AggieAthletics.com is your source for official Signing Day coverage on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Per NCAA rules, the Texas A&M Athletics Department cannot announce a signee until we have received and verified the signee's national letter of intent. Signees are not official until they are listed on this page.
|2012 Aggie Track & Field Signing Class|
|Aldrich Bailey||Sprints||Arlington, Texas||Mansfield Timberview|
|Hector Hernandez||Middle Distance||Killeen, Texas||Killeen Ellison|
|Danny Tarango||Middle Distance||El Paso, Texas||Burges|
|Cameron Thornton||Middle Distance||Atlanta, Georgia||Whitefield Academy|
|Janeil Bellille||Sprints/Hurdles||Chaguana, Trinidad & Tobago||Chaguanas North Secondary/South Plains College|
|Laura Craig||Distance||Kingwood, Texas||Kingwood|
|India Daniels||Sprints||Houston, Texas||Spring Westfield|
|Lauren Fontana||Middle Distance||Melville, New York||St. Anthony's|
|LaKesha Jelks||Middle Distance||Killeen, Texas||Killeen Shoemaker|
|Jennifer Madu||Sprints/Jumps||Murphy, Texas||Plano East|
|Daliadiz Ortiz||Javelin||Cidra, Puerto Rico||Radians|
|Sierra Patrick (VB)||High Jump||Austin, Texas||Lake Travis|
|Shelbi Vaughn (VB)||Throws||Mansfield, Texas||Mansfield Legacy|
|Brittany Wooten||Pole Vault||Tomball, Texas||Tomball|
COLLEGE STATION - A dozen athletes became Aggies on Wednesday as they signed their name to a national letter of intent and faxed the documents to Texas A&M University. The event areas covered by these athletes include sprints, middle distance, distance, jumps, and throws.
"In this class we signed some great up front talent with some people who are very, very good," noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. "Then we also signed some people who have some talents and in our environment we think they will flourish. I'm very pleased with this first signing group of this season."
Two of the 12 new A&M track and field athletes officially became Aggies this past November when high jumper Sierra Patrick and thrower Shelbi Vaughn signed with Texas A&M volleyball.
The Aggie men's class includes Aldrich Bailey, a sprinter from Mansfield Timberview, along with a pair of middle distance runners in Hector Hernandez, of Killeen Ellison, and Cameron Thornton, of Whitefield Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.
Among the nine athletes in the women's class is Janeil Bellille, a native of Trinidad & Tobago who currently competes in the 400 hurdles for South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. She ran a career best of 55.80 in 2011 and set a national junior record of 56.84 when she earned a silver medal for Trinidad in the 400 hurdles at the 2008 World Junior Championships.
"Janeil Bellille is kind of a diamond in the rough," said Henry. "Any time you run 55 seconds over the 400 hurdles you're an athlete. We think she is going to be very good, she is so talented. In addition to the hurdles she will be able to help us in both relays as well."
The women's class also includes Jennifer Madu, a sprinter and jumper from Plano East, as well as sprinter India Daniels, of Spring Westfield, a pair of middle distance runners in Lauren Fontana, of St. Anthony's in Melville, New York, and LaKesha Jelks, of Killeen Shoemaker, along with pole vaulter Brittany Wooten, of Tomball.
"We have some balance in the events we signed on the women's side, but it's a little less that way on the men's side because of the limit in scholarships we have there," stated Henry. "On a good year, you're going to have three scholarships for the men. If you have too many more scholarships than that, then you had a poor class somewhere."
Three athletes signing with Texas A&M were finalist at the IAAF World Youth Championships this past summer in Lille, France, after each won UIL State titles in Texas.
Madu won the 100-meter gold medal at World Youth with a time of 11.57 seconds. Vaughn earned a bronze medal in the discus with a toss of 172-6 after throwing a career best 176-5 in the qualifying round.
Bailey placed sixth in the 200 final after claiming double gold at the World Youth Trials in the 200 and 400. Recently, Bailey became just the second prep athlete to run under 21 seconds in the indoor 200 when he won the Arkansas Invitational in 20.99. He as a PR of 46.53 in the 400.
