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    SEC Track Update: March 23

     

    Gamecocks Win 14 on Final Day of Weems Baskin Invitational Royster

    COLUMBIA, S.C. – On the second day of the Weems Baskin Invitational, the Gamecock track and field team won 14 events. Junior Chris Royster collected wins in both the 100m and 200m while the women’s relay teams swept their races.
     
    In the Jim Scheper 1,500-meter run, senior Robert Razick grabbed second place, running a 3:58.21. In the second special race of the day, Erika Rucker, who ran the collegiate leader in the 800 meters last weekend, picked up the win in the Charmaine Howell 800-meter run with a time of 2:12.91.
     
    The Gamecocks swept the men’s and women’s 4x100-meter relays.  The men’s foursome of freshman Dondre Echols, Royster, sophomore Eric Winfrey and senior Chris Walker ran a 41.82 to take the men’s section.  On the women’s side, junior Vashti Bandy, freshmen Tyler Brockington and Gabrielle Gray along with sophomore Christal Green clocked in at 47.06 to finish first.  
     
    For the second week in a row, Royster won the men’s 100-meter dash.  Royster ran a 10.59 in the race to lead a 1-2 finish with Winfrey.  Winfrey crossed the line at 10.80. Royster and Winfrey also took the 200-meter dash.  Royster won with a time of 21.56 with Winfrey clocking in at 21.89 for second place.
     
    Senior Kierre Beckles picked up her second 100-meter hurdles win in as many weeks, recording a 13.59 in the race.  Redshirt freshman Jemekia Wilson finished in third place with a time of 15.07.  
     
    Also picking up a win for the second week in a row was senior Breanna Radford.  Radford won the shot put with a throw of 51-02 ¾ (15.61m). 
     
    The Gamecocks finished 1-2 in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with freshman Jermaine Collier and Echols leading the pack.  Collier clocked in at 14.80 with Echols just on his heels at 14.82. 
     
    Green raced to victory in the women’s 400-meter race, clocking in at 56.54 to top the section. Junior Nigel Redic ran a 50.91 in the men’s 400-meter dash, taking second place.
     
    In the women’s 1,500-meter, sophomore Meredith Mill was victorious, running a 4:43.98.  Freshman Mary Fouse was just behind her, finishing in second place with a 4:50.14. 
     
    Graduate student Chelsea France won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:40.77.
     
    Senior Ceci Kryst, who swept the horizontal jumps at the Hurricane Invitational last weekend, won her second triple jump competition in a row, recording a leap of 15-06 ¼ (11.51m). 
     
    In the women’s 400-meter hurdles, sophomore Tamera Harris captured the win, notching a time of 1:04.18.  The lone Gamecock representative in the men’s 400-meter hurdles was freshman Jonathan Russell.  Russell ran a 54.21 to finish third. 
     
    Gray and Bandy finished third and fourth, respectively in the women’s 100-meter dash.  Gray ran a 12.15 with Bandy just behind at 12.19. 
     
    The Gamecocks concluded the day with a second relay win of the day by the women. The quartet of Bandy, Beckles, Green and Rucker won with a time of 3:43.12.  The men’s team of Russell, Royster, Maxwell and Winfrey recorded a time of 3:17.67 to take second in the event. 
     
    South Carolina landed a pair of top-five finishes in the men’s 800-meter run in freshman Drew Galang at 1:57.80 and redshirt sophomore Drew Ricci at 1:57.91. 
     
    In the women’s 200-meter dash, senior Melekia Simpson earned a top-five finish, taking fifth with a time of 25.55. 
     
    In the 5,000-meter run, freshmen Stephanie Berger and Annie Grove registered top-five finishes.  Berger ran an 18:17.65 with Grove coming in at 18:40.44
     
    Due to the weather conditions, men’s pole vault and men’s and women’s high jump were moved to the indoor facility.  Freshman Austin Eckenroth finished second in the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 15-06.25 (4.73m). 

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    Seven event wins, NCAA leaders highlight opener
     
    SAN MARCOS, Texas – The No. 12 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team racked up seven wins and a pair of NCAA leaders Saturday afternoon at the Texas State Elite in San Marcos, Texas. In the scored outdoor-season opener, the Razorbacks finished in third place with 119 points. In addition to Arkansas, the field of competition also included No. 16 Illinois, No. 24 UCLA, UT-San Antonio and host Texas State.
               
    The 4x100-meter relay team of Gwendolyn Flowers, Regina George, Sparkle McKnight and Tamara Myers combined for the Razorbacks’ first win on the track. The foursome passed the baton around in a time of 44.63. Based on performances entering the weekend, the time for Arkansas is the fourth fastest in the country this season. The Razorbacks finished more than 1.5 seconds clear of the second-place team.
               
