Antonio Morano
Track & Field/Cross Country

UTSA haul in medals, AAC-leading finishes on Senior Day

SAN ANTONIO – The Roadrunners were on fire in Saturday’s second day of competition at the annual UTSA Invitational, capturing 27 top-10 performances, including 16 medalists – of which five earned the gold. UTSA saw first-place finishes from Brice Chabot, Dennis Phillips, Dahlia Barnes, Victor Charo and the men’s 4x400-meter relay.

Saturday’s performances coupled with the opening day of competition to tally 41 top-10 finishes and 18 total medals in the two-day meet that opened the 2024 outdoor season. The men’s team totaled 10 of the medals for the weekend to the women’s eight.

Producing the highest mark of the weekend, Chabot turned in a 20.49 in the 200-meter. The Smithville, Texas junior produced the third-fastest time in the nation so far this season, topping the current American Athletic Conference standings. One step back in the AAC standings and tied for fifth in the NCAA, Phillips produced a career-best 20.54-second clocking to finish second in the event.

In addition to the silver, Phillips delivered an event-winner of his own, moving up to No. 2 on the UTSA all-time top-5 in the 100-meter with a 10.20 clocking. The Little Elm, Texas native registered a tie for the third-fastest time in the NCAA and currently leads the AAC after lopping .12 seconds off his previous career time. Joining in the medal count for the 100m, freshman Oliver Swinney was clocked at 10.56 for third place in his outdoor debut.

In the fifth field event of the day, Margate, Fla. transfer from Florida Atlantic Barnes registered a career-best 5.76m (18-10.75) in the long jump on her fifth attempt to win the event. Barnes edged out freshman Edlin Laur, who produced a 5.54m (18-2) leap to finish third in her outdoor debut. Rounding out the scorers in the event, freshman Zoe Cusick came in sixth with an outdoor debut of 5.27m (17-3.5).

Kicking off the afternoon’s running events, UTSA’s 4x100-meter relay squad of Gabriel Binion, Chabot, Swinney and Phillips produced a combined 39.72 for the fourth-fastest time in the UTSA top-5, winning the relay event with the eight-best NCAA time, ranking second in the AAC.

Delivering UTSA’s final gold in the late afternoon, Charo ran away from the 800-meter field with a personal-best 1:52.16 that shot to the top of the AAC rankings and secured the Abilene, Texas sophomore’s first career event victory. The Roadrunners added another medal in the half-mile event, as AJ Tyler crossed the finish at 1:55.35 for third place and Chuey Hernandez produced a sixth-place time of 1:56.45.

In addition, Dylan James collected silver in the men’s long jump with an outdoor-best measurement of 7.54m (24-8.75), pulling just ahead of Gabriel Binion in third with a mark of 7.21m (23-7.75). In the women’s 100-meter hurdles, Ayumi Kobayashi generated a career-best 13.68 clocking for the fifth-best time in UTSA history, moving to the front of the AAC standings. Improving her standing in the UTSA all-time top-5 at fourth, Thennelle Williams clocked a 23.50 in the women’s 200-meter for the third-fastest AAC time. Coming in at 23.69 in the 200m, Lauren Roy finished fourth. Turning in the final medal of the day for UTSA, freshman Melody Espinoza earned second place in the 1,500-meter run, making her outdoor debut with a 4:36.56 finish for the silver. Her sister, Marissa Espinoza also arrived in fifth with a 4:39.79 clocking.

Roy collected a third-place finish in the women’s 100-meter on an 11.59 mark. Gabriel Green also came in third in the men’s 400-meter hurdles at 53.26. On the women’s side, senior Maren Wilms earned ninth in the event on a 1:05.98 clocking.

Freshman Madelen Sveinungsen opened the day’s UTSA top-10 finishers, putting in a 1.60m (5-3) height in her outdoor high jump debut, finishing eighth. In the women's discus, Isabella Simonelli went 40.24m for seventh place. Ibiso David-West opened her outdoor season with a 56.97 in the women's 400-meter, earning eighth place, while senior Luzaan de Wit also earned eighth place in the women's 800-meter with a personal-best time of 2:20.17. Closing out the meet’s UTSA performers, OJ Ruiz finished 10th in the men's 1,500-meter with a time of 4:09.93.

In addition to the high-level finishes, UTSA took time in the schedule to hold Senior Day recognition for the careers of 13 Roadrunners: Abby Balli, Jabari Bennett, Luzaan De Wit, Elijah Frizell, Sabrina Goains, Gabriel Green, Amaya King, Ayumi Kobayashi, Dennis Phillips, Idol Ramon, Isabella Simonelli, Zoe Shanklin and Maren Wilms.

Up next, the Roadrunners head to College Station for the Texas A&M Team Invitational, slated for March 23 at the Aggies’ E.B. Cushing Stadium.