"Those are three excellent signees, and more importantly they are good young people," said Henry. "I think they are great talents for the United States, and not just on the collegiate level. In five years I think they will be great talents for us nationally. I'm extremely pleased with that aspect of it as well."
Thornton, who won the Georgia State mile in 2011, is the top 800-meter runner returning this season among high school athletes with his career best of 1:49.63. He reached the semifinals of the IAAF World Youth Championships where his time of 1:49.64 just missed the finals by 0.15 of a second.
Following are bios on the athletes who signed with Texas A&M track and field.
|Sprints||Arlington, Texas||Mansfield Timberview HS|
Recently claimed a double victory in the 200 and 400 meters at the Texas A&M High School Classic in January, where he recorded the sixth fastest times in prep history with marks of 21.14 and 47.05 … Lowered his 200 time to 20.99 in winning the Arkansas Invitational a week later, making him the No. 2 prep performer behind the high school record of 20.69 set by Xavier Carter (Melbourne, Florida) in 2004 … As a junior won Texas State 5A championship in 400 (46.76) after setting a personal best of 46.53 to win the Region I-5A title … Also won the District 5-5A 400 (47.34) … Matched his career best of 46.53 to win the USATF Junior Olympics title after clocking 46.63 in the prelims … Also placed fourth in the 200 (21.15w) at USATF Junior Olympics … Earned double gold at the USATF World Youth Trials in the 200 (21.09) and 400 (46.57) … In the 200, placed sixth (21.36) at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France.
|Middle Distance||Killeen, Texas||Killeen Ellison HS|
State 5A runner-up in the 800 as a junior in 2011, running a personal best of 1:51.35 … Runner-up at both District 12-5A (1:54.97) and Region II-5A (1:53.12) meets … Also finished second in district 1,600 (4:26.49) … As a sophomore, placed sixth in region after finishing second in district … In cross country, advanced to the Region II race all four years of high school.
|Middle Distance||El Paso, Texas||Burges HS|
State 4A runner-up in the 800 last May as a junior, clocking 1:52.80 in the 800 … Recorded a personal best of 1:51.09 to win the District 1-4A title and claimed the Region I-4A title with a 1:51.31 … Also won the district 400 title with a 48.95 … Won Great Southwest Classic 800 (1:52.80) this past summer in Albuquerque, New Mexico … As a sophomore in 2010, finished third in State 4A 800 (1:54.70) after placing second in district (1:54.39) and region (1:54.58) … Recorded a career best of 48.90 in the 400, placing second in the Montwood Invitational … In his freshman season in 2009, placed fourth (1:54.81) in State 4A 800 after runner-up efforts at district (1:55.39) and region (1:55.07) meets … In the 400, placed third in district as a freshman (51.39), and second as a sophomore (50.23).
|Middle Distance||Atlanta, Georgia||Whitefield Academy|
Won the Georgia 1A 1,600 meters (4:18.91) as a junior in 2011 … Also recorded a season best of 1:49.63 in the 800 in 2011, finishing second in the Georgia 1A State meet … Runner-up at USATF World Youth Trials (1:50.99) … Contested the prelims and semifinals at the IAAF World Youth Championships, held in Lille, France … Placed third (1:49.64) in his semifinal at the World Youth meet, just missing the last position in the final on time by 0.15 of a second … As a sophomore he won the Georgia 1A State title in the 800 with a 1:58.31 … Won a pair of Intermediate titles at the 2010 USATF Junior Olympics in Region 3, claiming the 800 in 1:55.47 and the 1,500 in 4:11.67 … In cross country this past fall, won the Georgia 1A State title in 15:58.68 over a 5,000-meter course, defending the title he claimed as a junior in 16:02.83.