    In the 100-meter hurdles, Ivanique Kemp ran to first place in heat two and an overall victory with a time of 13.51. She finished just .02 ahead of the runner-up performer from Illinois. The Razorbacks’ next track win came by way of Chrishuna Williams at 400 meters. Running in the second section of the timed final, the Arkansas sophomore dropped nearly a second off her personal best with Saturday’s time of 53.79.
               
    George later returned to the track for the first open 800 meters of her outdoor collegiate career. She responded with an NCAA-leading time of 2:03.79 and finished nearly six seconds ahead of the race runner-up. George ran a leg of Arkansas’ 4x800-meter relay at Texas Relays as a freshman in 2010. In her second race of the day, McKnight also established an NCAA best with her time of 56.62 to win the 400-meter hurdles. She finished just off the school-record time of 56.46 set by Brittany Hyter in 2011.
               
    Arkansas’ first win of the outdoor season came from newcomer Amethyst Boyd in the javelin, the first event of the competition. On her sixth and final attempt of the day, Boyd measured in with a mark of 40.02m/131-3 to secure the win. Teammate Rebecca Gorden was the event runner-up to complete a 1-2 finish for the Razorbacks. She also had her best throw of the day of 39.66m/130-1 in the sixth round.
               
    The Razorbacks collected two more field victories from Kirsten Hesseltine and Myers in the high jump and long jump, respectively. Hesseltine won her event with a final clearance of 1.75m/5-8.75 while Myers claimed in the top spot in the long jump with a day’s best mark of 5.87m/19-3.25. 

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    No. 2 Razorbacks collect four wins, NCAA leader
     
    SAN MARCOS, Texas – The No. 2 University of Arkansas men’s track and field team opened its outdoor season Saturday with four wins and an NCAA-leading performance at the Texas State Elite in San Marcos, Texas. The meet marked the Razorbacks’ first competition since winning the NCAA indoor team title earlier this month. In the scored event that also featured No. 5 Texas, No. 12 UCLA, UT-San Antonio and host Texas State, Arkansas finished fourth with 84.5 points.
               
    The Razorbacks opened the day with a 1-2 finish in the javelin, led by a first-place performance by Jeff Woods. In round four—the final round of the day—he got the implement out to a personal-best mark of 63.08m/206-11. Teammate Pete Mirocke, in his Arkansas debut, finished second in the event with a throw of 60.21m/197-6 on his final attempt of the competition.
               
    Anthony May II added the team’s second win of the day with his performance in the long jump. Dealing with a headwind, the Razorback junior had a day’s best mark of 7.11m/23-4 to secure first place. Saturday’s meet marked the outdoor debut for May at Arkansas. He was an indoor All-American for the Razorbacks in the high jump and triple jump.
               
    Arkansas swept with vertical jumps with Andrew Irwin taking first in the pole vault and Dwayne Golbek and Noah Kittelson trying for first in the high jump. Based on marks entering the weekend, Irwin’s winning performance of 5.60m/18-4.5 is the national leader. Saturday’s meet is the first for the Mount Ida, Ark., native since winning the NCAA indoor title on March 8. In the high jump, Golbek and Kittelson were among of a group of four competitors with a first-place clearance of 2.10m/6-10.75. 
               
    The Razorbacks capped their efforts Saturday with a victory in the 4x400-meter relay. The foursome of Caleb Cross, Neil Braddy, Tomas Squella and Anton Kokorin out-performed the competition with a winning time of 3:09.92. Based on time entering the weekend, the time for Arkansas represents the fourth-fastest mark in the NCAA through the early stages of the season.
               
    Including Mirocke’s performance in the javelin, the Razorbacks totaled six more top-five showings. On the track, Jarrion Lawson ran to a second-place finish at 200 meters. The Arkansas freshman finished second overall with a time of 21.48. In the first running event of the day, the 4x100-meter relay team of Lawson, Cross, Braddy and Kokorin combined for a third-place finish in 40.53.
               
    Top-five efforts in field events included a trio of fifth-place finishes in the high jump, long jump and shot put. Brede Ellingsen tied for fifth place in the high jump with a final clearance of 2.05m/6-8.75, Golbek—in his second event—finished fifth in the long jump and Devin Randall had a best throw of 15.86m/52-0.5 in the shot put for the team’s third fifth-place result.

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    STRONG SEASON OPENERS LEAD TRACK & FIELD TEAMS IN LSU RELAYS FINALE
     
    BATON ROUGE – Strong season-opening performances by junior Jasmin Stowers in the 100-meter hurdles and Quincy Downing in the 400-meter dash and a sweep of relay titles by the Lady Tigers paced 10 event winners for the LSU Track & Field teams during Saturday’s finale at the 2013 LSU Relays held at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
     
    Stowers opened the outdoor season with her victory the women’s 100-meter hurdles as she took the tape ahead of senior teammate Shanekia Hall with a wind-legal run of 13.39 seconds to match her season-opening performance from a year ago. Hall followed in second place with an opening time of 13.52 in her first race of the outdoor season.
     
