Ashtin Zamzow, seen during her heptathlon victory at the Texas Relays, is second after three events in the NCAA championships. [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Track & Field

Texas’ Zamzow takes Relays heptathlon in second-best performance in the world this year

Posted March 28th, 2019

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Story highlights
  • Zamzow, a senior, automatically qualifies for the NCAA championships, which will be in Austin this June.
  • She won despite training sparingly in four of her seven events because of sore shins: The high jump, long jump, 200 meters and 100-meter hurdles.
  • Now she has a shot at the World Championships this summer in Qatar; she needs to improve by 152 points (6,300) to qualify.

In claiming her first heptathlon victory at the Texas Relays on Thursday, Texas senior Ashtin Zamzow also produced the seventh-best total in U.S. collegiate history and the second-best performance in the world this year.

Thursday was a day of wonderment for Zamzow, 22, whose career has been ascending since winning the women’s pentathlon at the Big 12 indoor championships in February and placing third in the same event at the NCAA indoor national championships earlier this month.

With her victory at the Texas Relays, Zamzow automatically qualifies for the NCAA Championships June 5-8 in Austin.

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“I never thought it was going to be like this. It was more than I ever imagined,” said Zamzow, whose total of 6,148 points fell just short of the Relays heptathlon record of 6,217 points set by Kelly Blair-LaBounty in 2002. “I’m just riding the wave from indoors.”

Texas , Sanique Walker competes in the 400 meter hurdles event during the Clyde Littlefield 92nd Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas Thursday , March 28, 2019 [RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]
Zamzow’s point total is second in the world this year to Cuba’s Adrianna Rodriguez, who amassed 6,293 points at an event in her home country on March 10.

“That’s crazy,” Zamzow said. “I’m super excited.”

She opened the day at Mike A. Myers Stadium in second place, trailing leader Tyra Gittens (Texas A&M) by 103 points with only the long jump, javelin and 800 meters remaining. Zamzow quickly grabbed the lead after placing fifth in the long jump as Gittens fouled on her first attempt and dropped out of the competition. Zamzow then placed first in the javelin with a toss of 53.01 meters and cruised to victory with a ninth-place finish in the 800 meters.

Zamzow established personal records in six of her seven events.

“I sensed it last night. I had a feeling,” she said. “I’m just taking it event-by-event and staying in the moment.”

Texas assistant coach Matthew McGee said Zamzow is developing into an elite performer.

“She’s been training at a really high level,” said McGee, who is responsible for vertical jumps and combined events. “Her intensity’s been there all year. Her dedication and focus, she puts a lot into it and the results show on the track.”

Now that Zamzow has qualified for the NCAA Championship, she’s setting her sights even higher. To qualify for the World Championships this summer in Qatar, she needs to score 6,300 in one of her upcoming events, starting with the Big 12 Championship in May.

“That’s what I’m shooting for from here on out,” said Zamzow, who trained sparingly in four of her events — the high jump, long jump, 200 meters and 100-meter hurdles — due to shin soreness. “If I improve 20 to 50 points in each event, there’s the 200 points.”

UT junior Virginia Preiss recorded her personal best score (5,146 points) to finish ninth in the heptathlon. She needs another quality performance at the Big 12 championships to qualify for the NCAAs in June.

“I need to put together a couple more performances like this one,” Preiss said.

Texas A&M’s Nathan Hite won the men’s decathlon with 7,774 points. He held off Arkansas’ Gabe Moore (7,661), who led after the first five events and finished second at the NCAA indoors. Texas State’s Ben Collerton (7,218) placed seventh.

Texas Relays

Wednesday-Saturday, Mike A. Myers Stadium, LHN

Tickets: All-session — ($35 advanced reserved bleachers, $15 advanced general admission, $40 reserved bleachers walk-up, $20 general admission walk-up); Friday, Saturday individual sessions — $20 reserved bleachers, $10 general admission

Friday

Men’s events — 9 a.m., discus; 9:35, 400 relay, 110 hurdles, 100 meters, 1600 relay; 10, long jump, shot put; 12:30, triple jump; 1, high jump; 3, triple jump; 4, discus; 4:30, sprint medley relay; 5;40, 400 hurdles; 5:45, 400 hurdles invitational; 6, javelin; 6:05, distance medley relay

High school boys — 1:30 p.m., pole vault, 110 hurdles, 100, 800 relay; 3, high jump; 4, 1600; 4:15, discus; 4:30, sprint medley relay; 6:25, 300 hurdles invitational; 6:40, 1600 relay (no blocks); 7, pole vault; 7:30, long jump, javelin; 9:50, distance medley relay

Women’s events — 9:35 a.m., 400 relay, 100 hurdles, 100, 1600 relay; 10, long jump, high jump, pole vault, shot put; 11:30, javelin; 12:30 p.m., triple jump; 3, triple jump; 4:30, invitational sprint medley relay; 5:30, 400 hurdles invitational; 5:35, 400 hurdles; 5:50, distance medley relay

High school girls — 1:30 p.m., discus; 100 hurdles, 100, 800 relay; 4, pole vault, 1600 meters; 4:30, sprint medley relay; 6, high jump; 6:25, 300 hurdles invitational; 6:40, 1600 relay (no blocks); 7:30, long jump; 8:30, javelin; 9:30, distance medley relay

Saturday

Men’s events — 10:40 a.m., 3200 relay; noon, 800 relay; 1:30, 400 relay (final), 400 relay invitational (final); 1:45 p.m., pole vault (elite); 2:10, 110 hurdles (final), 110 hurdles invitational (final); 2:45, high jump; 2:55, 100 (final), 100 invitational (final); 3, pole vault, long jump; 3:35, Jerry Thompson Mile invitational (final); 3:55, 200 invitational (final); 4, shot put; 4:05, 1600 relay invitational (final), 1600 relay (final), Cleburne Price Jr. 1600 relay invitational (final)

High school boys — 8:35 a.m., 3200; 9, 400 relay; 10:15, 3200 relay; 11, triple jump; noon, shot put, 800 relay; 12:40 p.m., 3200 relay (final); 1:30, 400 relay; 2:10, 110 hurdles; 2:55, 100; 4:05, 1600 relay (final)

Women’s events — 10 a.m., discus; 10:40, 3200 relay; 11, high jump; noon, pole vault (elite), 800 relay invitational (final); 1:30 p.m., discus, Carlette Guidry 400 relay (final), 400 relay invitational (final); 2:10, 100 hurdles (final); 2:10, 100 hurdles, 100 hurdles invitational; 2:55, 100, 100 invitational; 3, long jump; 3:35, 1500 (final); 4, shot put; 4:05, 1600 relay invitational (final), 1600 relay (final), Sanya Richards-Ross 1600 relay invitational (final)

High school girls — 8:15 a.m., 3200; 9, 400 relay; 9:30, pole vault; 10:15 11, shot put, triple jump; noon, 800 relay (final); 12:40 p.m., 3200 relay (final); 1:30, 400 relay (final); 2:10, 100 hurdles (final), 100 hurdles invitational (final); 2:55, 100 (final); 4:05, 1600 relay (final)

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