NEW YORK – With a total of 55 points, the No. 15 South Carolina track and field women’s team captured third place at the Armory Collegiate Invitational. The team’s first scored meet of the season was held at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory and was dubbed the USTFCCCA’s National Meet of the Week. Senior high jumper Jeannelle Scheper was named meet MVP as she set a new meet record and stayed undefeated on the season.
Scheper, the national leader, topped a 1-2 South Carolina finish with a meet record clearance of 6’2” (1.88m). Teammate Sarah Graham set a new personal record by 2 ½” and moved into second place in school history with a clearance of 5’10” ½ (1.79m). Scheper and the redshirt sophomore stand 1-2 in the South Carolina all-time top 10. With Graham’s new mark, the Gamecocks now have two athletes in the NCAA’s top 20 in the event.
As the defending women’s 4x200-meter relay champions, the Gamecocks had a standard to live up to in today’s race. The squad of freshman Briana Haith, senior Vashti Bandy, sophomore Alexis Murphy and freshman Maya Evans went out strong, building a healthy lead. Evans held off a late change from Rutgers to capture the win by just .03 seconds. The winning time of 1:37.18, is the fourth-fastest time in meet history.
In the final event of the day, the Gamecock women captured another relay championship. The quartet of freshman Precious Holmes, sophomore Tyler Brockington, junior Tamera Harris and Haith ran the fastest time of the season for South Carolina at 3:37.79. The time puts the Gamecocks in the top 10 nationally this season.
Yesterday, Holmes and junior Erika Rucker qualified for today’s 400-meter dash championship final with times of 53.98 and 54.47, respectively. Holmes made a move with 100 meters to go in the prelims and did the same today. The freshman ran down one competitor and nearly caught the eventual winner, but ran out of room. She will take home second place. Holmes set a new PR with her time of 53.33 which is the ninth-fastest time in the country this season and second amongst freshmen.
In her first weekend in the 400 meters in 2014, Rucker placed second in her heat and fifth overall at 54.04. The time puts Rucker in the nation’s top 25.
Running against her twin sister from FIU in the same heat, freshman Mary Reiser posted her best collegiate finish. At a lifetime-best pace of 17;17.94, Reiser’s time is the sixth-best in school history and earned her fifth place. Gamecock Christine Kent also PR’d in the event.
Earlier in the day, Brockington collected a fourth-place finish in the women’s 200-meter championship section. In the final, Brockington set a new lifetime best of 24.09. In the prelims, the Gamecock registered a top-nine time of 24.32 to earn a spot in the final. Bandy and Murphy also won their heats in the prelims.
Senior Chris Royster gave the Gamecocks a second representative in the 200-meter championship finals with his time of 21.66 to get him to the finals. In the competitive field, Royster also finished fourth, clocking in at 21.60.
Up next for South Carolina is a trip to Fayetteville, Ark., for a meet against many SEC competitors at the Tyson Invitational.
Ole Miss Sets Two School Records at The Armory
NEW YORK – Ole Miss athletes knocked off another school record and recorded several more season-best marks on the final day of the 2014 Armory Collegiate Invitational Saturday from the New Balance track at the Armory.
When the elite-level meet was all said and done, Ole Miss had broken two school records (men’s distance medley relay, women’s 4x200-meter relay) and recorded some of the best marks in the nation this year.
“Overall, we took a step forward this weekend as a team,” head coach Brian O’Neal said. “One of the things we learned is that to achieve our goals we have to learn how to close out meets. That’s part of the growing process, but I’m fully confident that we can use this moving forward as we get to the championship events. Now we have to get back, rest up and get ready for another big meet next weekend in Albuquerque.”
The No. 21-ranked Ole Miss men had another solid day on the track on Saturday.
Freshman Trevor Gilley burst onto the scene by winning the college division mile run with a season-best time of 4:08.65 that ranks him ninth in school history.
In the championship mile, Robert Domanic won his section in 4:12.73, but was just seventh overall. Domanic’s section came out slow to begin the race and made it difficult for anyone to post a fast time.