    Stowers took to the track for the first time following her bronze-medal-winning third-place finish in the final of the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships two weeks ago.
     
    Stowers, who has now earned four All-America honors in the sprint hurdles in her collegiate career, also led off the Lady Tigers in the 4x100-meter relay on Saturday as she teamed with senior Kimberlyn Duncan, junior Takeia Pinckney and junior Toshika Sylvester for a winning run of 44.03 in the their first appearance of the 2013 season.
     
    It marked the first time that Stowers has run on LSU’s top team in the 4x100-meter relay in her three seasons as a Lady Tiger.
     
    The Lady Tigers were dominant in their season opener in the sprint relay as Hinds Community College trailed more than two seconds back in second place with a time of 46.23.
     
    “I haven’t run the relay much since high school, and handing off to somebody like Kim is something I’ve never experienced before,” Stowers said following the meet. “I was a little nervous about that. I was sprinting as hard as I could to get the stick to her. We’ve definitely got some improvements to make. We’re all looking forward to running again at Texas next week.”
     
    Stowers actually matched her season-opening time in the 100 hurdles from a year ago when she ran a wind-aided 13.39 in the preliminary rounds at the Texas Relays while coming up just short of a spot in the finals.
     
    “I feel more comfortable opening here (in the hurdles),” Stowers said. “I feel like I’ve got a better chance to run well next week because I ran here today. It’s a good starting point for me. I didn’t even make the final at Texas last year, so I’m really looking forward to that when we go back next week.”
     
    The Lady Tigers swept sprint relay titles during Saturday’s action at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium as they added victories in both the 4x200-meter and 4x400-meter relays in the finale.
     
    Earning the victory in the 4x200 relay with a winning run of 1 minute, 34.29 seconds was LSU’s team of senior Latoya McDermott, Duncan, senior Siedda Herbert and freshman Aliyah Davis. Herbert then returned to the track to lead off the Lady Tigers in the 4x400 relay as she teamed with junior Nikita Tracey, sophomore Montenae Roye-Speight and junior Natoya Goule to run a season-opening time of 3:37.00.
     
    After the Lady Tigers won the women’s 4x100 relay title, the Tigers opened the defense of their national championship in the 4x100 relay with a strong performance in their season opener on Saturday afternoon.
     
    With sophomore All-American Aaron Ernest still recovering from a grueling indoor season, the Tigers took to the track with a foursome of senior long jump All-American Damar Forbes, freshman Darrell Bush, freshman Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and junior Shermund Allsop lining up to the inside of the Tiger Olympians team of former LSU All-Americans Barrett Nugent, Tristan Walker, Kyron Blaise and Gabriel Mvumvure.
     
    Forbes led off with a strong first leg before Bush and Mitchell-Blake got the baton to Allsop on the anchor in a dead heat with Mvumvure for the title. The Tigers crossed the finish line in 39.98 to finish runner-up to the winning run of 39.94 by Mvumvure and the Tiger Olympians.
     
    The Tigers won their eighth NCAA title in the 4x100 relay as the team of Nugent, Ernest, Keyth Talley and Allsop sprinted to the seventh-fastest time in collegiate history at 38.38 in the national final a year ago.
     
    “We got the stick around the track with both the men and the women, which was a primary goal of ours coming in,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “I thought the women executed the race very well today in their first time out. We’ve got some new people on it this year, and those returning are in a different spot on the relay than they were last year. The men were also pretty good today. Damar ran a great leadoff leg to sort of put our two freshmen in a good position. We’re excited that Aaron Ernest will be back in the mix when we go to Texas next week.”
     
    While the Tigers came up a split-second short of taking the sprint relay crown, Downing returned the favor in the final of the men’s 400-meter dash as he battled Olympic relay bronze medalist Ade Alleyne-Forte of the Tiger Olympians for his first collegiate victory outdoors in the one-lap race.
     
    Downing beat Alleyne-Forte to the finish line with a season-opening time of 46.94 as Alleyne-Forte took the silver medal in 47.05. Downing’s 46.94 ranks No. 4 in the NCAA’s early-season rankings for 2013.
     
    Downing owns a lifetime best of 46.18 in the event that he set in the NCAA quarterfinals during his freshman season a year ago en route to a berth in the national semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Downing is also a two-time All-American during his collegiate career as a member of LSU’s 4x400-meter relay team.
     
