Even though Texas remains over a year away from rejoining the SEC, it looks like the Longhorns can’t escape a recall.
The latest came on the final day of men’s competition at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at Myers Stadium. As the Texas men made a minimal ripple, the SEC wave crashed through the competition. Florida won the competition in spectacular fashion by winning gold in the final event, the 1,600 meter relay. The Gators finished with 57 points, Arkansas had 53 to finish second, and LSU had 43 to finish fourth.
Stanford, Texas’ arch-nemesis in the Directors’ Cup, smashed the SEC podium by finishing third with 44 points.
Florida coach Mike Holloway told reporters after the game that the additions of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC would not change his program, which he has led to six outdoor national titles over the course of of the past 12 years as well as five indoor championships.
I am often asked the question, what is your favorite championship? said Holloway. The next.
More:The best for last: In her last attempt at the long jump, Texas’ Ackelia Smith wins NCAA gold
Texas Tech relied on its sprinters while representing the Big 12 and Texas State with a sixth-place finish of 34.5 points. That total would have been even higher had the Raiders’ 400-meter relay team not been disqualified after winning the Tigers’ signature event.
A controversial finish
Texas Techs Courtney Lindsey passed SEC bests to win the 100 in 9.89 seconds, and he said the gold helped ease the frustration of his teams being disqualified in the 400 relay.
My mindset was that we had to get points, Lindsey said. We were very disappointed (about the DQ), but I had to keep my head focused and go out there and try to score for my team. I tried to win and that’s what I did.”
The racetrack is as much a Southern tradition as pulled pork, Bojangles cookies and national football titles. Arkansas leads all schools with 37 total championships, followed by LSU with 32. Arkansas men and women won the indoor title earlier this season, and Arkansas women could get a double-double if they can catch Texas in Saturday’s NCAA track final.
Florida now has 15 national track titles, including back-to-back men’s outdoor titles.
Yusuf Bizimana spotlights Texas’ small male contingent
Texas only reached the final in three events on the final day of men’s competition, but still finished 13th overall with 18 points. Decathlete Leo Neugebauer accounted for 10 of those points in his record-breaking performance with the gold medal, and Yusuf Bizimana grabbed a second medal for Texas clocking 1:45.74 in the 800.
Georgia freshman sensation Will Sumner won the 800m with a time of 1:44.26, the fastest 800m time ever recorded at Myers Stadium.
It’s honestly just amazing, Sumner said. I came here knowing that if I did everything right this would happen, but being able to do it is another thing.
Bizimana, a Briton who hopes to qualify for the next Summer Olympics in Paris, said this could be his last collegiate encounter. He was receiving treatment after Saturday’s race and could not be reached for immediate comment. His teammate Crayton Carrozza finished last in 1:47.23.
Texan discus thrower Jeremiah Nubbe, who grew up in the shadow of Mount Rainier in Washington and majored in aerospace engineering, certainly showed he could make things fly by throwing a personal best 190 feet, 1 inch for finish 15th. This mark failed to qualify the freshman for the final round, but it bodes well for the future; Nubbe was one of two freshmen to qualify for the championship competition.
In the high jump, second-placed Texas student Sam Hurley finished tied for 14th with a 6-11 jump.
In the women’s heptathlon, Texas junior Kristine Blazevica will enter Saturday’s final in sixth place with 3,559 points.
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