Freshman dual-sport athlete Kailo Moore continued his strong college track debut in the 200 meters on Saturday. He placed seventh in the finals in 21.93, but only after racing to a fantastic 21.68 in the prelims that ranks him seventh among football players this indoor track season.
Fellow freshman Jalen Miller was one spot shy of reaching the finals after running a prelim time of 21.70.
Junior Daniel Bulmer, who helped the Rebels break the DMR school record on Friday, ran a time of 8:12.19 in the 3,000 meters on Saturday, which moved him into fifth place in the school record books. He placed eighth in the championship final.
The Rebels’ 4x400-meter relay squad of Dante Oliver, Creighton Serrette, Anthony Branch and Montez Griffin clocked a season-best 3:14.24 to finish sixth in the championship final.
On the women’s side, the Ole Miss grouping of Mary Ashton Nall, Kierra White, Erika Sisk and Kennadi Bouyer broke a 25-year-old school record in the 4x200-meter relay in 1:43.66. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of that record is that only one of those (Bouyer) is a sprint specialist. The others are a multi-eventer (Nall) and two jumpers (White and Sisk).
Sophomore Mary Alex England ran a personal-best 17:19.47 in the 5,000 meters to place fifth in the college division and ascends all the way up to No. 2 on the all-time Rebel list.
Senior Amy McCrory ran a personal best of 5:02.91 in the mile, which is good for No. 8 in school history.
The aforementioned White and Sisk both established season bests in the triple jump at 40-0.5 for White and 38-8.25 for Sisk. That ranks them No. 9 and No. 13 in school history, respectively.
Ole Miss returns to action next weekend in two different meets out west. Most of the team will travel to the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. (site of this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships) on Friday and Saturday, while some of the distance runners will compete at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash., also Friday-Saturday.
LSU Track & Field Athletes Improve in NCAA Rankings on Day 2 at Aggie Invitational
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Senior Denise Hinton and junior Vernon Norwood each cracked the Top 10 of the NCAA rankings this season with seasonal-best performances, while the Tigers and Lady Tigers took home three event titles and set 13 indoor personal bests during Saturday’s finale at the Aggie Invitational at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
Hinton cracked the nation’s Top 5 with a seasonal-best throw of 70 feet, 1 inch in the weight throw, while Norwood raced into the Top 10 with a time of 46.31 seconds in his season debut in the 400 meters to headline the top performing Tigers and Lady Tigers on the second day of competition at the site of this year’s SEC Indoor Championships.
Senior Jasmin Stowers also set a meet record in winning the 60-meter hurdles, while junior Tori Bliss won the shot put and freshman Nataliyah Friar claimed the long jump title on the women’s side on Saturday.
Their efforts helped LSU sweep runner-up spots in the final team standings on both the men’s and women’s sides as the Tigers scored 91 points and the Lady Tigers scored 96.5 points for a pair of second-place finishes behind the homestanding Texas A&M Aggies. The Aggies scored 150 points on the men’s side and 172 points on the women’s side to take the top spots in the final standings.
Rounding out the men’s teams in the event were Tennessee (88) in third place with 88 points, UCLA (59) in fourth place, Baylor (58) and Houston (58) in a tie for fifth place, UTEP (55) in seventh place, Arizona State (20) in eighth place and TCU (15) in ninth place. Following Texas A&M and LSU in the final women’s standings were Tennessee (90) in third place, Baylor (88) in fourth place, UCLA (72) in fifth place, Houston (68.5) in sixth place, UTEP (32) in seventh place, TCU (18) in eighth place and Arizona State (17) in ninth place.
“We got some things done here today that will help us in the championship meets, but there is still a lot of work to be done by both our teams,” said LSU head coach Dennis Shaver. “I continue to be very impressed by how our teams compete week in and week out. Now the performances are starting to come along with how hard we’re competing right now.