    After opening up the outdoor season with a runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters on Friday night, Lady Tiger senior Laura Carleton scored a victory in her first 800-meter race outdoors this season while setting a lifetime PR of 2:11.08 in the first of four heats of the women’s event.
     
    And just one week after smashing his lifetime best with an NCAA-leading mark of 197-1 in winning the discus at the Louisiana Classics meet, Tiger sophomore Rodney Brown won his second discus title in as many starts on Saturday afternoon. Brown took the title with a series-best effort of 186-2 in the fifth round of throws to surge past Southeastern Louisiana’s Jeff Milliron (178-3) in the event.
     
    Following Brown in the final standings were senior Daniel Obioha in fifth place with a seasonal-best throw of 163-7 and sophomore Jeremy Tuttle in seventh place with a personal-best throw of 161-6.
     
    Other event winners during Saturday’s finale at the LSU Relays included Pinckney (11.61) in the 100-meter dash, Tracey (59.18) in the 400-meter hurdles and junior Keri Emanuel (19-7 ½) in the long jump.
     
    The Tigers and Lady Tigers also featured six silver medalists in their events Saturday afternoon, including Goule (54.62) in the 400 meters, Sylvester (11.74) in the 100 meters, junior Shana-Gaye Tracey (59.27) in the 400 hurdles (59.27), sophomores Joshua Thompson (14.23w) in the 110 hurdles and Doren Welch (146-10) in the javelin and freshman Fitzroy Dunkley (48-6 ¾) in the triple jump.
     
    “It was a tough day for us to get much done as a team with the weather like it was. We fought through some showers here and there, which made for some really heavy air here today,” Shaver said. “But we were able to still get a few things done and feel a little bit better about where we are as we get into the meat of our schedule.
     
    “We’re really looking forward to the Texas Relays next weekend. I expect our athletes to be better focused mentally as we really step up our level of competition. It’s always a lot of fun for our teams.”

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    Burris and Seymore Victorious on Second Day of UCF Invitational
     
    ORLANDO, Fla. – Two Gators captured event titles on the second day of the UCF Invitational, as sophomore Michael Burris (Fort Myers, Fla.) and senior Leonardo Seymore (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) took home titles on a rainy Saturday at the UCF Track and Soccer Complex.
     
    Burris picked up a victory in the men’s 400 meters in a new personal best of 47.89. Teammate Jovon Toppin (Port of Spain, Trinidad) turned in a runner-up finish with his time of 47.98. 
     
    In the 100 meters, senior All-American and NCAA 4x4 Champion Seymore won the event in 10.56 to capture the first outdoor individual victory of his career.
     
    Sophomore Gissell Warner (Hollywood, Fla.) leapt to a new personal best of 12.09m/39-8 in the women’s triple jump, finishing third in the event.
     
    Next up for the Orange and Blue is the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, presented by State Farm. The four-day meet begins Wednesday, March 27 at Mike A. Myers Stadium. The headquarters for the Relays can be found here. The official hashtag for the Relays, for fans who want to follow all the action on Twitter, is #TXRelays13.
     
    The Gators will also compete next weekend at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville, Fla. and the distance corps will travel to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Invitational.
     
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    SEC Claims Men’s and Women’s Wins At Conference Challenge
     
    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Despite rainy weather at the Carl Maddox Track Facility, the Mississippi State track and field team was not affected in its pursuit to finish on top, as the Southeastern Conference captured both men’s and women’s wins on Saturday at the Conference Challenge. 
     
    Working along side SEC foes Tennessee and Ole Miss, MSU donned six first-place finishes to help give the conference 360 points for the women and 287 for the men. The challengers, comprised of Illinois, Purdue, Louisiana Tech and Missouri State, claimed 217 on the women’s side, while the men earned 264 on the day. 
     
    "We competed hard today," MSU coach Steve Dudley said. "All around I am proud of the effort our athletes gave. We were in the mix in nearly every event, and that is what you ask for in the these types of events."
     
    Highlighted by strong field performances and leadership from distance veterans, the Maroon and White squads were vital in aiding the SEC to victories. Allison Storey threw for 40.53 meters in the javelin to win the event and grab 10 points for the conference. Ebony Brinker also won her field event, after posting 38-09.00 in the triple jump, while Alyssa Hall finished second in the high jump, clearing 5-05.00.
     
    Both MSU 4x400-meter relay teams surpassed their competition with ease, as the women clocked 3:42.51, and the men posted a time of 3:08.68 to finish first. 
     
    Meanwhile, Marcus Jackson, who was runner-up in the high jump at 2013 NCAA Indoors, kicked off his outdoor season by clearing 7-02.50 in the event and earning another first-place finish for the Bulldogs. Also excelling in field action was Jason Harper, who won the triple jump with a leap of 49-05.00. 
     
