COLUMBIA, Mo. – The completion of the SEC heptathlon on Friday at Audrey J. Walton Stadium had Texas A&M sophomores Jena Hemann and Annie Kunz placing fifth and eighth as the pair of Aggies combined for five points in the women’s team score. Later in the evening James Hodges placed seventh in the 10,000 meter final for a pair of A&M points on the men’s side.
Qualifying rounds in the 800m, 200m and 400 hurdles on the second day of the SEC Championships had the Aggies advancing eight to Sunday finals.
A&M senior Ameer Webb recorded a collegiate leading time of 20.30 (1.7 wind) as the top qualifier in the 200 meters, breaking the facility record of 20.46 held by another Aggie – Curtis Mitchell – from the 2010 Big 12 Championships.
Saturday’s action includes field event finals in the men’s javelin, long jump and shot put along with the women’s discus, pole vault and long jump.
The lone track final for the Aggies is the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with collegiate leader Henry Lelei and Isaac Spencer. Prelims will be contested in the 1,500m, 110H/100H, 400m, and 100m.
Men’s team scores through just three finals have Florida leading with 35 points, followed by Arkansas (25), Georgia (17), Missouri (15) and the Aggies in fifth place with seven points. Women’s team scoring through three finals has Arkansas leading with 21 points, followed by LSU (17), Georgia (16), Florida (14) and Kentucky (12). Texas A&M women are currently tied for ninth with five points.
Hemann, who scored 5,378 points in the heptathlon, had moved into fourth place after she had the top mark in the javelin with a throw of 136-4 (41.59) for 698 points. A 2:25.36 (752 pts.) in the 800 had Hemann finishing fifth overall. She started day two with a 17-0.75 (614 pts) long jump.
Kunz, who finished with 5,141 points, needed marks on her third attempts in the long jump and javelin to keep from not scoring points in either event.
After two fouls in the long jump, Kunz produced a career best mark of 18-2.5 for 715 points. In the javelin her first and second throws were flat. On the third try Kunz had a mark of 73-5 for 333 points. Then she ran 2:24.00 in the 800 for 770 points.
Hodges ran a time of 30:19.79 for seventh place, just off his career best of 30:10.10 set at the 2011 Big 12 Championships. Ryan Miller followed in 12th place with a 31:10.21. Florida freshman Jimmy Clark won the race in 29:44.54 over Arkansas junior Solomon Haile, who finished second in 29:47.90.
In the women’s 10,000 the A&M trio of Hillary Montgomery (35:10.99), Amanda Jenkins (35:35.74), and Grace Fletcher (35:39.30) placed 15th-16th-17th. All three made the Aggie all-time list at No. 7-8-9.
Webb’s previous career outdoor best was a 20.46 from the USC Invitational in 2012. He is now equal fifth on the A&M all-time list along with Ray Brooks (1978) and Brandon Evans (2000).
Prezel Hardy Jr. joins Webb in the 200 final with a wind-aided 20.85 (2.7), which ranked third fastest, while Michael Bryan missed the final by 0.006 of a second with a 21.06. Jermaine Davis ran a windy 21.50 to place 20th overall amid a field of 32.
Three A&M women made the 200 final with Kamaria Brown (23.34), Ashton Purvis (23.41) and Olivia Ekpone (23.67) ranking 3-4-8 among the eight finalists. India Daniels clocked 24.04 and Ashley Collier ran 24.08 to finish 14th and 16th overall.
Greg Coleman and Donique’ Flemings earned spots in the finals of the 400 hurdles. Coleman was an automatic qualifier as runner-up in 52.04, which was third best in qualifying, while Flemings advanced on time with her season best of 58.71 that ranked fifth best. Aikan Graham ran 53.27 and placed 10th overall in the men’s 400 hurdle field.
Hector Hernandez was the lone Aggie to reach the 800 final. He finished second in his heat with a 1:49.72 that ranked fourth overall. Joining Hernandez in the final are three runners from Georgia, but just one from Arkansas’ six entrants.
James Bonn (1:53.68) and Josh Hernandez (1:53.93) finished 24th and 26th overall among 33 entrants. Aliese Hyde ran 2:12.33 in the women’s 800 to place 15th in qualifying among a field of 24.
Jill Hydrick and Brea Garrett were unable to advance to the final three rounds of the women’s hammer final. Hydrick produced a best of 154-5 (47.06) in the third round and placed 19th while Garrett had three fouls.