Sports

TCU Men’s Athletics: Year in Review Pt. 1

tcu athletics from the 2020-2021 all bundled in a graphic with year in review as the headline
Graphic by Campus Live Intern Zach Dallas

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The year in review for TCU Men’s Athletics shows the Frog starting off on a roll in the fall. With ten different sports on the men’s side, hundreds of athletes would compete with the dream of winning a national championship. A year plagued by a pandemic, The Horned Frogs bounced back as they look to recover from sports being canceled. With that a checkout Campus Live’s exclusive article over TCU Men’s Athletics: A Year in Review. Make sure to check out part two of the article for the entire story. 

Cross Country

        While having a short season with only two meets, the TCU Men’s Horned Frogs competed hard through the short season. Those two meets being the Arturo Barrios Invitational hosted by Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and the Big 12 Conference Championship hosted by Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. 

        In the Horned Frogs’ first meet at the Arturo Barrios Invitational, the team would not place well while competing hard. Placing seventh out of the seven teams with 213 points, the team would look to improve moving forward. The top runner for the Horned Frogs was Lakelin Conrad, who is a junior and finished 39th in the competition. 

        Then in the Big 12 Championship, the team finished up their season. The Horned Frogs would finish ninth out of the nine teams competing with 265 points as a team. With their season now in the rear-view mirror, the team will focus on improving for next season. 

Football

        The TCU Horned Frogs football season was nothing short of outstanding. In a season full of ups and downs and fighting through a pandemic. The team ended their season with a 6-4 overall record. Nine of those games would be Big 12 Conference games and end up with a 5-4 record in conference. 

        The season began with a postponed game against SMU and a loss in a close game against a talented Iowa State team. Then, as the season progressed, the team would achieve a massive win in Austin against Texas. Following the Texas game, the frogs lost the next two games to Kansas State and Oklahoma in competitive games. 

        Moving on, the Horned Frogs would then take games against Baylor and Texas Tech. With their foot in the door and a chance to improve on their season, the Horned Frogs would then drop a must-win game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. 

        In the final stretch of the season, TCU would then win two massive games against Kansas and Oklahoma State to make them eligible for a bowl game. With the Big 12 Conference wrapping up, the team then played Louisiana Tech for a warmup game before their bowl game. 

        The Horned Frogs would then be slated to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Mercari Texas Bowl. In the highly anticipated SEC//Big 12 matchup, it became the second canceled game of the season due to COVID-19 protocols. 

        Ending their season on a three-game win streak and the momentum on their side, the TCU Horned Frogs will look to return in the 2021 season with high hopes. 

Baseball 

        One of the more successful men’s athletics programs for the TCU Horned Frogs in our year in review was the TCU Baseball Team. After it was all said and done, the team finished their season with a 41-19 overall record. In the Big 12 Conference, the team finished with a 17-7 record and tied for first for the Big 12 title with Texas. With a 20-8 home record, 14-6 away, and 7-5 at neutral sites, the team was able to take care of business wherever they competed. 

        After a strong preseason, the team headed into the regular season with tons of momentum. With that, the team would start their Big 12 run 7-0 before dropping a game to Texas Tech in a series the Horned Frogs ended up losing. After competing in the Big 12 Conference, the team ended tied for first place in the conference with Texas before entering the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament. 

        In the Big 12 Tournament, the team came out red hot. Seeking revenge against Kansas State from a series loss the week prior, the Horned Frogs knocked off the Wildcats to advance in the winner’s bracket. They would also get revenge from another series loss against Texas Tech in a 7-2 victory in their second game. TCU then lost their first game in the double-elimination tournament to Kansas State in the tournament’s third game. 

        After the loss, the Horned Frogs played the Wildcats again just an hour later. In the second contest of the day, TCU dominated Kansas State in eight innings, 17-7. Winning the game put the team in the championship game, taking on the Oklahoma State Cowboys. TCU went on to beat the Cowboys 10-7 to win the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament.

        With another title under their belt, the team then turned their attention to the NCAA Regional Tournament. In the first game, the Horned Frogs beat Mcneese State 12-4. Next, the team was slated to take on Dallas Baptist Patriots with their first regional win under their belt. The team would fall in their game to the Patriots 6-8 and then play the Oregon State Beavers with their season on the line. 