    “Representing the SEC is great, because it’s home to the nation’s best talent,” Harper said. “Competing along side with Tennessee and Ole Miss served as a reminder to other conferences that the SEC is a forced to be reckoned with. Today I enjoyed winning for my team and for our conference.”
     
    With help from Cornelia Griesche (10:47.39) and Adrianna Poole (11.08.19) in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase, the pair collected 10 points, finishing second and fifth, respectively. Distance runners Juan Sanchez (3:52.41) and Patrick Monaghan (3:54.44) crossed the line at the front of the pack in the men’s 1500-meter run, as Sanchez finished second and Monaghan followed in third to add 14 points to the SEC total. 
     
    Also boasting top performances include Daundre Barnaby, who ran the 200-meter dash in 21.50 seconds to finish second, and Nathan Arnett whose time of 14.17 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles landed him in second as well. 

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    Storms Cut Meet Short For Georgia Track & Field
     
    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --- Strong storms cut short the John Mitchell Alabama Relays for Georgia’s track and field teams in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday.
     
    Set up for the bulk of the events to start at or after 7 p.m. ET, the meet started smoothly before thunderstorms in the area began delaying competition.  The Bulldog coaching staff made the call to start the bus ride back to Athens because of the lengthy delays expected. 
     
    “If something like this is going to happen to us, I would like for it to happen in these first three meets,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton, adding that Alabama and the teams who were planning on flying out on Sunday morning were going to wait out the weather and continue to compete late Saturday night.  “I don’t think we lose out on too much.  This just ends up being one of those meets where we just try and take what we can from it.  It will probably mean that more people travel with us to the Georgia Tech meet next weekend.”
     
    The Lady Bulldogs did produce two highlights during the limited action on Saturday with a pair of runner-up finishes.
     
    Junior Elizabeth Tepe posted her second consecutive personal best in the hammer throw to finish second.  Tepe had a sixth and final attempt that measured 194 feet, 4 inches to improve her No. 5 spot in the school record books and put her third in the SEC and eighth nationally.
     
    “The best thing that came out of today was having Liz get a personal best,” Norton said.  “She is continuing to get better and that’s exactly what we have to have out of her each week.”
     
    The Lady Bulldogs also ran their first 4x100-meter relay of the year and finished second.  Freshman Briana Vaughn, sophomore Tynia Gaither, freshman Shaunae Miller and freshman Myasia Jacobs combined to clock a 45.99 to win the first heat with the fastest time for UGA in the last two seasons.
     
    “This time was actually slow for this group since they are capable of running something much faster,” said Norton.  “But they ran a controlled race and did not have to waste too much energy.  Even with their time, I think it would rank as one of our faster 4x100 relays in recent times so that is encouraging.”

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    Ameer Webb leads Aggies with three victories at USC Trojan Invitational
     
    LOS ANGELES – Texas A&M senior Ameer Webb enjoyed a return to his home state as he was part of three Aggie victories on Saturday at the USC Trojan Invitational held in Loker Stadium. Webb, a Tustin, California native, swept the 100 and 200 meters with times of 10.32 and 20.71 and led off the Aggies winning 4 x 100 relay (39.47).
     
    Texas A&M totaled 10 victories on the weekend as they won all four relay races and added titles in the women’s 100 along with the men’s 400, 5,000 meters and steeplechase.
     
    “Being in California is always great for me, because it’s where I’m from,” said Webb. “I like to show out for my California people, so I try to run my best every time I come out here. My time in the 200, I wanted to do better. But I’m still making the transition from indoor to outdoor.”
     
    Isaac Spencer won the 3,000-meter steeplechase and established the current U.S. and collegiate leading time with his personal best of 8:51.03, which moves the sophomore to No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list. Stephen Curry, who led the race early on, placed fifth in 9:06.78 while C.J. Brown finished sixth in 9:15.99.
     
    The Aggies swept the 4 x 100 relays for the second consecutive week. A 43.72 was the winning time for the women’s squad of LaKeidra Stewart, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Ashley Collier. USC’s first unit was unable to complete the final exchange while another A&M crew finished second in 45.19.
     
    The A&M men cruised to a 39.47 winning time with the foursome of Webb, Aldrich Bailey, Jr., Michael Bryan and Prezel Hardy, Jr. USC placed second in 40.07 while another group of Aggies placed fourth in 41.12.
     
    “The speed is all there for us,” noted Webb. “We just need to get the sticks off perfect. Once we can do that I think we’ll be one of the best in the country.”
     