“We look forward to another opportunity to compete next weekend when we head to Arkansas for the first time this season. We’ll have a great chance to add a few more qualifying marks at the Tyson Invitational.”
Hinton entered her senior season with All-America aspirations as a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier in the women’s weight throw over the past two seasons, and she emerged from Saturday’s event among an elite company as the nation’s No. 5-ranked performer in the weight throw with one of the top marks of her collegiate career.
Hinton took an early when she uncorked a seasonal-best throw of 70-1 on her second attempt for a narrow advantage over the mark of 69-10 ¾ by Texas A&M’s Brea Garrett in the second round. Garrett then grabbed the lead with a throw of 72-9 ¼ in the third round before raising her best to a national-leading 74-4 ¼ on her sixth and final throw. Hinton finished runner-up with her best of 70-1.
A senior from Peachtree City, Ga., Hinton is the reigning SEC Indoor champion in the women’s weight throw and is poised to make her third career NCAA Championships appearance in the event this spring. She owns a school-record mark of 70-9 ¼ set last season as her top performance as a Lady Tiger.
Norwood made his long-awaited debut for the Tigers in the 400-meter dash on Saturday after joining the program as one of the top quartermilers in the junior college ranks in two seasons at South Plains College.
Running out of lane No. 6 in the first of seven heats, Norwood finished runner-up to Texas A&M All-American Aldrich Bailey, Jr. with the second-fastest indoor 400 meters of his collegiate career. Norwood took second place in the race with a season-opening time of 46.31 to finish just a split-second behind Bailey, Jr. (46.25) with the No. 7-ranked 400-meter time in the NCAA during the 2014 indoor season.
Norwood also finished just one one-hundredth outside the Top 10 of the school’s all-time rankings in the men’s 400-meter dash as he is off to a flying start to his collegiate career with the Tigers.
Two other LSU Tigers joined Norwood with impressive performances of their own in the 400-meter dash as junior Quincy Downing and sophomore Darrell Bush each clocked indoor personal bests in the event with the fastest indoor races of their careers. Downing followed Norwood across the finish line in the first heat with the third-fastest time of the day at 46.61, which moved him into a tie for the No. 17 spot in the NCAA rankings this season. Bush won the second heat with an indoor PR of his own at 47.13 to finish just outside the Top 30 of the national rankings.
While Hinton and Norwood came up just short in taking the titles in their respective events, Stowers made it a perfect 4-for-4 on her senior season by claiming her fourth-straight victory in the 60-meter hurdles.
After clocking 8.22 for the top time in the qualifying round, Stowers smashed the Aggie Invitational meet record with a winning time of 8.08 in the final to beat UTEP’s Janice Jackson (8.12) to the finish line in the final to take the top spot on the podium. Stowers eclipsed the previous meet record of 8.16 set four years ago by Texas A&M’s Natasha Ruddock during the 2010 season.
Stowers has already staked her claim as a national championship contender in the event this season as the NCAA’s No. 2-ranked sprint hurdler with an 8.01 seasonal best set at the New Mexico Invitational a week ago. He has now won the 60-meter hurdles in each of her four appearances this year, which also includes the Auburn Indoor Invitational (8.16) and Texas A&M Triangular (8.18).
Junior Joshua Thompson was also impressive with his performance in the men’s 60-meter hurdles on Saturday as he ran the fastest hurdle race in his two seasons as an LSU Tiger while finishing runner-up in the event.
Thompson clocked a seasonal best of 7.84 in the final to follow only Texas A&M’s Wayne Davis III (7.81) across the finish line while finishing on the cusp of the Top 20 nationally in the event. Thompson’s 7.84 ties him at No. 21 on the NCAA performance list this season as he nears his personal best of 7.79 set as a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012.
Bliss and Friar joined Stowers as event champions during this year’s Aggie Invitational as Bliss threw a series-best of 51-3 ¾ to win the shot put and Friar jumped a series-best of 20-1 ¾ to win the long jump.