|Sprints/Hurdles||Chaguana, Trinidad & Tobago||North Secondary/South Plains|
As a freshman with South Plains College, ran a career best of 55.80 to win the 400 hurdles at Texas Tech Open in an early April 2011 meet … Placed second in Texas Relays 400 hurdles with a 57.50 after posting the leading qualifying time with a 57.02 prelim … Also ran second leg of South Plains 4 x 400 that finished fourth (3:36.49) at the Texas Relays … Runner-up in Hampton Games, held in Trinidad, with a 56.85 … Indoors, placed third at the 2011 NJCAA Championships in the 400 (55.49) and was the runner-up in the 55 hurdles (7.79) … Also ran a windy 13.57 in the 100 hurdles to place second at UTEP Springtime meet … Silver medalist in 400 hurdles at 2010 CAC Games with 56.81 clocking … Set a national junior record for her native Trinidad & Tobago when she ran 56.84 to earn a silver medal in the 400 hurdles at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Poland.
|Distance||Kingwood, Texas||Kingwood HS|
Finished 19th in cross country State 5A Championship with an 11:47.88 clocking on the 3,200-meter course … Placed seventh in district (11:19.78) and 11th in Region II-5A (11:34.50) meets … Finished fifth in 1,600 (5:09.41) at District 14-5A … Also posted times of 2:18.88 in the 800 and 11:22.19 in the 3,200 during the 2011 season.
|Sprints||Houston, Texas||Spring Westfield HS|
2011 State 5A runner-up in the 200 and finished fourth in the 100 with times of 23.85 and 11.80 … Won Region II-5A titles (11.77 / 24.05w) in both events after winning sprint double in District 13-5A … Claimed State 5A title in the 100 as a sophomore with an 11.64 clocking and placed fourth in the 200 (24.03) … Won sprint double at Region II-5A meet with times of 11.60 and 24.09 … As a freshman in 2009, won District 13-5A sprint double and placed sixth in both events at region meet … Anchored the 4 x 100 relay that won district (46.93), placed second at region (46.91) and finished fourth at State (46.33) … Also anchored 4 x 400 (3:49.07) to a bronze medal at State.
|Middle Distance||Melville, New York||St. Anthony's HS|
Runner-up in 1,500 at CHSAA Championships with a 4:42.80 … Recorded a 1,500 best of 4:37.45 at New York State Championship meet, placing 13th … Placed third in the 1,500 at NSCHSAA Champs with a 4:41.24 … Finished seventh in the 800 at the World Youth Trials … Ran anchor leg of 4 x 800 that won NSCHSAA League title … Also anchored 4 x 800 relay to fourth-place finish at New York State Championships in 9:07.70 … Indoors, ran 1:37.87 in 600 meters to place fourth at CHSAA Intersectional.
|Middle Distance||Killeen, Texas||Killeen Shoemaker HS|
Runner-up in 800 at 2011 AAU Junior Olympics in New Orleans with a time of 2:11.84, also competed in 200 and 400 in the national meet … Recorded a best of 55.71 in the 400 to place third at Rouse Relays … Finished fifth in 400 (56.87) at 2011 Region II-5A meet … In 2010, placed seventh in 400 (57.33) at Region II-5A meet … As a freshman in 2009, finished sixth in 400 (58.27) in region final … Indoors, recently placed sixth in the 400 (57.75) at the 2012 Texas A&M High School Classic after runner 57.27 in the prelims … Won the 2012 New Balance Boise Indoor with a 57.06 in the 400 and placed fourth in the 60 (7.83).
|Sprints/Jumps||Murphy, Texas||Plano East HS|
2011 World Youth Champion in the 100 meters, running a time of 11.57 in Lille, France … Placed second in 100 at 2011 USATF Junior Olympics (11.58w) and USATF World Youth Trials (11.79) … Placed second in triple jump and third in long jump at USATF World Youth Trials with marks of 41-3 and 18-10 ¾ … Set a career best of 42-0 ¾ in winning triple jump at 2010 Great Southwest Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico … Won pair of gold medals at 2011 State 5A Championships, winning the 100 and triple jump, while earning a silver medal in the long jump and adding a sixth-place finish in the 200 … Her efforts at the State meet enabled Plano East to place fifth in team scoring with 29 points … Named Dallas Morning News girls track and field Athlete of the Year in 2011 … Won the State 5A 100-meter title in 11.63 seconds after claiming District 8-5A (11.79) and Region I-5A (11.65) crowns during her junior season in 2011 … Claimed the triple jump State gold with a windy 40-3 ¼ after producing a career best of 40-7 ¾ to win the region title as a 39-4 ¾ effort took care of the district title … In the long jump a leap of 19-2 placed second in State after a 19-4 effort captured the region title … Runner-up in 200 at district (25.08) and region (24.03) levels before a 24.34 placed sixth in the State final … Finished third at State as a junior in 2010 in the 100 (11.74) and triple jump (38-11 ¼) … Also placed third in the 100 (11.78w) and triple jump (39-9 ¾) at Texas Relays that season … As a freshman, placed fifth in the State 100 final in a windy 11.75 … Won three events at district meet – 100, 200 and triple jump – while placing second in long jump … Claimed region title in 100 (11.89).
