Andrew Webb: Big 12 Championship diary
Redshirt freshman combined events student-athlete Andrew Webb made his first trip to the Big 12 Outdoor Track and Field Championship this past weekend in Lincoln, Neb. He earned All-Big 12 honors with a seventh-place, NCAA provisional qualifying performance and helped the team extend the streak of top-three finishes for another season. Webb, a strong contender for the at-large NCAA field of decathletes, shared his first conference outdoor experience with TexasSports.com.
Hey Longhorn fans!!
My name is Andrew Webb and it's my turn to share my road trip experiences with the world -- well at least those who read the Web site. This past weekend, we went to the Big 12 Track and Field Championship in Lincoln, Neb. It was my first time at the outdoor championship and the second decathlon of my college career.
My trip started as most do -- I picked up my teammate (and fellow decathlete) Shawn Schmidt. On the way to the airport, we needed breakfast so we stopped at Whataburger for a quick bite.
Once we got to the airport and through check-in and security, our flights to Dallas and then on to Omaha were uneventful. I watched a few movies and tried to relax a little.
On the hour-long bus ride from Omaha to Lincoln, I sat with (senior sprinter) Trey Griffin watching a movie ("Smash") on my computer. We only made it through part of the movie before arriving at the hotel around 4 p.m.
I quickly changed because the team was headed to the track for a light warm-up. Since we competed the very next day, we only jogged and stretched.
Shawn's mom made the trip from Plano, so we all had dinner at Outback Steakhouse before returning to the hotel and calling it a night.
On Friday, we didn't start competition until 1 p.m. so we had a little time in the morning before leaving for the stadium. We arrived with our coach (Mario Sategna) a little before noon to stretch and warm-up before our first event.
During the day, Shawn and I talked to stay loose and relaxed, since there are five events over the course of five hours. We like to make jokes and laugh to keep it light because it helps us focus and stay relaxed, so we can perform well.
The event that stood out on the first day was high jump. Both Shawn and I did really well in competition. It's one of two of my bigger areas (there are 10 in the decathlon for those who aren't track experts). It helped me regain points I had lost earlier in some earlier events.
By the end of Friday, I was tired but I was also kind of angry. I knew I could perform better than what I did so it motivated me to compete better the next day.
I ate dinner at the hotel once I got back from the track. I had a regular meal -- steak, potatoes, and vegetables before I called it a night. I fell asleep immediately because I had to be up early for day two.
Our wake up call came around 6:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. As soon as we got to the track around 8 a.m., we started warming up for the first event -- the 110-meter hurdles.
I won the short hurdles so I felt motivated because I knew I gained a lot more points in the hurdles than anyone else. I moved from dead last to fourth place in just one event. I knew I could run even faster but I was definitely happy with my time and score.
By the end of the day, I didn't know where I was specifically in the standings. Because we were so close, we didn't know our standings until the final event -- the 1,500-meter run. Mario let us know the strategy -- I had to beat two people to finish in a better position. I didn't beat them but I was close enough to them where they didn't pass me in the standings.
After I finished my events, I cooled down and got some treatment. Afterwards, I grabbed dinner with my family. They cheered me on through all 10 events from the crowd -- my parents (John and Sharon), and older siblings, brother (Jonathan) and sister (Elizabeth) -- were all there at the end. It's been great having my family at track meets -- at least one person has been at every meet this year.
Competing in 10 events over two days in hot temperatures (mid-80s and sunny all weekend) will make you very tired. I ended up falling asleep in the hotel right after the day's events ended. I was watching a little TV and the next thing you know, I passed out.
Since I finished competition on Saturday, I went to the track to help my teammates all day on Sunday. I cheered and helped (freshman pole vaulter) Will (Paine) with his technique while coach was going back and forth between a few other events. I feel like I helped because he equaled his PR (personal record) and scored points for the team.
After Will was done, I watched the running events with some other teammates. We knew it was going to come down to a few races. Everyone tried hard but in the end it didn't work out. Once we left the track, we left everything out there. You can't be disappointed with it because everyone tried hard and we did finish in the top three but at the same time it's disappointing that we didn't win the team title.
A group of us went to eat at Applebee's afterwards. We saw a few people from other teams that were there since most of the schools were staying in the same general location in downtown Lincoln.
We got back to the hotel relatively early because our flight was leaving early in the morning. Around 10 p.m., I found out that the flight was cancelled. It was nice because we didn't have to get up early (originally our bus was supposed to leave around 6 a.m.) but it was tough because we didn't know when we were going to get back.
The next morning, I talked with Bubba about our travel plans. We left the hotel around noon for the hour drive to Omaha. Our flight left at 3:30 and landed around 5 p.m. in Austin. We were lucky because we got a later flight that was non-stop to Austin.
I was happy once we landed at the airport. I'm done with classes, and have a wedding to look forward to. My sister's getting married on Saturday back home in Midland so the only plans I have are to pack and head home.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed to see if I make the at-large decathlon group for nationals. Check back on our Web site to see the list of Longhorns headed to regionals and nationals.
Hook 'em, Horns!