Sophomore David Collins led a host of Tigers and Lady Tigers setting indoor personal bests during Saturday’s competition as he set a personal best in the men’s weight throw for the fourth-straight meet with a mark of 59-2 ¼ to take sixth place in the event. Collins has been perhaps the most consistent Tiger in 2014 as he has raised his personal best in each of the last four meets, including marks of 57-3 at the Auburn Invitational, 57-8 ½ at the Texas A&M Triangular and 58-1 ¼ at the New Mexico Team Invitational.
Other Tigers setting indoor PRs on Saturday include senior Shermund Allsop with his time of 21.28 for sixth place in the 200 meters and freshman Joseph St. Cyr with his time of 4:16.28 for 12th place in the mile.
Other Lady Tigers setting indoor PRs during the meet include junior Mariah Georgetown (8.41) in the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Aliyah Davis in both the 60 meters (7.64) and 200 meters (24.55) and freshmen Jada Martin (23.85) and Bealoved Brown (24.39) in the 200 meters, Travia Jones (56.72) in the 400 meters, Morgan Schuetz (2:10.39) in the 800 meters and Ashley Welborn (10:12.74) in the 3,000 meters.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers will continue their regular season next weekend when they make their annual trip to Fayetteville, Ark., to compete at the two-day Tyson Invitational being held from Feb. 14-15 at the Randal Tyson Track Center. They will then host their only home meet of the 2014 indoor season on Friday, Feb. 21, at the LSU Twilight being held at the newly-renovated Carl Maddox Field House.
Bulldog Track & Field Surges On The Track, In The Field
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Georgia track and field continued its stellar showing at the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet as the competition wrapped up in Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday.
The Bulldogs posted another series of wins and personal bests as the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships at the end of the month quickly approach.
“No question that this was the best meet we have had this year,” said Bulldog head coach Wayne Norton. “We had a lot of people in a lot of events and we came out with a flurry of personal bests and seasons bests. It already sounds like a broken record, but we did just what we needed to this weekend. I think we are on track to be exactly the type of team we can be. Since everyone competed in a variety of events, this was really a meet and a training session in one. We got a lot accomplished, this is a great stepping stone for this indoor season.”
After opening with a foul in the shot put, junior Nick Vena launched a career-long toss of 62 feet, 11 ½ inches to win by nearly a foot and a half. Vena’s previous best came at the 2013 VT Elite Meet when he won with an effort of 62-10. He bested Kentucky’s Brad Szypka, who leads the SEC and is No. 9 nationally, for the win on Saturday.
Two unattached competitors (including former Lady Bulldog Shaunae Miller, 52.34) finished ahead of her, but senior Megan Malasarte followed up her school record in the 800-meter run on Friday night with an impressive 400 on Saturday. Malasarte registered a time that ties for the 10th best in school history at 54.89.
Freshman Derrick White had the fastest finish of his young Bulldog career at 48.48 to be the second collegiate finisher (third overall) in the men’s 400.
Junior Morgann Leleux reached a season-high pole vault mark of 14-1.75 to be the second collegiate finisher (third overall). She had a second-attempt clearance that boosted her to tops in the SEC and No. 6 on the current NCAA performance list.
On the track, senior Leslie Boozer clocked the fastest time of her career in the 3000 (9:39.58) to take second. Junior Luke Baker was also the second collegiate finisher (third overall) in the men’s 3000 with a personal best 8:23.51.
Redshirt freshman Rashan Brown battled for a fifth-place finish in the 200 Invitational with her second straight personal best in the event. Brown took off for a 24.01, which improves her No. 7 time in school history
The Bulldogs went 2-3 in the men’s 200 Invitational as senior Johnathan Smith (21.40) and freshman Reggie Glover (21.56) each managed season-best times.
At the conclusion of the meet, the Bulldog men blazed to a victory in the 4x400 relay Invitational. Maurice Freeman, Jamario Calhoun, Glover and Drew Branch combined to finish in 3:10.44 for their fastest mark of the year. For the women, Brown, Quintunya Chapman, Taylor Hollingsworth and Myasia Jacobs clocked a season-best time of 3:43.75 to earn runner-up honors.