    In the men’s 100 the Aggies went 1-2-3 with Ameer Webb leading the trio with a winning time of 10.32 (0.8 wind). Prezel Hardy, Jr. finished second in 10.43 while Michael Bryan placed third in 10.48. USC’s Aaron Brown was knocked out of the race due to a false start. Jermaine Davis placed second in the next heat of the 100 with a 10.60 that placed sixth overall.
     
    “It’s always fun to race Mike and PJ,” stated Webb. “We do 30 meter block starts together in practice, so to do a full on race with them involves a lot more intensity and it’s also fun.”
     
    While Webb won the 200 convincingly with an outdoor leading collegiate time of 20.71 (-0.7), another pair of Aggies tied for third while running in separate heats. Bailey, Jr. finished third in the heat with Webb with a time of 21.28 while Jermaine Davis won the second heat in the same time.
     
    A timing malfunction in the women’s 100 missed registering a time for A&M’s tandem of Purvis and Collier as they raced against USC’s Jessica Davis in the first heat. 
     
    Brown won the second heat in 11.39 (1.4 wind), which is No. 9 on the Aggie all-time list, while Olivia Ekpone finished second in 11.57. India Daniels (11.83) and Stewart (11.85) placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
     
    Ricky Babineaux won the 400 with a 46.71, which is an outdoor best for the senior, while teammate Bralon Taplin claimed another heat and placed third overall with a 47.50 that was second best among collegians. Hector Hernandez ran 48.17 for fourth in the same heat with Babineaux and finished sixth overall.
     
    Jessica Beard had the leading time in the women’s 400 and her 51.55 is the current outdoor world leading time for 2013.
     
    Wrapping up the meet with the 4 x 400 relays, the Aggie women won in 3:35.92 to set the season leading outdoor collegiate time. The foursome of Ekpone (54.6), Ibukun Mayungbe (53.1), Stewart (55.2) and Brown (53.0) controlled the race with USC finishing second in 3:37.97.
     
    In the men’s relay, the Aggies rolled to a 3:07.36 victory with a crew of Bailey, Jr. (47.7), Deon Lendore (45.0), Carlyle Roudette (46.1) and Bralon Taplin (48.6). USC finished second in 3:11.69 and another A&M squad placed third in 3:12.20, but both were disqualified as the result of bumping between the anchor legs in the final 60 meters of the race.
     
    During the Friday evening distance races Ryan Miller claimed a tactical men’s 5,000 race in 14:54.21. A trio of Aggie women set career best marks in the 3,000 meters as Amanda Jenkins (9:38.87) placed third with Grace Fletcher (9:39.50) and Hillary Montgomery (9:40.61) in fourth and fifth. 
     
    Running into a slight head wind LaQue Moen-Davis ran 13.98 (-0.9 wind) in the 100 hurdles for second place to a 13.66 by USC’s Melia Cox. Kenneth Minkah finished second in the men’s 110 hurdles with a 14.26 (0.9) behind a 13.91 win for USC’s Aleec Harris. 
     
    In the men’s long jump Jonathan Turner finished second with a mark of 22-11.75 (7.00) and Dave Brown was runner-up in the triple jump with a 48-4.5 (14.74). A clearance of 16-2.75 (4.95) netted a second place tie for Dustin Phillips in the pole vault while Chase Wolfle missed at 16-6.75 (5.05) to no height in the competition.
     
    Another second place effort included Aliese Hyde in the 800 (2:09.36), who lost her lead in the race in the final couple of strides to the finish line. Greg Coleman finished second in the 400 hurdles (52.17) while Aikan Graham (53.01) and Minkah (53.22) placed sixth and seventh.
     
    Mayungbe finished third in the women’s 200 with a 23.87 to lead an Aggie group that placed 3-4-5-9. USC’s Davis won the first heat in 23.41 while A&M’s India Daniels claimed the second heat in 23.90 to place fourth overall. Purvis (24.07), Jennifer Madu (24.12) and Chandrell Stephens (24.56) rounded out the other Aggies positions.

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    Shelbi Vaughan improves discus school record with victory at UT-Arlington

    ARLINGTON – Texas A&M freshman Shelbi Vaughan improved upon her Aggie discus school record with a winning effort of 188 feet, 8 inches at the UT-Arlington Bobby Lane Invitational on Saturday. 
     
    Last week on her first discus throw as a collegian, Vaughan broke the 10-year-old Aggie school record with a mark of 185-0. She managed to added three feet and eight inches to her school record on her second attempt of the UTA competition.
     
    The series for Vaughan opened with a foul prior to her winning mark of 188-8 (57.50) and then another foul followed in round three. Vaughan produced throws of 167-8 (51.10), 161-1 (49.11) and 180-10 (55.12) in the final three stanzas. 
     
    Runner-up to Vaughan was a 165-1 (50.33) by TCU’s Megan Smith while A&M’s Jill Hydrick finished seventh in the event with a 141-4 (43.07).
     