        In their final game of the season, the TCU Horned Frogs fell short and were edged out 2-3 by the Beavers. While the team may have fallen short of their eventual goal, the season was nothing short of successful. 

        Shortly after the season ended, TCU Baseball Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle left the program after 18 years. Days later, Kirk Saarloos, who is an up-and-coming coach, would be named head coach. Now with new leadership, look for the Horned Frogs to be back and better than ever. 

Track & Field Outdoor

        As for TCU Men’s Outdoor track, the Horned Frogs performed well. With six meets that were all but one hosted by Big 12 Conference teams, the team had a good look at their competition early in the season. With a fair amount of success prior, the Horned Frogs would head into the Big 12 Championships. 

        In the three-day event hosted by Kansas State in Manhattan, Kansas, the men’s team came out ready to compete. After it was all said and done, the team placed sixth out of the ten teams competing. The day started with the 4×100 earning a gold medal. They were followed by Derrick Mokaleng, who earned a silver medal in the 400-meter dash with a 45.95. Mokaleng was followed by David Seete, who earned the Frogs three points in the 400 with a sixth-place finish. 

        One name that cannot be skipped over is the gold medal winner in the triple jump is Chengetayi Mapaya—at the same time, set a facility record with a leap of 17.01 meters. Then with several other Horned Frogs earning points and medals, the team finished with several athletes advancing. 

        The team would compete in the four-day event hosted in College Station, Texas, in the NCAA West Regional. With the chance to head to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon. The last day of the meet got off with the 4×100 placing second, securing a trip to the NCAA Championships. The team was led by Robert Gregory Jr., who punched three tickets to Eugene, Oregon in the 200-meter dash, 4×100 relay, and 4×400 relay. 

        Chengetayi Mapaya only took one jump and was all he needed to earn a bronze medal by leaping 16.50 meters. Joining him is also Zimbabwean Tinotenda Matiyenga, who punched two tickets on both the 100- and 200-meter dash. With several athletes advancing, the team would now focus their attention on the NCAA Championships. 

Year in Review: Track and Field NCAA Championships

        In the NCAA Championships, the Horned Frogs would compete against some of the best competition in the world. They would do this by competing at the highest level. In contrast, only one TCU athlete would medal in Mapaya in the triple jump with a third-place with a leap of 16.74 meters. 

        He was followed by Robert Gregory Jr, who earned First Team All-American honors in the 200 meters, which ended a legendary freshman year. 

        With several Horned Frogs returning, look out for the TCU Men’s Outdoor Team to come back in a dominant fashion. 

Track & Field Indoor

        The TCU Men’s Indoor Team had a very competitive season as well. With only three meets before the Big 12 Championships, the team would have only a month to get competition ready. 

        The meet hosted in Lubbock, Texas, was one for the books for the Horned Frogs. With a fifth-place finish as a team with 70 points, the Horned Frogs advanced several athletes. 

        One of those being Chengetayi (Du) Mapaya, who took home the gold in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 16.55 meters. That being the only gold of the day, the Frogs then had the men’s 4×400 relay earn a silver. Then followed by Tinotenda Matiyenga, who ran a personal best 60 meters with a time of 6.66 seconds. 

        As for bronze medals, Matiyenga also advanced in the 200-meter dash. Ethan Brown, who also ran on the second-place 4×400 team, also would advance in the 400 with a personal best of 46.62. Followed by Rainey Anderson, who ran in the 60 meter-hurdles earned a bronze medal to advance as well. 

      Hosted by the University of Arkansas the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship took place in Fayetteville, Arkansas. At the Randal Tyson Track Center. With over 60 teams competing, the Horned Frogs would place well as a team with 8 points, earning them 25th place. 

        Papaya continued his dominance in the triple jump by earning himself a silver medal with a lop of 16.95 meters. While Gregory and Matiyenga would not advance past the prelims in the 200-meter dash, they earned themselves second-team All-American honors. 

        With the indoor season-ending, the team, like many others, will return many big names such as Robert Gregory Jr., who will only look to improve. 

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Story by Campus Live Intern Trinity Porter

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