Also of note, Calhoun posted a personal-best mark of 47-10.50 to finish sixth in the triple jump. This is a nine-inch improvement from his top mark last year after Calhoun sped to a career-best time of 21.39 to take second in the 200 on Friday.
Georgia splits squads next weekend as the Bulldogs head to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Invitational and to Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic.
Full results and a recap from the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet will be found at georgiadogs.com. News and updates from Georgia track and field teams are located on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.
MSU Men And Women Finish Second At Prestigious Armory Collegiate Invitational
NEW YORK CITY – Experiencing the Big Apple in style, Mississippi State track and field carried its momentum from a successful day one to capture second-place finishes at the New Balance Armory Collegiate Invitational on Saturday.
Competing against 101 universities from across the country, the Maroon and White topped Southeastern Conference rivals Alabama, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The MSU women tallied 62 points on the weekend to finish behind No. 7 Arkansas, while the men totaled 59 points, nearly outscoring No. 4 Wisconsin (62 points).
“Our teams have been training extremely hard, and to go out there and perform they way they did was outstanding,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “This meet is one of the most well-recognized and respected competitions in the country. I’m so happy for them, because they really deserve this.”
The Bulldogs accomplishments on day two were seen across the board as they posted top performances both on and off the track.
All-American Brandon McBride clocked a 1:48.29 to win the 800-meter run, narrowly missing a meet record by five hundredths of a second.
Marcus Jackson, who won the high jump at Indoor Nationals in 2013, finished second at the New Balance Track and Field Center by clearing 7-03.75 in the event.
The MSU men’s and women’s relay teams saw a variety of Top 5 finishes as the day continued. Both Bulldog 4x800-meter relays posted second-place finishes, the women in 9:00.63 and the men in 7:33.15. Dudley’s men were only 0.03 seconds shy of first.
The men’s 4x400-meter relay clocked a third-place speed with 3:10.84, while the Lady Bulldogs claimed a fourth-place finish in the 4x200-meter relay (1:39.34).
“Our relays really executed well today, and without a disqualification in the men’s 4x200, we could’ve captured first-place overall,” Dudley said. “The handoff style we use of glancing back before grabbing the baton didn’t fit well with this track’s structure, causing us to run off the track on the first handoff. I should have studied the facility better, and this would have allowed us to alter the handoffs to better fit the layout of the track.”
This small mishap failed to slow down MSU, as freshman Rhianwedd Price posted a third-place time of 4:41.75 in the women’s one mile championship, a speed that places her third on MSU’s all-time performance list.
Triple jumper and All-American Jason Harper finished fourth in the event with a leap of 50-10.00. Lady leapers Rochelle Farquharson (41-05.75) and Ebony Brinker (41-05.25) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
Meanwhile, distance runner Cornelia Griesche saw a seventh-place finish in the college section of the women’s 3000-meter run.
After returning from New York City, the Bulldog squads will begin preparation for the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville on Feb. 21-22.
For more information on Mississippi State track and field, fans can follow the team on Twitter (@HailStateTF).
Alexis Paine Sets School Record While Winning Pole Vault
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Alabama senior pole vaulter Alexis Paine set a school record in the women's pole vault while winning the event Saturday afternoon at the Samford Multi and Invitational at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Paine's winning mark of 4.35 meters (14 feet, 3 1/4 inches) broke the previous Alabama indoor record of 4.25 meters (13-11 1/2) that she set at last year's SEC Indoor Championships in March of 2013.
Paine entered the competition at 4.00 meters (13-1 1/2), which she cleared on her first attempt, them cleared 4.10 (13-5 1/4) on her second attempt. She cleared 4.20 (13-9 1/4) on her first try, then cleared 4.30 (14-1 1/4) on her second attempt before winning the competition with a clearance at 4.35 on her first attempt.
