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Aggies sweep Big 12 titles, share high point honor

February 25, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Big 12 Indoor Team Scores:

Men: 1. Texas A&M 154; 2. Texas 133.5; 3. Oklahoma 98; 4. Kansas State 64; 5. Baylor 53; 6. Oklahoma State 52; 7. Texas Tech 48; 8. Missouri 47; 9. Iowa State 45; 10. Kansas 44.5.

Women: 1. Texas A&M 140; 2. Texas 112; 3. Kansas 101.3; 4. Tie, Baylor and Iowa State 76; 6. Texas Tech 63; 7. Kansas State 56; 8. Oklahoma 55.3; 9. Oklahoma State 31; 10. Missouri 29.3.

COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M swept the Big 12 Indoor track and field titles they hosted the event at Gilliam Indoor Stadium in front of 2,517 fans on Saturday. It was the first time for one school to claim both men's and women's titles at the indoor conference meet since 2006.

The Aggie men successfully defended their 2011 title with a total of 154 points to finish 20.5 points ahead of Texas, who was runner-up with 133.5. The A&M women scored 140 points to finish 28 ahead of the Longhorns, who had 112 as runner-up.

In addition to the team titles, the Aggies also had three athletes share in high point honors.

Kamaria Brown scored 20 points off her victory in the 200, a runner-up effort in the 400 and her leg on the second-place 4 x 400 relay. She shared high point honors with double winner Betsy Saina of Iowa State, who won the 3,000-5,000 double.

The men's high point honors was shared between Aggies Prezel Hardy, Jr. and Ameer Webb with 18 points each while Michael Preble totaled 15 to finish third in scoring.

On the weekend, which had a total of 4,656 fans inside Gilliam, Texas A&M totaled nine victories and added 13 silver medal performances and six bronze medal efforts.

"Anytime anything is the last one it will be fun to look back and know we won the last Big 12 Indoor Championship we were part of," said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. "It's a big championship for us to win.

"Tonight proved we have some talented young people coming along and we're going to be a team that can be very competitive if we continue to work hard and get better."

In winning the 200 meters with a world-leading time of 22.86 seconds, Brown matched the Big 12 meet record held by Sanya Richards of Texas (2004) and Porscha Lucas of Texas A&M (2008). Teammate Dominique Duncan placed second with a 23.14.

"It shows that my hard work has been paying off," said Brown. "I'm excited to be part of this championship effort. I can't stop smiling, I'm just so happy."

Brown improved upon the world-leading time of 22.88 set by Jamaica's Patricia Hall earlier this month. She is now No. 2 on the Aggie all-time list behind the school record of 22.83 set by Lucas.

"I executed my races very well," noted Brown. "I wanted to work on my start and hold my posture as coach always says. Coming in I didn't know what to expect, I was blessed."

As the runner-up in the 400, Brown posted a time of 52.60 that matched the NCAA automatic qualifying on the dot. She challenged Kansas winner Diamond Dixon (52.55) to the line while teammate Ibukun Mayungbe placed third overall after winning the first section in 53.79.

Brown moved to No. 3 on the A&M all-time list in the 400 behind Jessica Beard and Clora Williams.

Hardy (60) and Webb (200) each won an event and finished second in the other while teammate Michael Bryan placed fourth in both races. That combination accounted for 46 points as the Aggies scored 23 in each sprint race.

Webb lowered his collegiate leading time in the 200 to 20.62, just off the meet record of 20.58 set in 2004. Hardy followed in 21.02 while Bryan posted another PR of 21.10.

"I've been slow with my start most of the indoor season, so I wanted to do something special for the Big 12," said Webb. "I came out of the blocks a little harder, and came out with a better time.

"It just shows that track and field is a team effort and we can share an honor like this with someone I practice with every single day. We get better together, so we earn it together."

In the 60 Hardy matched his season best time of 6.66 with Webb following in 6.72 and Bryan running 6.74.

"All season long I've been saying there is no reason for us not to sweep the 60 and 200 at conference," noted Hardy, Jr. "As we have shown we have the talent and the depth. We knew Texas had some great throwers and multi-events, so we needed to do our part and get as many points on the board as possible."

"To start things off with a 1-2-4 finish in the 60 and to come back and do 1-2-4 in the 200 is a great deal. Sharing high-point honors with a teammate of mine is special since we are both on the same team. We came out here and did what we were supposed to do, put points on the board."

The points continued to flow for the Aggies in the 400, 600 yards and 800, where A&M totaled another 49 points came from 1-2 efforts in the 400 and 600 and a 3-4 finish in the 800.

Deon Lendore edged out teammate Ricky Babineaux for the 400 title with a 46.33 to 46.61 edge. In the 600 yards Preble claimed first in 1:09.07 ahead of a 1:10.16 from Ashton Young.

Joey Roberts and Oscar Ramirez led the men's 800 for three of the four laps, recording splits of 24.4, 50.4 and 1:19.0 through 600 meters. A pair of Missouri runners working in tandem challenged on the last lap with Ricky West pulling ahead for the victory in 1:47.81 while Roberts placed second in 1:47.96. Ramirez placed fourth in 1:48.88.

Sprint wins for the Aggie women included Ashley Collier matching her career best in the 60 with a 7.25 clocking as Duncan placed second in 7.40 with points added by Olivia Ekpone (7.46) and LaKeidra Stewart (7.52) in fourth and sixth place. Collier also placed fourth in the 200 (23.18) with Ekpone (23.51) in fifth place.

Between the 60, 200 and 400the Aggie women totaled 65 points.

Texas A&M capped the meet with a pair of NCAA automatic qualifiers in the 4 x 400 before they were presented with Big 12 team trophies.

For the men a tight battle with Baylor and Texas Tech on the first two legs turned into a comfortable win as the Aggies broke the meet record of 3:05.98 set by Baylor in 2004 with a 3:05.87. It was the third consecutive win for the A&M meet at the conference indoor meet.

Running on the men's 4 x 400 relay was Ricky Babineaux (46.7), Joey Roberts (46.9), Deon Lendore (46.2) and Preble (46.1).

The Aggie women finished second to Kansas in a close finish, 3:31.36 to 3:31.54. The Jayhawks claimed the meet record (3:32.85) A&M set last year and also ended a run of five consecutive wins by the Aggies in this event at the conference indoor meet.

The A&M foursome included Mayungbe (54.0), Brown (52.8), Donique' Flemings (53.1) and Ekpone (51.6).

Flemings set a career best of 8.18 seconds in the women's 60 hurdles as she challenged defending champion Tiffani McReynolds of Baylor (8.15).

In the 3,000 meters Natosha Rogers added a second silver-medal effort in another challenge with Iowa State's Betsy Saina. Like in the 5,000 on the previous night the two altered leads throughout. Rogers recorded a time of 9:14.22 while Saina had the lean for the win at 9:14.20.

Cameron Alexander cleared 6-11.5 for second place in the high jump. He later placed eighth in the triple jump as the Aggies scored 15 points with Babatune Amosu (50-2.5) and Olabanji Asekun (48-10.75) finishing second and third for A&M.

In the women's triple jump Haley Gooch placed third with a 40-0 mark while Jordan Wilson (39-2.25) finished sixth. Jena Hemann, who scored single points on Friday in the pentathlon and long jump, added five more points with a fourth-place effort in the high jump, clearing a career best 5-10.75.

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