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    SEC Track & Field Today: Friday, January 17

    Aggie men win distance medley relay at A&M Team Invitational

    COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M men won the distance medley relay on Friday afternoon while the Aggie women finished second in their relay race in front of a crowd of 1,319 for the Texas A&M Team Invitational.

    Stephen F. Austin won a pair of team titles in the 12-Team Invitational held on Friday. The SFA men scored 105 points to edge past the 103 turned in by Sam Houston State. The rest of the men’s top five included Louisiana-Lafayette (68.5), North Texas (65) and Texas-Pan American (52).

    In the women’s team score SFA accumulated 130 points for the victory with Sam Houston runner-up at 108 and Louisiana-Lafayette in third with 99.5. Rounding out the top five were Lamar (56) and North Texas (50).

    Saturday’s 10-Team Invitational will include the bulk of the Aggie squad competing against a field of teams that includes Abilene Christian, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Rice, SMU, TCU, Texas State, UT-Arlington and UT-San Antonio. Action begins at noon with field events, 12:30 p.m. for running prelims and 2 p.m. for the running finals.

    Isaac Spencer led off the Aggie men’s distance medley with a 3:03.38 split for the 1200m first leg, giving the Aggies an early lead. Greg Coleman split 48.50 on the 400m leg to maintain the edge for A&M. Josh Hernandez handled the 800m leg with a 1:53.40, providing a good cushion for the anchor leg.

    Alex Riba, a freshman, split 4:16.07 over the final 1600m to secure the victory in 10:01.33 over Baylor’s 10:11.79 with UT-San Antonio third in 10:13.84.

    Baylor women broke the meet record they previously held with an 11:35.49 to win the race over A&M’s 11:52.77. The Bears topped the mark of 11:50.22 they set in 2012.

    Following an opening leg of 3:38.53 by Katie Willard the Aggies were four seconds down to the Bears. Then Shamier Little flew to a sizzling split of 52.94 over the 400m leg to make up the deficit and put A&M in the lead by a couple of seconds.

    Baylor reclaimed the lead on the 800m leg with Sophie Blake (2:25.21) running for the Aggies. Grace Fletcher ran a solid anchor leg in 4:56.10 over 1600m as A&M held off the challenge from UT-San Antonio, who placed third in 12:01.69.

    A trio of Aggies ran in the men’s 5,000 meters on Friday evening. In placing 2-3-4 the A&M crew was led by Dylan Williams time of 14:55.42 behind the winning mark of 14:52.74 from Baylor’s Matt Galvin. Austin Geerts (15:14.93) and Julian Castellano (15:22.93) placed third and fourth for the Aggies.

    Jena Hemann placed 10th in the shot put (38-7.5) while Lekesha Jelks was 10th in the 400 meters (58.18). Tarik Tyler (49.93) and Brandon Kinsey (51.38) each competed in the men’s 400 while Daniel Martin contested the shot put (35-9.5).
     



    Todd Sets School Record, Dicks and Rucker Win at VT Invite

    BLACKSBURG, Va. – Facing its toughest competition of the season, South Carolina recorded 17 top-10 finishes on the first day of the Virginia Tech Invitational. Sophomore Anna Todd set a new school record and freshman Natasha Dicks, redshirt junior Drew Ricci, sophomore Jermaine Collier and junior Eric Winfrey all entered the all-time Gamecock top-10 performance list for their respective events. Dicks won the women’s triple jump and junior Erika Rucker topped the field in the 300-meter dash.

    Todd smashed the 1,000-meter school record by five seconds with her run of 2:52.84. The previous best time by a Gamecock came from Scolastica Jepngetich in 2011 at 2:57.81. In the men’s 1,000-meter run, Ricci ran the third-fastest time in school history. Clocking in at a personal-best 2:27.65, Ricci finished in third place. It was the first race of the year for both Gamecocks.

    Natasha Dicks did not disappoint in her triple jump debut. The freshman posted a mark of 41-02.50 (12.56m) to best the field by nearly a foot and a half. The jump is the fifth-best in Gamecock history and the sixth-best in the NCAA entering the weekend. Dicks is scheduled to participate in the long jump tomorrow, an event she won at last weekend’s Gamecock Open #1.

    Hitting the track for the first time this year, Rucker cruised to the 300-meter dash victory. The six-time All-American bested her competition by nearly a second.

    South Carolina flexed its muscles in the hurdles early and often, with Collier leading the way. The Gamecock ran his first-ever sub-eight-second time in the prelims at 7.97. In the finals, Collier shaved even more time off his PR, blazing to a 7.80 for second place. The time ranks fourth in the country based on times entering the weekend. It is also the ninth-fastest time in school history. Less than an hour later, Collier returned to the track to capture fourth place in the 500 meters.