Paine edged Kat Majester, who competed unattached and a field of more than 20 competitors. Majester cleared 4.30 (14-1 1/4) before failing to clear 4.35.
UK Track & Field’s Dezerea Bryant Reclaims 200m World Lead
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Dezerea Bryant threw down a gauntlet in the form of the fastest 200-meter performance by any woman in the world so far this season on Saturday. Bryant’s time of 22.82 capped a two-day competition in which she won two events (60m on Friday), and was named “Most Outstanding Performer” of the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet.
Bryant’s time of 22.82 was significant on multiple levels as the performance smashed her previous school-record of 23.04 set a new personal best for the two-time indoor 200m All-American (nine times in all events) and is just 0.14 seconds outside the all-time collegiate top-10 in the event. The performance makes Bryant the 15th fastest American collegian of all-time at 200m.
Each of the ten fastest indoor collegiate 200m performances of all-time came at Arkansas’ Randall Tyson Indoor Track, making the fact that Bryant’s performance came at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House, where the 200m indoor track has less steep banked turns than Arkansas all the more impressive.
“Her goals are centered around being a professional athlete,” head coach Edrick Floréal said. “If you’re going to do that you’re going to need to produce professional athletes’ times week-in, week-out. That’s kind of what she has to learn to do.
“You’re a performer, you have to put on a show. The superstars, when they compete the whole world knows about it. You can’t compete and sort of go unnoticed. The 200m showed us that she’s on that level now. That she can compete and serve notice to get herself in position where people at “The Bowerman” and people like that are making an evaluation of how good an athlete is where they have to step up and say ‘oh my goodness this is a lot better than what everyone else is doing. ‘ “
Indeed Floréal pulled Bryant aside before the day started to discuss the team’s increased expectations and the need to focus.
“I had to talk to Coach Floréal before the day started because my 60m didn’t go as I planned yesterday even though I won,” Bryant said. “I ran fast in the 200m so I was happy with the meet overall. Coach Flo’s talk helped me relax because I was really tense after my race yesterday, but after we talked I was relaxed.”
Kendra Harrison was second to Bryant in her first collegiate 200m with a time of 23.47, which makes her the third fastest indoor 200m performer in school history. Morganne Phillips was sixth with a time of 24.25, just two hundredths off her indoor best. Harrison, one of the nation’s elite hurdlers, won the 60-meter hurdles and was second in the 60m.
UK competitors and relay teams won three events on Saturday and six total over the course of the meet.
“I think Morganne (Phillips) stepped up from what she did yesterday, but I think stepping up is relative, because she’s performing pretty competitively, but what we’re trying to get accomplished in this conference is significantly different from what somebody else might think is acceptable,” Floreal said. “I think she stepped up and did better, I think Sha’Keela (Saunders) stepped up and did better. Then Keni (Harrison) running 23.47 (in the 200m) is probably a PR by like two seconds and she barely even gets a mention.
“Those are things that tell us the team is heading in the right direction. It has do be a higher standard to give the kids accolades, that means the team is getting better. I think Madison Jacobs made a huge step up, six-feet better than what she’s been doing this season. They want to get on the road, they want to get to the big meets and all that stuff is raising the bar a little bit higher.”
Chelsea Oswald won the 5,000 meters with the Southeastern Conference’s third best time this year, 16:57.92, as the 2013 SEC Outdoor 5k Champion had to run much of the race far ahead of the nearest competitor after teammate Hiruni Wijayaratne paced her in the early part of the race.
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Angelica Whaley, Morganne Phillips, Leah Nugent and Sha’Keela Saunders ended the meet for UK on a high by winning the women's invitational 4x400m relay with a time of 3:40.46, which ranks 29th nationally. Saunders finished the meet having won two events as she won the “open” 200m competition on Friday in addition to anchoring the relay.
UK’s school-record mile relay time of 3:33.35, which was recorded two weeks ago at the Rod McCravy Memorial Meet by Phillips, Bryant, Whaley and Harrison, is the fourth fastest in the country this season.
