won, especially since this is my last indoor Big 12 Championship. I'm excited for the coming weeks because I'm running fast during the right time of the season."
For her part, Flannel said part of her gratification was seeing her teammate win before her.
"I feel like I executed my race today,” Flannel said. “I was happy for (Daniels). She won (the 60m earlier in the day) and she's a senior, she really deserved it, but I had to get the 200. Now I'm just working towards nationals."
In addition to Daniels’ victory, Flannel finished third in the 60, and freshman Julien Alfried placed fifth. Serenity Douglas supported Flannel’s victory in the 200 by claiming fourth place in the event.
“I was really proud of the way the women came out and took care of business today,” Texas head coach Edrick Floréal said. “The good thing about this team is that there were a lot of people who came out of nowhere and surprised people. The story is about people like that, but a lot of the women who we expected to show up still showed up and did their duty. It takes all of them to be successful.
“The future of Texas track and field is getting that swagger back and getting that confidence back. Wearing the Texas (name and logo) on your shirt means something and we need to take pride in that and build off of this meet going forward.”
Senior Gabby Crank won the 800 meters in 2:04.92, the third-fastest time in program history. Freshman Valery Tobias finished the event in 2:12.03, establishing a new personal record while claiming seventh place.
UT’s women’s team got additional points from:
- Mariam Abdul-Rashid, who finished second the 60-meter hurdles with a new career best: 8.62
- Sophia Falco, who finished second in the triple jump with a personal-best leap of 43-1
- Elena Bruckner, who finished third in the shot put a day after finishing second in the weight throw
The men’s team was led by three individual champions: Sam Worley won the mile, Tripp Piperi repeated as the conference’s indoor shotput champion, and John Burt won the 60-meter hurdles. Burt’s winning time of 7.73 seconds was the third-fastest in the history of the men’s program.
UT’s Alex Rogers and Charles Mills placed second and seventh, respectively, in the mile.
Qualifiers for the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships will be announced Monday
Qualifiers for the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships, which will be held March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala., will be announced Monday.