    Winfrey continued to hit his stride after a strong performance at last weekend’s home meet. The sprinter ran the ninth-fastest 60-meter dash in school history with his new personal best of 6.74 to take second in the finals. The time is the 13th-fastest in the country entering the weekend. Winfrey added a second-place finish in the 300-meter dash later in the night with a time of 33.56.

    Collier was not the only success in the 60-meter hurdles. Sophomore Dondre Echols’ season-best of 7.90 got him third place in the finals and would rank him 10th in the NCAA. Freshman Jussi Kanervo finished fifth with a time of 7.99.

    On the women’s side all three competitors in the Garnet and Black set new personal bests. Sophomore Tyler Brockington and redshirt sophomore Sarah Graham posted their lifetime bests in the prelims; Brockington qualified in the top spot with an 8.57 with Graham crossing at 8.70. Freshman Mollie Williams took sixth in the preliminary round, but went on to finish second in the finals with a new personal-best 8.53.

    Two other Gamecocks were just behind Winfrey in the 60-meter dash. Senior Chris Royster matched his PR of 7.80 in the finals for fourth and junior Chris Walker ran the fastest time of his career at 6.87 in the prelims. Walker nearly matched his performance in the finals with a 6.88 for sixth place.  

    Senior All-American Vashti Bandy set a new lifetime best in the women’s 60-meter dash. Her time of 7.56 earned her fourth place.

    After collecting a win in the weight throw last weekend with the best throw of his career, redshirt junior Andrew Seay continued to build on the performance. Seay added nearly two feet to last week’s mark to post a throw of 60-04.50 (18.40m).

    Competition continues tomorrow at Rector Fieldhouse. Field events start the day at 11 a.m. with the men’s and women’s high jump. Running beings at noon with the 5,000-meter run. The Gamecocks will see their first relay action of the season in the 4x400-meter relay and the distance medley relay.
     




    UK Track & Field Sweeps DMRs at Kentucky Invitational

    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky won both the men’s and women’s distance medley relays during the first night of the Kentucky Invitational inside the Nutter Field House on Friday.

    The UK men’s team, made up of Matt Hillenbrand (1,200 meters), Clyde Gross (400m), Robert Scharold (800m) and Adam Kahleifeh (1,600m), ran a time of 9:52.06, which was nation’s fastest time this season as of Friday evening.

    The UK women’s DMR team (Cassidy Hale, Sha’Keela Saunders, Allison Peare and Chelsea Oswald) also impressed running 11:46.56 to easily win its race.

    Saturday’s action will begin at 9 a.m. with the men’s and women’s high jump, while the first running event of the day, the women’s 60-meter hurdles heats will begin at 11:30 a.m.

    Admission to the weekend’s meet is free to the public. Parking will be available in the C-6 lot adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium after 3 p.m on Friday and all day on Saturday.

    Kentucky Invitational programs, which include heat sheets, will be sold for $1 on Saturday.

    For the second consecutive season, Kentucky will broadcast the meet live on http://www.ukathletics.com/allaccess/?media=427551. The live video stream is available with a subscription. Live results will also be available at UKathletics.com

    The streaming coverage of UK’s home meets is just part of the fan-friendly atmosphere second-year head coach Edrick Floréal has brought to Lexington.

    Nutter Field House has taken on a more spectator-friendly layout for the home collegiate meets in 2014.

    The new layout includes a high definition video board within Nutter Field House, increased seating on the infield for watching field events, raised runways for jumps events and increased seating along the finish straightaway so fans can be closer to the most exciting action.

    Fans can also take in an unparalleled level of in-race analysis from meet announcer Dennis McNulty, who annually calls the NCAA Cross Country Championships in addition to other high profile events in the world of athletics.
     




    Peoples Opens Weekend with School Record

    MADISON, Wis. - The Tigers kicked off their two-meet weekend on Friday with a Missouri School Record performance from Kearsten Peoples at the Badger Open in Madison, Wi.  This is the fourth school record for the junior, who also holds the records for the indoor shot put, outdoor shot put, and discus.

    "When I was warming up, I felt really good," Peoples said. "I know I have a lot more in the tank, and I am excited for tomorrow.  Since it was a PR (personal record), I am looking forward to see what happens.  Hopefully nationals is in the future."

    Peoples threw 21.01m (68-11.25) in her final attempt of the weight throw competition to clinch the win and surpass the previous Missouri School Record of 20.79m (68-2.5), held by Elisha Hunt.  Her performance also launches her into the No. 3 spot in the national rankings, as released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

    "A terrific personal best for her, which is indicative of her investment throughout the off-season," said Head Coach Brett Halter. "The weight throw record is something she has had her eye on for a couple of years.  Now she can put it behind her and focus on chasing her technique."