Charles Moushey raised his personal best pole vault clearance by a half-of-an-inch to 5.08m/16’8”, and he is now just three quarters of an inch away from Sheldon Riffle’s Kentucky indoor freshman record. He placed ninth in a field, which included three professionals.
Madison Jacobs made a breakout performance in the shot put with a more than a 2.5-foot PR throw: 15.18m/49'9.75", a mark which ranks 50th nationally and is the leader among SEC freshman. She won the first flight and finished second overall. Rebecca Famurewa placed eighth with a top mark of 14.38m /47’02.25”.
The Doc Hale VT Elite Meet was UK’s first true road competition of 2014, serving as chance for the team to get acclimated to traveling for meets.
“This meet was similar to the Kentucky Invitational for us, we were looking for a meet to kind of get ourselves back on the road before a big away-meet next week, the Arkansas Tyson Invitational just like the first home meet was to get ready for the McCravy,” Floréal said. “This meet was to get used to running on a banked track, a smaller, tighter track before we get to the big dance at Tyson. It served its purpose. The teams were very competitive and they gave us the test we wanted. We’re going to rest up to get our legs recovered so we can get to Tyson and get some big things done.
“I think there were some jitters and some excitement. Some of the freshmen really were excited about getting on the road. It’s different when you’re no longer at home. You see your friends, people that went to different schools so it added a whole different element of excitement for them, and that’s kind of what we’re looking for. You just don’t want them to get to Tyson and kind of lose track, lose focus so this was kind of a first step before we get to the big one at Tyson.
Brea Garrett smashes weight throw record, becomes No. 10 all-time collegian
COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M junior Brea Garrett threw some weight around inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on Saturday in front of 1,904 fans as she improved her previous school record of 68-3.75 (20.82) by six feet in winning the 20-lb. event with a massive improvement to 74-4.25 (22.66).
In addition to being the yearly collegiate leader in 2014, overtaking the previous top mark of 73-4 by Dani Bunch of Purdue, Garrett became the No. 10 collegian all-time and is No. 7 among US collegians. Her improved school record is the fourth best mark this season among professionals and collegians.
In winning both team titles at the Aggie Invitational the A&M men totaled 160 points while the women accumulated 172. LSU finished as runner-up to the Aggies in both team chases, with 99 points for the men and 96.5 for the women, while Tennessee placed third, with 92 points for the men and 90 for the women.
Following the SEC schools in the men’s field were Baylor (64), UCLA (62), Houston (60), UTEP (55), Arizona State (28) and TCU (15). Baylor was also fourth in the women’s field with 88 points ahead of UCLA (72), Houston (68.5), UTEP (32), TCU (18), and Arizona State (7).
Facing a stern test with the weight throw field in the Aggie Invitational, Garrett trailed a 70-1 mark produced by LSU’s Denise Hinton in round two. After improving her school record to 69-10.75 in the second stanza, Garrett responded in round three with an outstanding toss of 72-9.25.
The next couple of rounds included throws of 68-6 and 71-4 for Garrett while the best Hinton could respond with was 69-0.75. With the final attempt of the competition, Garrett unleashed the monster throw that moved her to the number one position among collegians this season and a place among the best to ever compete in the event.
Garrett broke the meet record of 72-2.25 (20.00) set by Chelsea Cassulo of Arizona State in 2013 just missed the facility record of 74-5.5 (22.69) set in the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships by Felisha Johnson of Indiana State.
Three seniors finished in the three places behind Garrett. Hinton placed second in the event with her 70-1 while UCLA’s Ida Storm finished third with a 64-9.25 and Baylor’s Erin Atkinson was fourth with a 63-4.25.
On the track Aggie Deon Lendore moved down to the 200 meters and promptly equaled the world leading time of 20.68 for the 2014 season to win the event over teammate and roommate Shavez Hart, who clocked 20.72 as the runner-up.
