Coming hard and fast toward the end of their respective seasons, the University of Texas softball and track teams will attempt to stretch things out.
Horns Running Roughshod
Winning in dominant fashion, the Texas men's and women's track teams swept the outdoor titles in consecutive years. Led by the nation's top sprinter Morolake Akinosun, who made more history by becoming the first woman to win three Big 12 titles for the 100 and 200 meters, the women beat out Oklahoma, 167.7 to 137.5.
A.J. Bailey was the top men's scorer, winning the 200, placing second in the 400, and also anchoring a win in the 400-meter relay. Bailey, who sat out all last season due to Texas A&M refusing to release him from his scholarship, was racing in his first Big 12 meet. One of the more interesting developments is John Burt placing second in the 110-meter hurdles. Burt is also a receiver on the Longhorn football team, and is expected to be a major contributor this season.
Texas actually sent out a backup team for the 1600-meter relay, because they had already wrapped up the team title. The NCAA regionals start at Kansas, May 26-28.
Meeting an Old Rival
Announced Sunday night, the Longhorns softball team (37-14) will meet historical rival Texas A&M (37-18, 10th in SEC) on Friday, for the first time in four years. The Horns haven't played against A&M (at least in softball or football) since 2012 – the Aggies' last season in the Big 12, before their tumultuous move over into the SEC. They've been paired together in the Lafayette Regional of the NCAA tournament's first round.
The winner of the matchup meets the winner of Boston University and Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana-Lafayette (43-7, No. 14 overall seed). The Horns come in steaming, after winning their last five games, and 10 of their last 11. Winners of the regional meet the Norman Regional winners – which will likely be the dominant No. 3 overall Oklahoma Sooners.