    The Tigers saw ten other PR performances and six individual event wins throughout Friday's events.  Included among those was another win on the part of sophomore Chandler Dye, who opened up his first indoor season as a Tiger last weekend with a first-place finish in the mile.  He crossed the line first once again this weekend, finishing the 3,000-meter run in 8:37.90.

    Other individual wins include freshman Alex Pierce in the mile, sophomore Chelsie Stevens in the 60-meter dash, sophomore Jacqueline Obi in the 200-meter dash, freshman Emma Vickers in the 400-meter dash, and junior Morgan Whitson in the long jump.  Obi and Vickers also earned new PR's in their respective events, with Obi crossing in 25:58 for 200m and Vickers finishing the 400m in 59.75.

    A crew of freshmen walked away from the afternoon's events with a slew of PR performances, including Bailey Hession in the mile, Brian Hernan in the mile, Shannon Hall in the 3,000-meter run, Tim Johnson in the 3,000-meter run, Tom Rotondi in the 3,000-meter run, and Ahren Bohanan in the weight throw.  Junior Drake Stuedemann also improved on his 800-meter time from last weekend, finishing seventh overall.

    The Tigers will look to continue building those numbers during tomorrow's dual against Wisconsin.  Field events will begin at 10:30 a.m., and the first gun will follow at 11 a.m. at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center.

    "This is an exciting opportunity for both our men's and women's teams.  We have a great deal of respect for what Wisconsin has accomplished over the years, both recent and historically," Halter said. "On our end, we will need our younger athletes to play a significant role tomorrow for our team's success.  Our athletes have been focused throughout the fall, and have shown terrific effort daily in their training.

    Our staff's expectation of the team is that they leave everything on the track - that is our only offense in track and field.  If we give our very best effort in every event, we will have had a successful day and will have improved as a program."

    For the latest on your Tigers, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MIZ_TrackField.
     




    Tennessee Torching the Record Books Big Orange continue success at VT
            
    BLACKSBURG, Va. - Coming off a historic weekend in Birmingham, the Tennessee track and field team continued their run of scorching statistics at the Virginia Tech Invitational. The Big Orange racked up a pair of victories, two top 10 times in UT history, and 20 athlete personal bests.

    In her first time competing in the event, Alexis Panisse won the women's 1000m with a time of 2 minutes and 47.22 seconds. She was accompanied in the top 15 by teammates Amirah Johnson (6th - 2:52.41), Kelsey Kane (11th - 2:58.75), and Patavia Lowery (15th - 3:03.36).

    Freshman Felecia Majors had a strong night scoring new personal bests in the 60m and 500m races. Kianna Ruff also scored a top-five for the Lady Vols placing fifth in the 500m.

    In women's field events, Aslynn Halvorson placed sixth in the weight throw with a mark of 16.30m. ReJean Rouse joined her in the top ten with a personal best of 15.21m for ninth overall. Women's triple jump brought in a pair of top five marks. Allison Outerbridge placed second (12.13m) and Brielyn Rogers had a career mark of 11.69m to pace fourth.

    Cameron Brown set a new personal best winning the weight throw with a 20.16 meter mark, fourth longest in Tennessee track and field history. This is the second consecutive week Brown has won the weight throw. Deon McAdoo (4th - 17.02m) and Carson Frost (16.45m) also earned career bests in the weight throw. Tavis Bailey placed third with a 17.30 mark.

    The Vols took the track and dominated the 1000m with Austin Whitelaw (9th - 2:29.42), Daniel Tobin (10th - 2:29.78), Nick Kaiser (11th - 2:30.39) and Jack Little (23th - 2:38.36). All of Tennessee's times in this event were career bests for each respective athlete. Terrance Livingston and Jamol James added two more top five finishes on the evening. Livingston placed second in the 500m and James was third in 60m finals.

    Action resumes tomorrow morning with field events beginning at 11 a.m. and track events at 12:15 p.m.






    Vanderbilt duo shines in Birmingham

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Jennifer Cannon and Sarah Goodale were at their best Thursday.

    Literally.

    The two Vanderbilt representatives each set new personal records while competing in the Samford Pentathlon in Birmingham.

    Cannon, a sophomore, took third place and Goodale, a freshman, finished right behind her in fourth while competing against a field that included some of the nation's top combined-event athletes.

    "The ladies had really solid performances," said assistant coach Clark Humphreys. "The future looks bright for Vanderbilt multi-eventers. The conference championship should be an exciting one." Cannon notched 3769 points, which represented a personal best and improved her performance ranking as No. 3 on Vanderbilt's all-time list. She started off with a personal best in the 60-Hurdles at 8.57.

    Goodale, competing in her first ever indoor pentathlon, totaled 3685, which is the fourth-best performance on Vanderbilt's all-time list.

    Goodale opened with a new personal best in the 60-Hurdles at 8.98, representing the seventh-best on Vanderbilt's all-time list.