By Lincoln Shryack
Texas sprinter Teahna Daniels wasted no time in becoming the fastest woman in Big 12 history. Less than two months into her NCAA career, back in 2016, Daniels won the 60m NCAA crown in 7.11 — the fastest ever by a freshman and then the fourth-best performance in collegiate history. She hadn’t even won a Big 12 title yet, but it was clear that the Longhorn freshman would soon dominate the conference.
And dominate she has.
Not only is the junior the defending Big 12 60m champion, but she is also the reigning Big 12 outdoor 100m champ as well. Daniels has run the quickest 60m time in the conference each of the last three years — including 2018 — and her 11.06 100m performance in the NCAA final last spring was also best in the Big 12. So, of course, she’ll be the overwhelming favorite to win the 60m at this weekend’s 2018 Big 12 Indoor Championships, which you can watch live here on FloTrack.
Fans of the Big 12 have come to expect such sprint dominance by the Texas women. The UT program has churned superstar after superstar out of Austin, with Daniels being the latest in a long line of Longhorn ladies to own the conference and climb the NCAA all-time lists. In fact, five female Texas sprinters share these credentials: multiple Big 12 individual titles, appearance on NCAA all-time list, and an NCAA title. Four of the ladies went on to win Olympic or world championship gold medals.
The other is Teahna Daniels.
|Athlete||Big 12 Titles||NCAA All-Time Highlight||Olympic/WC Golds|
|Sanya Richards-Ross||8||Top-10 indoor 200/400||9|
|Morolake Akinosun||12||No. 4 outdoor 4x400||2|
|Courtney Okolo||11||400m collegiate record holder||2|
|Chrisann Gordon||2||No. 7 outdoor 400m||1|
|Teahna Daniels||2||No. 6 indoor 60m||0|
Obviously, the Texas junior has a long way to go before she can claim to be on the level of Richards-Ross, Akinosun, Okolo, or Gordon, but Daniels has shown the ability early in her career to be an all-time Texas great. First, she has to get back to running at her best. Injuries hampered her 2016 outdoor season, and she has yet to replicate her magical 7.11 from two years ago. Last year at NCAAs, Daniels failed to advance to the 60m final a year after winning it all.
But simply her presence on this exclusive list indicates that Daniels is built for plenty more conference titles and likely more NCAA crowns as well. She may only be 11th on the NCAA 60m descending order list in 2018, but Daniels has proven that she can elevate her game in the biggest moments. When she won the 60m title two years ago, the then-freshman entered NCAAs with just the fifth-best performance of the season. Last spring, Daniels placed third in the NCAA outdoor 100m despite only running the 10th fastest time in the regular season. She’s had her struggles, but Teahna Daniels is too talented — and apparently too clutch — to not consistently be challenging the NCAA’s best.
Just like the Texas greats before her, Daniels has already established herself as one of best sprinters from one of the best programs in NCAA history. With two years of eligibility remaining, expect the junior to keep adding to her elite legacy. She’ll have another opportunity this weekend in Ames, Iowa, at the Big 12 Championships, which you can catch live right here on FloTrack.