AUSTIN, Texas – Since Mario Sategna joined the track and field coaching staff at Texas in the fall of 2003, the throwers and combined events groups have combined to win a total of nine NCAA titles. Now with Sategna leading the entire program as head coach, he and his staff have continued that tradition and see great potential for these two areas again for the 2015 season and the future.
Ryan Crouser had one of the most dominant seasons in Texas Track and Field history in 2014 winning the NCAA crown in the shot put both indoors and out. He broke the school record in both as well. Those victories brought his career total to three individual titles in the shot put.
With his leadership in addition to a pair of seniors in Clint Harris, a former Big 12 champion, and Will Spence, an NCAA qualifier, as well as Big 12 javelin champion Fabian Jara Dohmann the new throwers on the team have plenty to learn from the veterans.
“It makes it a lot more fun when you’re out here training towards a goal,” Crouser said of seeing the potential of the throwers as a group. “Everyone in track has their own personal goals, but when you can say, alright this is what we can do as a group, when you have that goal as a group to work towards, it makes it a lot more fun.”
The missing piece from last year’s squad for the women was throwers. That hole has been filled by two individuals that assistant coach Ty Sevin said are good enough to score at the Big 12 meet and be considered among the top freshmen in the nation. Their addition, plus some on the men’s side has his throwers in a position to be deeper than recent years and continue being a force on the national scene.
“We have two of the top shot putters in the country that came in this year with Lauryn Caldwell and N’Dia Jacques-Warren,” Sevin said. “We’ve got a lot of great leadership on that team. We have people who can come into every event and win. We feel like we filled all the spots we needed to fill with our incoming freshmen, and the future looks bright.”
It should be another successful year for the combined events at Texas as Johannes Hock eyes his second NCAA title in the decathlon after winning his freshman year and finishing second in 2014.
The Longhorns return a pair of USTFCCCA All-Americans in the event as Wolf Mahler made an immediate impact last year finishing third at the Big 12 Championships in the decathlon and 14th at the NCAA meet. Sategna also spoke highly of freshman Reese Thompson as an “up and comer” in the event to give Texas quality depth for the men.
Sategna, a former NCAA champion himself in the decathlon, has coached many athletes to success in the event. One of his more recent successes has been former Longhorn Trey Hardee. The 2005 NCAA decathlon champion won a silver medal at the London Olympic Games in 2012.
Now the coach would like to see some of that success for the men bleed over to the women’s side as Sategna will have multiple female athletes competing in the combined events for the first time in a number of years after Shanay Briscoe recently doubled in high jump and combined events for Texas.
Having this group of women to compete in the combined events has Sategna excited for the season and the potential for the women’s team to be more complete in 2015.
The women’s combined events group includes one of the top recruits in the nation for the heptathlon in Alexa Harmon-Thomas. Sierra Patrick transferred from Texas A&M where she played volleyball and high jumped for two years. Sategna is using her athleticism to convert her into a heptathlete, and freshman Reagan Luce was a multi-sport athlete in high school that also is making the transition to combined events.
All of the previous success and anticipated success at Texas in the combined events starts with one thing according to Hock – Sategna.
“You have got to put Mario in there first, obviously as the coach. The coach is the centerpiece of every training program. He just has this great understanding of the multi-events and what it takes to excel,” Hock said. “And then obviously the facility and the university comes into play. We have ideal conditions in every aspect.”
Hock and his teammates will put that training to work when the season starts in January with conference and national titles in their sights.
2014 Texas Throwers Achievements
Ryan Crouser: NCAA shot put champion indoor/outdoor, Big 12 shot put champion indoor/outdoor, Big 12 discus champion
Clint Harris: 2013 Big 12 discus champion (redshirt 2014 outdoor)
Will Spence: USTFCCCA All-America second team, 16th in shot put at NCAA Championship
Fabian Jara Dohmann: Big 12 javelin champion, 18th at NCAA Championship
2014 Texas Combined Events Achievements
Johannes Hock: USTFCCCA All-America first team, 2nd place decathlon at NCAA Championship, 2013 NCAA Champion
Wolf Mahler: USTFCCCA All-America second team, 14th place decathlon at NCAA Championship, 3rd place at Big 12 Championship