Already the world leader in 400 meters at 45.47 this season, Lendore produced the No. 5 time on the A&M all-time list with the No. 10 performance. Hart’s time is No. 7 on the Aggie all-time list. Texas A&M enjoyed a 1-2-3-4 sweep of points in the event as Michael Bryan finished third in 20.98 and Prezel Hardy, Jr. placed fourth in 21.11.
A pair of 20.68 times in the 200 have been recorded this indoor season, first by Wallace Spearmon in Fayetteville on Jan. 10 and then by Jamaican Jermaine Brown at altitude in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Jan. 24.
In the 400 meters Kamaria Brown ran a winning time of 52.73 to break the meet record of 52.79 set by Oregon’s Keisha Baker in 2010. Aggie teammate Janeil Bellille set a career best of 53.05 as runner-up, moving to No. 4 on the A&M all-time list.
Aldrich Bailey, Jr. matched his 400 time of 46.25 from a week ago as he claimed first place and equaled the No. 5 mark on the Aggie all-time list. Later in the meet Bailey anchored A&M with a 45.97 split to a 3:06.18 victory in the 4x400 relay over LSU (3:06.62), Baylor (3:09.07) and Arizona State (3:12.67).
Running the first three legs on the relay were Carlyle Roudette (46.39), Lendore (45.62), and Hector Hernandez (48.21).
The women’s 4x400 relay produced a winning time of 3:36.19 over Arizona State (3:38.17), Houston (3:38.43), LSU (3:38.57) and Baylor (3:42.69). The Aggie crew consisted of Ibukun Mayungbe (55.63), Shamier Little (54.05), Bellille (53.07) and Olivia Ekpone (53.46).
Brittany Wooten became the No. 2 performer in A&M history in the pole vault as she made it over a career best mark of 13-4.5 (4.08). Wooten needed three attempts to get over her opening height of 12-0.75 and then handled the next three heights on one attempt. She missed three tries at 13-8.5 (4.18) when she was the lone vaulter left in the competition.
Wayne Davis returned to his winning ways in the 60 hurdles as he captured the race in 7.80. In the women’s 200 Ekpone and Little went 1-2 with times of 23.67 and 23.72. Little also set a career best of 8.43 for third place in the 60 hurdles to equal the No. 10 time on the A&M all-time list.
Devion Harris cleared 6-11 to win the high jump, moving to No. 7 on the Aggie all-time list as Sam McSwain made 6-8 for third place. Harris had three attempts at 7-0.25 and nearly completed a clearance on his third attempt. Jeffrey Prothro claimed the triple jump with a leap of 49-3. Kara Erickson finished second in the women’s high jump with a 5-5.25 effort.
A 7.49 over 60 meters earned Ashton Purvis a runner-up finish while Hart overcame a bad start in the men’s 60 to run 6.68 for third. Hart’s effort moved him to No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list.
Initially Josh Hernandez placed second in the 800 with a time of 1:51.51, but a disqualification for Houston’s Drevan Anderson Kaapa for impeding gave Hernandez the victory. The race needed a second start after a wayward women’s weight throw landed on a track during the start of the 800 race and disrupted the field of runners.
Third place performances for the Aggies included Daniel Martin scoring 4,846 points in the men’s heptathlon, Casey Strong with a 63-9 in the weight throw, Cameron Villarreal clocking 8:19.84 in the 3,000, and Jordan Wilson hitting 39-9.25 in the triple jump. In the men’s weight throw Austin Cook improved his career best by a quarter of an inch to 59-9.5 for fifth place.
The women’s 800 produced a slew of personal best marks with performances that moved into the Aggie all-time top 12. Aliese Hyde ran 2:10.02 for fifth place as she matched the No. 6 performance at A&M. Katie Willard and Ashley Chamberlain finished 1-2 in the second section of the 800 with times of 2:12.48 (No. 6 at A&M) and 2:14.01 (No. 9 at A&M) to place eighth and ninth overall. Lekesha Jelks posted a 2:15.95 for 13th overall and is No. 12 on the Aggie all-time list.