COLLEGE STATION – The nationally ranked Aggies swept another pair of team titles in front of 1,512 fans at the eight team Texas A&M Invitational inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. Next up for the Aggies is the SEC Indoor Championships that A&M will host on February 27 through March 1.
The No. 3 Aggie women totaled 156 points while the No. 4 Texas A&M men amassed 219 points. Florida finished second in both team chases as the No. 4 Gator women tallied 98 and the No. 2 men scored 83.
Following in the women’s field were Clemson (89.5), No. 5 Georgia (75), Texas State (52), Rice (49), Oklahoma (41.5) and Cal State Northridge (26). The rest of the men’s field included Oklahoma (67.5), No. 22 Georgia (58), Clemson (56), Rice (42), Texas State (36.5) and Cal State Northridge (12).
“It was good to see Florida and Georgia before our conference meet,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “More importantly, though, this week was about consistency with performances from our group and having some people step up to establish themselves.”
The Aggies totaled 14 victories on the day, seven for the men and seven for the women, as they claimed both titles in six events – 400, 800, 3000, 4x400, triple jump and weight throw.
Kamaria Brown reclaimed her world leading time in the 200 as she won in 22.80 seconds with teammate Ashton Purvis in second place with a 23.26. Florida finished 3-4-5 in the event with Kyra Jefferson leading the Gator trio with a 23.31. Then A&M added finishers in 7-8-9 with Janeil Bellille (23.87), Aaliyah Brown (24.06) and India Daniels (24.11). Brown also added a runner-up finish in the 60 at 7.34.
“My main goal today was to make sure I set up my race and do a little better than when I opened up with a 22.96,” stated Brown. “I wanted to get a good 200 in before conference and I’m very happy with it.”
Brown bettered the meet record of 23.14 as well as equaled the facility record of 22.80, both of which were held by Miami’s Murielle Ahoure. The 22.80 mark by Ahoure came during the NCAA Championships in 2009.
In the 400 Aggie frosh Shamier Little posted a PR of 52.44 that bettered the meet record of 52.52 set by Jessica Beard in 2011. Little’s time moves her to No. 3 on the A&M all-time list. Teammate Olivia Ekpone finished fourth in the race with a best of 53.15 that moves her to No. 6 on the Aggie all-time list.
Little was challenged by Florida’s Robin Reynolds, who claimed second in 52.46, while Gator Ebony Eutsey finished third in 53.01.
“I really wasn’t expecting something like that coming into the meet,” said Little. “My teammates were encouraging me to do well. Once I found out I ran a 52 I was really, really shocked about it. Going into the SEC meet the pressure is definitely on, but I trust my training and my coach. I’m hopeful of being a top contender.”
Carlyle Roudette won the men’s 400 in 46.42 over Georgia’s Drew Branch (47.22), Oklahoma’s Ethan Baker (47.45) and Florida’s Nick Uruburu (47.49). A&M’s Greg Coleman placed fifth with a 48.20.
Brea Garrett produced another 70-foot mark in the weight throw as she won with a 72-8 (22.15) effort, which is the No. 3 performance on the Aggie all-time list. Garrett finished ahead of Florida’s Jayla Bostic (67-1.5) and Georgia’s Asianna Covington (61-4.75).
Casey Strong answered the challenge in the men’s weight throw, winning on his final attempt with a mark of 66-1.5 (20.15), also the No. 3 performance on the A&M all-time list. Strong passed Alex Poursanidis of Georgia (64-1.75) and Florida’s tandem of David Levin (63-2.75) and Kyle Strawn (62-10.75). Aggie Austin Cook set a personal best of 60-10 (18.54) to place seventh with Ben Skrla (58-0.5) in eighth.
A last round win was turned in by LaQue Moen-Davis as she moved ahead of Florida’s Ciarra Brewer by half an inch. Moen-Davis reached a distance of 43-11.75 (13.40) to overtake the first round mark of 43-11.25 (13.39) by Brewer.
In the men’s long jump Aggie Olabanji Asekun had the lead taken away from him by Florida’s Marquis Dendy in the final round. Dendy hit a mark of 24-7.25 (7.50) to claim the victory over a 24-6.5 (7.48) that Asekun had produced in round two. Jeffrey Prothro won a three-jumper triple jump with a mark of 47-8.5 (14.54).