    Dalton Rowan won the men’s discus by nearly five feet with a toss of 179-2 (54.61), earning his best mark in the second round as well. Ben Skrla finished seventh with a 164-2 (50.03). Casey Strong placed sixth in the men’s shot put with a 51-4.25 (15.65).
     
    Vaughan also placed third in the shot put with a mark of 48-7.25 (14.81) while teammates Brea Garrett (48-1.75 / 14.67) and Jennifer Edwards (44-9.75 / 13.66) finished fourth and fifth. Vaughan moves to No. 8 on the Aggie all-time list in the shot put.
     
    Krystyn Bradley led the Aggie javelin crew with a third-place effort of 144-10 (44.15). Kendall Munoz placed fourth with a 136-7 (41.64), Jean Deason was seventh at 131-9 (40.16), and Kelly Czumble placed ninth with a 124-1 (37.82).

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    Stadium Dedication Highlights Final Day of John Mitchell Alabama Relays
     
    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Lightning and heavy rain cancelled most of the action Saturday night at the John Mitchell Alabama Relays, but the inclement weather failed to dampen the mood of hundreds of Alabama track and field alumni that enjoyed a weekend of fellowship culminating in the formal rededication of the Sam Bailey Track Stadium. After lightning caused a one hour, 25-minute delay at 6:55 p.m., inclement weather returned shortly before 9 p.m. causing the remainder of the event to be cancelled.
     
    Before the weather took control, Alabama athletes had a solid outing on an abbreviated day of action. The Crimson Tide successfully defended its Alabama Relays title in the 4,000-meter men's distance medley relay. Alabama's quartet of Parker Deuel, Joel Lynch, Alex LoPresti and Robbie Farnham-Rose won the race in a time of 9 minutes, 51.62 seconds to beat Indiana (9:53.36), Iowa (9:54.05) and Georgia Tech (9:55.78) in a field of 11 teams.
     
    In the men's 4x100-meter relay, Alabama's quartet of Alex Sanders, Justin Austin, James Harrington and Dwight Davis placed second in a time of 40.30 seconds. Iowa won the event in 40.22. In the women's hammer throw, Alabama's Lee Stowers and Nia Barnes both compiled personal-best performances. Stowers placed sixth with a best effort of 177 feet, 4 inches (54.06 meters) while Barnes was eighth at 174-7 (53.22m). Alabama's Lacey Dent was seventh in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 14.45.
     
    But the story of the weekend for Alabama was the rededication of the track complex, the naming of the Alabama Relays for former head coach John Mitchell and the welcoming back of four former Alabama athletes that have won Olympic gold medals (Calvin Smith, Lillie Leatherwood-King, Kirani James and Pauline Davis).
     
    "For more than a century, you have created, sustained and embodied excellence," said University of Alabama President Dr. Judy Bonner as she formally dedicated the facility.  "And, I hope you see this beautiful Sam Bailey Track and Field stadium as a visible monument to your legacy.   Many of you have won recognition at the highest level of your sport – in fact, we have four Olympic Gold medalists with us here tonight.  In my book, you are all champions – and tonight, it is our honor to celebrate our former coaches and student athletes who established this strong foundation of success."
     
    Dr. Bonner also recognized Mitchell's special place in the history of Alabama athletics.

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    Ole Miss Helps SEC Win The 2013 Conference Challenge In Starkville
     
    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Ole Miss athletes claimed three event titles and produced a few of the best marks in school history on the Rebels’ opening weekend of the outdoor track & field season at the Conference Challenge, hosted by Mississippi State.
     
    The Rebels teamed up with Mississippi State and Tennessee to help the SEC win both the men’s and women’s challenge against teams from the Big Ten, Missouri Valley and Western Athletic conferences at the Carl Maddox Track Facility. The SEC men out-scored the challengers 287-264, while the SEC women won 360-217.
     
    Among the highlights for the 11th-ranked Ole Miss men were the throwers.
     
    In his first college outdoor meet, freshman Onyi Afoaku entered the school record books at No. 2 in the discus and No. 4 in the shot put. He was runner-up in the discus at 177-8.25 and placed sixth in the shot at 52-6.5. He should be ranked among the nation’s leaders in the discus at the end of the weekend.
     
    Junior Benjamin Lapane heaved a personal-best hammer throw of 159-4.75 to move up to fourth in the school record books.
     
    Lapane also placed runner-up in the javelin with a mark of 216-5, which is just five inches shy of his personal best that ranks him third-best in school history. His mark on Saturday should rank among the national leaders early this outdoor season.
     
