Athletics News

Big 12 Women — Sub-42 Relay As Texas Steamrolls

Big 12 Women — Sub-42 Relay As Texas Steamrolls

Horizontal jumps doubler Ackelia Smith took the world lead in the long jump.  (TEXAS ATHLETICS)

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, May 12–14 — Texas keyed its big team win at the Big 12 Championships with an historic 4 x 100, becoming the first collegiate team to break 42-seconds, a barrier that only 8 nations have breached.

With Julien Alfred on leadoff, the other relay teams struggled just to get into the same camera frame. She blitzed her leg and handed a big lead to Ezinne Abba. The grad transfer cruised the backstretch to 400 star Rhasidat Adeleke. By the time the Irishwoman delivered to anchor Kevona Davis, the squad had a 15m lead. Davis made it bigger. At the finish, the picture read 41.89, giving the squad of four different nationalities its second Collegiate Record of the year, bettering the 42.00 it set at the Texas Relays six weeks earlier.

Said Longhorn mentor Edrick Floréal, “The exchanges were actually not that good because it had rained and things were a little wet and the marks didn’t stick to the ground. So we went with the safer passes.” Looking ahead to the NCAA finals in Austin, he noted, “Nationals is an emotional meet. Competing at home could be tremendous or it could be more pressure.”

Multiple individual victories by Ackelia Smith and Alfred helped Texas to its 197-point total. Smith soared to a world-leading 23-2¾ (7.08) long jump, landing just short of the 23-5¼ (7.14) Collegiate Record that Tara Davis-Woodhall set as a Longhorn. The big leap came in round 3; she passed the rest.

The triple was a little chancier. Ruta Lasmane of Texas Tech led the first round with her 44-8¾ (13.63), Smith only reaching 44-5½ (13.55). On the next go-round, she flew into the lead with a 45-1½ (13.75); then mostly watched as the Latvian tried to catch her. Smith took only one more jump, a round 4 foul, but Lasmane could get no closer.

For her part, Alfred crushed the 100 field with a 10.84 (0.2). Just short of her best of 10.81, it ranks as the No. 4 performance in collegiate history. The speed came as no surprise after her windy 10.74 heat (3.4) the previous day. The 200 came an hour after the 100 final, and a 22.28 was enough for Alfred to finish ahead of teammate Davis (22.51).

The other big Texas wins came in the 400 (50.58 for Adeleke), the heptathlon (6146 for Kristīne Blaževiča) and a 4×4 that won without Alfred or Adeleke. It was a fourth-straight Longhorn win, with the closest pursuer, host Oklahoma, 70 points back.

BIG 12…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at Track & Field News…