|High Jump||Austin, Texas||Lake Travis|
Signed with Texas A&M volleyball in November … 2011 State 4A silver medalist in high jump (5-7), after winning Region IV-4A title (5-6) and District 25-4A … Also placed fourth in 300 hurdles at region meet (46.20) after placing third in district (45.80) … Ran on State finalist 4 x 200 relay (1:43.83) that placed eighth, after winning district (1:45.98) and placing second (1:44.51) at region … Member of 4 x 100 relay that placed second in district … In fall of 2011 was member of Lake Travis volleyball team that defended its State 4A championship title with a perfect 50-0 record, in which the team only lost one set the whole season … Daughter of track and field Olympians David Patrick and Sandra Farmer-Patrick.
|Javelin||Cidra, Puerto Rico||Radians HS|
Placed seventh at 2011 IAAF World Youth Championships (157-4 / 47.96) and sixth at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics (161-1 / 49.10) … Bronze medalist at 2011 Pan American Junior Championships held in Florida with a mark of 150-6 (45.88) … Silver medalist at Central American Youth Games held in Mexico … Won the under-17 Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships in 2010, setting a meet record of 137-3 (41.83) … National youth champion three consecutive years … Competing for Club Criollos in her native Puerto Rico won the javelin competition at the 2010 Caribbean Scholastic Invitational (146-4 / 44.62), bettering a four year old record set in the 16-17 year old age group by Karlee McQuillen (142-6 / 43.43) … Defended her title with a throw of (160-3 / 48.85) this past summer at the 2011 Caribbean Scholastic Invitational.
|Throws||Mansfield, Texas||Mansfield Legacy|
Signed with Texas A&M volleyball in November … Top high school discus thrower for 2011 season, also ranked No. 1 among U.S. Juniors (19-and-under) and U.S. Youth (17-and-under) divisions … Career best of 176 feet, 5 inches in discus, and 46-11 in shot put … Ranked 36th among all U.S. throwers this past season, which includes collegians and professional athletes … Ranked fourth among World list for Youth discus and 16th on World Junior list … 2011 Texas State 5A champion in discus (161-0) and USATF Junior champion (165-5) … Bronze medalist in discus at IAAF World Youth Championships in Lille, France where she produced her personal best of 176-5 in qualifying round and had a 172-6 in the final … Won gold at 2011 Pan Am Junior Championships with a toss of 174-3 in Florida … In shot put, won Region I-5A title with a mark of 46-11, and placed second at State 5A meet with a 44-11 ¼ … Finished sixth at USATF Juniors (42-8 ¾) and third at USATF World Youth Trials (45-8).
|Pole Vault||Tomball, Texas||Tomball HS|
Won State 5A title as a sophomore in 2010, clearing a personal best of 12-6 for the victory … Cleared 12-0 in placing second at Region II-5A meet as well as Great Southwest Classic … Bronze medalist in 2011 State 5A pole vault, clearing 12-0 … Won District 13-5A title (11-0) and finished second at Region II-5A (11-6) … Set a season best of 12-1 while placing eighth at 2011 Texas Relays … Also cleared 11-6 in winning the Tomball Relays … Runner-up at the 2011 Great Southwest Classic (11-5 ¾) … As a senior during the 2012 indoor season, won the Texas A&M HS Classic (11-8) and placed third at Carl Lewis