Sports

Horned Frogs Outdoor Track & Field Season Overview

Tinotenda Matiyenga and Robert Gregory Jr. give each other a handshake during an outdoor track meet.
Photo by TCU Athletics

TCU Track and Field Outdoor 2021 Season

The Horned Frogs Outdoor Track and Field have completed the end of the Big 12 regular season, and now select athletes look forward. The outdoor season started in late March, with the NCAA Championships scheduled through June 9-12 in Eugene, Oregon. The Horned Frogs are just coming off the Big 12 meet and prepare for the NCAA Regionals next up in College Station. 

Horned Frogs Outdoor Track & Field Season So Far 

TCU Invitational 

The Horned Frogs opened up the 2021 season in Fort Worth for the TCU Invitational. TCU won 10 events of the meet and set individual personal bests. Some of the noteworthy events won were the men’s 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay. In the Men’s 200, freshman Robert Gregory Jr. clocked 20.67, earning him the #1 rank in the nation for that weekend. Senior Destiny Longmire earned a personal best in the long jump and a first-place finish. Longmire’s jump also ranked #1 in the nation at the time with a cleared mark of 4.72m. Overall, with two relay wins and eight individual wins, this meet set the foundation for success at the next track meets. 

Texas Relays 

The Texas Relays event came right after the infamous Texas ice storm and had the Horned Frogs ready to go. This event was a three-day meet for the Horned Frogs Outdoor Track & Field season. While the meet was against some of the top-ranked teams in the nation, the Horned Frogs stayed competitive. On Friday, we saw Horned Frog TJ Brock (100m) set his season-best with 10.31, and Rainey Anderson (100mH) set a personal best hurdling 14.23. 

On Saturday, the final day ended with both men and women 4×100 teams earning a fifth-place finish and another fifth-place finish for the men’s 4×400. The men’s 4×400 marked its ninth fastest time in TCU history with a run of 3:03.59. This relay was made up of David Seete, Tinotenda Matiyenga, Robert Gregory Jr., and Derrick Mokaleng. Jasmin Muhammad-Graham (800) also had a great day by setting a personal best running 2:12.78.

Baylor Invitational 

The Baylor Invitational proved to be another great meet for the Horned Frogs. Several Horned Frogs beat their personal best, and one broke a school record. 

Tysen Townsend stole the show clearing 13-1.5 in the Pole Vault, capturing the women’s indoor and outdoor TCU record. On the men’s side, the Frogs won first and second in the 100 meters. Robert Gregory Jr. (10.266) and TJ Brock (10.267) were one millisecond apart. 

During this meet, Tinotenda Matiyenga (20.66) earned his personal best and a Top- 10 NCAA outdoor performance in the 200m.

Among some of the other individual best times were Ryan Martin’s 800m time (1:53.78) and Glenn Bender’s 400m(47.01). Rainey Anderson, 110m hurdles (13.93), Jasmin Muhammad-Graham, 800m(2:10.97), and Kyler Van Grouw discus(53.05m) all set personal bests for the second week in a row. We also saw a top season time for the 4×100 women’s team(45.40).

Texas A&M Team Invitational

In another improving meet for the Frogs, several athletes made it into the top 10 records in program history for their respective events. 

Senior, Chengetayi (Du) Mapaya set a new facility record in College Station in the triple jump with a jump of 16.78m. Mapaya currently has the school record of 16.85m. 

Freshman Robert Gregory Jr. added another first-place finish in the 200m with a run of 20.14. Kyla Robinson-Hubbard finished in second in the 400mH(59.08), beating her personal best and landing third in TCU’s record book.

Brinlee Pitts, pole vault, and Kyler Van Grouw, discus, also made it into the top-10 school history records for field events. Pitts sits at third clearing 12-6.75 in the pole vault, and Grouw moved into sixth all-time for discus. 

Among the relays, the men’s 4×400 closed out the meet as the top team running 3:06.30. Overall the Horned Frogs competed well and continued to improve. 

Michael Johnson Invitational 

In another meet in Waco, Texas, this time for the Michael Johnson Invitational with six top-25 men’s teams and four top-25.

Ryan Camp led the Horned Frogs in men’s discus, as the team as a whole started to set their sights on upcoming NCAA meets. Camp took second place with a mark of (56.22m). 

