UT alums named Team USA captains
Athletes on the U.S. track and field team have chosen two former Longhorns, Michelle Carter and Trey Hardee, as captains for the IAAF World Championships in London.
Texas head coach Mario Sategna is also in London, serving as the U.S. men’s head coach for the first time. He’s been on the staff multiple times as an assistant coach.
“What a special honor for Michelle and Trey to be team captains together for Team USA,” Sategna said in a statement. “They both have had such great careers, and they have represented themselves, their country and the University of Texas with pride and grace the entire way.
“I couldn’t be more proud to head into this world cham- pionship meet with Long- horns leading the way for us as team captains.”
Carter, an Olympic gold medalist in 2016, will compete in the shot put, and Hardee, who won gold in 2009 and 2011 at the IAAF World Championships, will be in the decathlon.
This is the second time Carter has been elected captain of Team USA. She earned that honor at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Hardee won the silver
“I don’t want to think about it too much,” said Johnson, who was on the field during part of the off- season program and is going full speed at the start of training camp.
“I’ve had some good luck, and I want to keep it going,” Johnson said. “It’s a little dif- ferent process from my Achilles recovery now than a couple of years ago because it was almost a year removed (back then), so physically I was all the way well.”
Mentally, Johnson said, he’s ready to go. The phys- ical part should be there by the season opener.
That’s good news for the Chiefs, who struggled to stop the run last season. Johnson’s uncanny ability to dart through and make stops was sorely missing in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh as LeVeon Bell ran 30 times for 170 yards.
“It feels good to see him out there,” said fellow line- backer Justin Houston, who is coming off a knee injury of his own. “He looks great. He looks fast.”
Johnson surpassed 1,000 career tackles last season, but his consistency is what’s most remarkable. He has eas- medal at the 2012 Olympics in London at the same stadium where he’ll compete in this meet.
Carter was the first Amer- ican woman to win gold in the shot put. She has another gold from the 2016 World Indoor Championships. Car- ter also has a bronze medal from the 2015 World Cham- pionships.
Both expressed their appreciation in posts on Instagram.
The only Longhorn in action Friday was sprinter Senoj-Jay Givans of Jamaica, competing in the qualifying heats of the men’s 100 meters. He failed to qual- ify for the semifinals in his World Championships debut. Givans finished his heat in 10.30 seconds — 0.06 short of qualifying.
American Ryan Crouser will be the only UT representative in action Saturday as he competes in the quali- fying round for the shot put.
On Sunday, Chrisann Gordon of Jamaica will run in the 400 meters, and Crouser aims to compete in the shot put final. If Gordon qualifies, she’ll run in the 400 semifi- nals Monday.
Women’s basketball: Ariel Atkins, a senior guard for UT, earned a spot on the USA Basketball women’s U23 national team Friday. She spent five days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and was selected by the Women’s Junior National Team Committee. ily topped 100 tackles the past five seasons in which he’s played at least 15 games, and he had his fourth career touchdown last season.
That’s why the Chiefs didn’t balk at giving the 34-year-old Johnson a $21 million, three-year contract before last season. They don’t believe age will catch up to him anytime soon — even with multiple injuries to his Achilles tendons.
“I think when guys go through an injury twice, they kind of know how to handle it better the second time. They’re not afraid to push themselves a little bit further,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “You kind of know that you’re not going to break it. You push it to the limit. That’s where he’s at.”
Johnson’s value extends far beyond the field.
He is tied with punter Dustin Colquitt as the longest-tenured member of the Chiefs (13 seasons), and that gives him a certain amount of respect.
“Later in life I’d like to become some kind of a coach, and this is a perfect opportunity out here with the young guys asking me all kinds of questions,” Johnson said.
Right now, though, Johnson is happy to be back on the field. complimented McKnight.
Williams said he had discussed with teammates Naas- hon Hughes and Patrick Vahe about how much stronger and better conditioned the Longhorns seemed. Locke suggested that McKnight shared Herman’s attention to detail.
“Each workout has a pur- pose to it, and it definitely showed today,” Locke said. “I felt a lot of pads popping. I felt some force from my running backs today.”
With the players in pads, Texas was able to begin the installation of goal-line and red-zone packages. Herman said that’s his traditional approach to the first day in pads, since “we want to put them in as physical of situations as we can.” That was welcome news to the offen- sive linemen, who had been biding their time.
Earlier in the week, Vahe joked that the padless prac- tices were “a teaser; all the D-linemen are laughing at us.” Williams agreed, saying the first few days of prac- tice were frustrating for an ing in his hometown.
“From what I hear, when you’re on campus you could be a thousand miles away, just from what my friends have told me,” he said.
He also got plenty of advice from current Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger, another Westlake product.
“Sam says I’m going to love it there, and I believe him,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham played with future UT standout Jarrett Allen as a freshman at St. Stephen’s before transferring away from the private school.
As a junior at Westlake, Cunningham averaged a double-double — 14.7 points and 11.3 rebounds — while earning player of the year honors from the American-Statesman. With Cunningham, the Chaparrals have reached two consecutive Class 6A regional finals.
“Brock’s best attribute is that he’s a winner,” West- lake coach Robert Lucero told the Statesman earlier offensive lineman. Friday, though, was the offensive line’s Monday.
“The offensive line was ready,” Williams said. “We came out with good energy this year. “He’s very versa- tile. He’s an elite rebounder; not a lot of people can chase today, and I feel like we won the day today.”
Texas will return to the field Saturday for a scrimmage. He r man said the scrimmage, which should down rebounds like he does. And he’s one of the toughest kids you’ll ever find.” last about two hours but is closed to both the public and the media, will partially feature his starters competing against one another. The backups also will battle.
“Right now, I just want to see effort,” Locke said.
Notes: Herman said that junior offensive lineman Elijah Rodriguez — not Tristan Nickelson or Denzel Okafor — would be the right tackle if the season started Friday. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Rodriguez has started three times and has appeared in 19 games. … Redshirt freshman receiver Reggie HemphillMapps caught some footballs Friday, but he wore a green jersey and did not participate in contact drills. He left Thursday’s practice after feeling dizzy . ... Running back Kirk Johnson will not play in Saturday’s scrimmage. Herman was optimistic that the sophomore will return from his hamstring injury Monday. … Texas officials said UT’s ticket allotments for the Oct. 14 game with Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl has sold out.