Dylan Williams had the first Aggie win of the day as he set a personal best to win the 5,000 meters in 14:52.38. Later in the meet Karis Jochen cruised to a 9:45.11 victory over 3,000 meters while Isaac Spencer claimed the men’s 3,000 in 8:19.86.
The 800 meters provided some stellar marks for Aggies seeking to produce at the SEC Indoor Championships.
Aliese Hyde and Katie Willard turned in a strong finish to place first and second in the women’s race with times of 2:08.85 and 2:09.36. Hyde’s mark is the No. 3 performance at A&M while Willard knocked three seconds of her PR, moving to the No. 5 performer with the No. 6 performance on the Aggie all-time list.
The men’s 800 had Hector Hernandez winning in 1:50.51 over teammate Josh Hernandez with a 1:50.84 while Gaines Kinsey set a personal best with a 1:51.38 for third. In the second section of the 800 solid times were posted as A&M went 1-2-3 again with Brett Schmitt (1:53.22), Cameron Cardwell (1:53.63) and Tarik Tyler (1:55.09) for them to place ninth, 10th and 11th overall.
Closing out the meet with a pair of 4x400 relay victories, the Aggie women ran 3:32.91, with Clemson second in 3:40.09, while the men posted a 3:10.09 over Georgia’s 3:10.89.
The women ran with a foursome of Shamier Little (54.43), Kamaria Brown (52.59), Janeil Bellille (52.21) and Ibukun Mayungbe (53.69). The men’s crew included Greg Coleman (48.21), Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (46.50), Carlyle Roudette (46.92), and Deon Hickey (48.47).
Fast times were produced in the men’s 200 as Florida’s Dedric Dukes (20.64) and Arman Hall (20.68) won separate sections. A disqualification for Dukes eliminated his time as he did not compete in the 60 final amid a scored meet after qualifying in the 60 prelims. Hall is credited with breaking the meet record of 20.79 set by Ameer Webb in 2012.
Aggies finished 2-3-4-5 in the 200 following the Dukes dq with Shavez Hart leading the way with a 20.77. Prezel Hardy, Jr. ran 20.83 with Michael Bryan posting a 20.98 and Bailey clocking 21.09. Hart also finished second in the 60 with a 6.65 behind the 6.63 winner by Antwan Wright of Florida. Bryan finished third in 6.72 with Hardy fourth at 6.73.
A showdown in the 60 hurdles had Eddie Lovett of Florida holding a narrow edge over A&M’s Wayne Davis II with a 7.69 to 7.70 finish. Lovett broke the meet record of 7.75 set by USC’s Brendan Adams in 2011 during in the prelims with a 7.72 and then shaved a bit more off his meet record for the victory.
Cameron Villarreal placed second in the mile with a career best of 4:06.64 which left him a bit short of the win claimed by Oklahoma’s Abbabiya Simbassa (4:06.38). Villarreal’s mark is No. 8 on the Aggie all-time list.
Hillary Montgomery and Grace Fletcher improved their times in the women’s mile to place second and third behind Oklahoma’s Molly Williams (4:51.54). Montgomery ran 4:51.88, No. 3 at A&M with the No. 5 performance, while Fletcher posted a 4:52.24 9, which is No. 4 at A&M with the No. 6 performance. Ashley Chamberlain finished fifth with a PR of 4:56.89, No. 9 at A&M all-time.
Devion Harris improved his career best to 7-0.5 (2.15) as runner-up in the high jump as he challenged Clemson’s Torian Ware and Georgia’s Maurice Freeman (6-11.5). Harris, who moves to No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list, nearly cleared 7-1.75 that Ware managed for the win. Tyler Lee finished fourth with a 6-10.25 clearance.
Chase Wolfle cleared 16-9.25 for second place in the pole vault as Texas State’s Seth Arnold won with a 17-9.25 clearance. Jennifer Madu finished as runner-up in the long jump with a 19-10.25 behind the 20-5.75 winner from collegiate leader Chanice Porter of Georgia.