Byron Robinson, Texas’ Big 12 400-meter hurdles champion, has been scratched from competition in the West Region preliminaries, the qualifying track meet for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., in June for undisclosed reasons.
Robinson, who has the fastest time in the nation in his event at 49.10 seconds ahead of Texas A&M’s Robert Grant’s 49.44 time, then will be disqualified from the national championships and unable to compete.
His absence will be sorely missed by the Longhorns’ nationally eighth-ranked men’s team. He is also removed from all consideration for participation in the relays as well.
Robinson, a junior from Chesapeake, Va., and a transfer from Penn State, was scratched by his head coach, Mario Sategna, during the coaches’ entry scratch window late Monday night. He also ran the opening leg on Texas’ 4×400-meter relay team and will likely be replaced by junior Carlton Anumnu, a converted sprinter in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.
Sategna declined to give the reason for Robinson’s suspension but did say Robinson remains on the team and will compete for Texas next season.
“You look at our relay pool, and it’s all hands on deck,” Sategna said before leaving for the regional in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday morning. “It’ll never be on just one guy. I’m not able to comment any further on Byron, but we have Carlton Anumnu and Chris Irvin from Westlake. The good thing is at regionals, you don’t have to run rounds in relays. It’s just one race. Tonja (Buford-Bailey, assistant coach) does a good job of shuffling it around.”
Robinson was not made available for comment.