Several Horned Frogs came on top of their heat, and some set personal records. Ryan Martin, 800m(1:52.75), and Brittany Brown, 100mH(13.76), did both. Brown also finished 6th in the long jump.

Two other Frogs, Mason Buckmster, high jump(2.05m), and Tysen Townsend, pole vault(3.81m), placed fourth in their events.

Texas Invitational

As the last outdoor track meet before the Big 12 meet, several Horned Frogs came out on fire. 

Ten-time all American Derrick Mokaleng clocked a season-best in the 400m(45.36) that had it as the 13th fastest in the nation at the time.  

Robert Gregory Jr. led the way by winning the men’s 200m once again. With 20.42, Gregory Jr. recorded his fastest time and had the 13th fastest time in the NCAA at the time. Gregory Jr. also placed fourth in the 100m(10.28), following behind Tinotenda Matiyenga, who finished second(10.24). Brittany Brown beat her previous personal record with a 13.40 in the 100mH. Mason Buckmaster finished second overall in the high jump while beating the Texas Invitational record by a collegiate athlete, clearing 2.04m. 

The Texas Invitational was closed out by two men’s relay wins. The 4×100 finished with a time of 39.18, and the 4×400 finished with a 3:10.46.

Big 12 Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet

In Manhattan, Kansas, the Horned Frogs gave it their all, with several athletes making their mark in the Big 12 finale. The Big 12 Championship Meet was challenging not only because of the competition but also the weather. Consistent rain and even downpours gave the athletes a taste of what they might see in Eugene, Oregon. Overall, as a team, the men ended in 6th and the women in 10th. 

Chengetayi (Du) Mapaya made a name for himself during the Big 12 meet by hitting his season’s best mark while breaking the facility and Big 12 record. His distance of 17.01 meters also holds the school record. Mapaya is one to look for in Oregon for the Championships after first getting through the NCAA Regionals West division. 

The men’s 4×100 relay also took home the first-place finish with a time of 39.75. this squad consists of TJ Brock, Robert Gregory Jr., Kundai Maguranyanga, and Tinotenda Matiyenga. 

TCU also saw success in the men’s 400 with two Frogs combining to 11 points. Derrick Mokaleng was fourth (45.95), and David Seete was sixth (46.94).

With the completion of the Big 12 schedule, several members of the Frogs turn their eyes to the NCAA West Regionals. 

NCAA West Regionals

The regional field size initially reduced from 48 to 32 individuals at the beginning of the season; the 48 individual field size is back. Relay events will remain at 24 teams per event. For the Horned Frogs, this means 16 athletes get to represent TCU for the NCAA West Regional. 

Men’s Track & Field Team

Of those 16 athletes, Chengetayi (Du) Mapaya enters with the highest ranking of TCU athletes at no. 2 for the triple jump. Also making it in field events are high jumper Mason Buckmaster and discus thrower Ryan Camp. 

As expected, several Horned Frog men sprinters made their way in the 100 and 200 meters. Kundai Maguranyanga and Tinotenda Matiyenda will run in both races, while TJ Brock will run only in the 100 and Robert Gregory Jr. only in the 200. 

Derrick Mokaleng came in as the no. 5 seed in the 400m, with David Seete(no. 37) qualifying for the same race. Rainey Anderson was also able to qualify in the men’s 100-meter hurdles. 

In a remarkable feat for the Horned Frogs, both men’s 4×100 relay and 4×400 also made the cut. The no. 6 4×100 relay consists of Brock, Matiyenga, Maguranyanga, Gregory Jr. The no. 4 4×400 consists of Seete, Matiyenga, Gregory Jr., Mokaleng.

Women’s Track & Field Team

The 4×400 relay is also heading to College Station for NCAA Regional West on the women’s side. This relay consists of Kyla Robinson-Hubbard, Williams, Martinez, Banks.

Another athlete on the women’s side heading to regionals is Destiny Longmire, with a no. 8 seed in the long jump. Kyla Robinson-Hubbard will also be competing in the 400-meter hurdles, and Brittany Brown will be running in the 100 meters.

The outcome of the NCAA Regional West will determine the next athletes to make it to the NCAA Championships in Oregan. 

For more stories over Horned Frog sports click here.

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