    The distance runners paced the way for the Ole Miss women, including victories by junior Kayleigh Skinner in the 3,000 meters and sophomore Haley Cutright in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
     
    Skinner’s time of 9:51.04 in the 3,000 was a personal best and moved her up to No. 2 in the school record books.
     
    Cutright was the lead runner in a dominating steeple for Ole Miss, which had four of the top six finishers in the race. She ran a 10:32.96 in the first time she has ever competed in the event to rank her second-best in school history, while senior Anne Threlkeld’s time of 10:48.10 ranks her fourth in school history.
     
    Other highlights included senior Sofia Hellberg-Jonsen in the 400-meter hurdles and sophomore Shari Russell in the long jump.
     
    Hellberg-Jonsen finished runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:00.63 that will rank her among the nation’s leaders after the weekend.

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    TENNESSEE PACES SEC TO VICTORY AT MSU CONFERENCE CHALLENGE
     
    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Combining for 11 first-place finishes, the Vol and Lady Vol track & field teams led the Southeastern Conference to victory in a SEC vs. Challengers format to open the outdoor campaign at Mississippi State’s Conference Challenge this weekend in Starkville, Miss.
     
    Tennessee joined forces with Ole Miss and Mississippi State to represent the league in a battle against Illinois, Purdue, Louisiana Tech and Missouri State (women only). The Lady Vols contributed to a dominating 360-217 win for the SEC women, while the Vols helped guide the SEC men to a 287-264 win at the newly-renovated Carl Maddox Track.
     
    “Overall, it was a good start for our programs,” said Director of Tennessee Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark. “The idea was to come here and get the ball rolling, and we did just that. It was a fun meet, the weather could have been better, but we had a solid start to our outdoor season.”
     
    With cool temperatures and rain consistently on the forecast, the meet moved into a rolling time format, which decreased the gap between events.
     
    “Our pole vaulters had a delay due to rain, but we finished with a lot of solid performances across the board,” Clark said. “We set multiple meet and personal records. It was a good start and we’re looking forward to building on this as the outdoor season progresses.”
     
    After senior thrower Jessie Harrison took the title in the women’s hammer throw on Friday, the Lady Vols continued their winning ways on Saturday, recording event victories in the 1,500-meter, 100m, 200m, shot put, discus and pole vault. 
     
    Senior Kelsey Kane led a 1-2 Tennessee finish in the 1,500m, crossing the line in a personal-record 4 minutes, 29.76 seconds. Junior Amber Zimmerman followed closely in career-best 4:30.74 to take second place. Kianna Ruff and Nijgia Snapp also set PRs in the event.
     
    Senior Kia Jackson picked up a win in the women’s 100m (11.81), and added a fourth-place finish in the 200m (24.58). Freshman Felicia Brown won the 200m race in 23.76 seconds. Jackson also joined the 20-foot club in the long jump, placing third with a lifetime-best leap of 20-feet, 0.5-inches (6.11m).
     
    In the field events, freshman Cassie Wertman picked up right where she left off. Wertman, who shined in the shot put during the indoor season, carded a first-place finish in the event in her first outdoor meet. Wertman notched a push of 48-11 (14.91m) to win the event. Her teammate Aslynn Halvorson finished second in the shot put with a mark of 47-6.25 (14.48m).
     
    The pair switched places in the women’s discus, as Halvorson won it with a toss of 153-10.25 (46.89m) and Wertman finished second with a mark of 143-6.75 (43.75m).
     
    Redshirt freshman Erin Champion concluded the Lady Vols’ winning ways with a victory in the women’s pole vault. Champion cleared 12-5.25 (3.79m) on her third and final attempt.
     
    The Vols recorded three event wins in field events and set two meet and facility records in the process. Sophomore Tavis Bailey – the SEC Outdoor runner-up last season – won the men’s discus with a career-best, meet record and facility record throw of 195-3.25 (59.91m). That mark is good for second-best in the UT record books all-time. The UT discus record is 202-4 (61.68m) set by Kevin Fitzpatrick in 1992.
     
    Redshirt freshman Kyle Quinn also picked up a meet and Carl Maddox Track record with a first-place performance in the javelin. Quinn recorded a personal-record mark of 218-3.5 (66.53m).
     
    Junior Chase Brannon tied for first in the men’s pole vault by clearing 16-0.75 (4.90m), while his teammate Tyler Porter placed fourth with the same mark. Brannon got the win for hitting the mark on his first attempt.
     
    The Vol 4x100-meter relay, which placed seventh at nationals last season, won the meet in 40.72 seconds. The quartet was made up of Reggie Juin, Jamol James, Jarael Nelvis and Arnez Hardnick.
     
    Matthew Hoty (58-6/17.83m) and Derek McClardy (6-4.75/1.95m) added runner-up finishes in the shot put and high jump, respectively.