AUSTIN – Throwing events held center stage for the Aggies on the third day of the 86th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays as Texas A&M won three events. Aggie totals for Friday included three gold, four silver and two bronze efforts at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Aggie senior Sam Humphreys claimed his third Texas Relays javelin title over a span of four years while A&M frosh Shelbi Vaughan captured titles in the discus and B division shot put. Vaughan’s discus victory is the first ever for an Aggie female in the Texas Relays and the first for Texas A&M since Randy Matson won the discus in 1967.
Runner-up efforts on Friday for the Aggies included LaQue Moen-Davis in the triple jump and Dave Brown in the men’s B division triple jump. In relay action the A&M men’s sprint medley and distance medley relays both placed second. The Aggie women finished third in the distance medley relay while the men were third in the 4x1500 relay.
Humphreys produced a winning throw of 257-9 (78.57) off a short approach and took only three of his six attempts. Teammate Devin Bogert finished fourth with a mark of 236-4 (72.04).
“It’s exciting to win three Texas Relays titles,” noted Humphreys. “I just missed winning it last year, so it’s nice to come back in my last year and win again. I’m pretty pleased with a 78 meter throw. On my first and third throw the javelin slipped out of my hand. Things happen like that during a meet, so I’m pleased with mark I had.
“This was a pretty strong tailwind for me. In practice I’ve thrown with a tailwind like this and haven’t thrown very well. It’s something you just have to deal with.”
Humphreys joins an elite group of Aggie track and field athletes who have won three Texas Relays titles in the same event. Others include Curtis Dickey, 100m Invitational (1978, 1979, 1980); Darrow Hooper, shot put and discus (1951, 1952, 1953); and Randy Matson, shot put and discus (1965, 1966, 1967).
Oregon’s Sam Crouser finished second in the competition with a 248-8 (75.80) on his final throw, moving from fourth to runner-up. Florida State freshman Morne Moolman placed third with a 242-3 (73.83).
“This is a great competitive field here and I’m sure we are going to see most of these guys here at nationals,” said Humphreys. “It helps to see how they are working early in the season and how you can prepare against them.”
Humphreys, who placed second a year ago, is just the second javelin thrower to capture three Texas Relays titles. Swedish thrower Dag Wennlund of Texas earned three consecutive titles from 1985 to 1987. It’s the sixth javelin title Texas A&M has won at the Texas Relays dating back to the first one claimed by Ty Sevin in 1994.
After winning titles in 2010 (245-9) and 2011 (251-9), Humphreys produced his best effort at the Texas Relays in his final season as a collegian. The 257-9 ranks as the No. 5 performance on the Aggie all-time. Bogert, meanwhile, came up just shy of his collegiate best of 238-5 (72.66) he set two weeks ago in Tempe, Arizona.
“It was like a tailwind and crosswind today, so it wasn’t too much in our favor,” noted Bogert. “Even with those conditions we were able to pull off some good throws. Sam and I have both been going relatively easy compared to our full out speed. From short approaches we’ve both been throwing great.”
Humphreys and Bogert will face Crouser against next weekend as the Aggies travel to Eugene for the Oregon Team Invitational with Washington and Washington State. Humphreys and Crouser finished first and second during the Olympic Trials held at Hayward Field in Eugene last summer with marks of 268-7 (81.86) and 265-1 (80.80), respectively.
“I’m definitely looking forward to facing Crouser again next week, since he likes to perform in Eugene, Oregon,” stated Humphreys.
Vaughan won the women’s discus on her first attempt, a throw of 183-9 (56.00) that topped the field by nine-plus feet. The runner-up was Kellion Knibb of Florida State with a 174-5 (53.17) while Baylor’s Skylar Dixon finished third with a 174-2 (53.08). A&M’s Jill Hydrick threw 147-2 (44.85) for 12th place.
“One difference from being in high school to college is I get to throw inside the stadium during the Texas Relays,” noted Vaughan. “Before I’ve been in the discus area outside of the stadium, so this time it was totally different winds to deal with and a different environment with a more competitive field.”
The series for Vaughan included marks of 183-9 (56.00), 176-5 (53.79), 173-11 (53.00), 169-4 (51.62), foul, and 178-11 (54.54).
“I should have been throwing the discus a little bit flatter,” said Vaughan. “Each time I was releasing it high and the wind caught it and threw it down. I try to start out with a decent throw and then improve on each round. I kind of did the opposite today.”
Earlier in the day Vaughan dominated the B division of the shot put, winning the event with a mark of 49-9.75 (15.18) that moves the Aggie frosh to No. 6 on the A&M all-time list. It’s also the first ever shot put title won by an A&M female thrower at the Texas Relays. The Aggie men have claimed 11 shot put titles at the Relays, the last being in 2004 when Ronny Jimenez won his second title.
Runner-up to Vaughan was an effort of 46-10.75 (14.29) by Janae Allen of Northwestern State. Aggie Jennifer Edwards placed seventh with a toss of 45-5.25 (13.85).
“I wish I could have competed with the A division shot put, just because it would mean having a bit more competition,” said Vaughan. “I had a really good throw today, the best I’ve had this season. So, I’m really happy about that.”
In the triple jump Moen-Davis placed second with an impressive mark of 44-2.75 (13.48), aided by a 3.4 wind. Andrea Geubelle of Kansas, the NCAA Indoor champion, won the event with a windy distance of 45-1.75 (13.76). Florida’s Ciarra Brewer finished third with a windy 43-5 (13.23).
“Going into the triple jump it wasn’t about who I was jumping against, I wasn’t thinking there is the NCAA champion,” stated Moen-Davis. “It’s about me going out and doing better or trying to put things together to get back on my feet.”
Moen-Davis held the lead when she produced her best mark in the fourth round, moving ahead of Geubelle by a quarter of an inch. Geubelle, who fouled in rounds four and five, hit her winning effort in round six.
“I didn’t know what place I was in each round, but my team was cheering me on so I knew I was doing well,” said Moen-Davis. “Not knowing was kind of good, since it kept me going and I needed to keep fighting for a longer jump.”
A time of 3:18.85 placed the Aggie sprint medley relay second to a 3:18.09 by Mississippi State while Sam Houston State finished third in 3:22.34. Running for A&M were Jermaine Davis, Ricky Babineaux, Carlyle Roudette and Josh Hernandez.
The distance medley relay turned into a duel between the Aggies and the Longhorns. Close throughout the race, Texas won in 9:40.42 with A&M second in 9:41.34. The Aggie foursome included Juan Blanco (3:00.98), Deon Lendore (44.44), Hector Hernandez (1:50.86) and Henry Lelei (4:05.06).
Lelei was in the lead on the anchor lap as Patrick McGregor sat on his shoulder. With 150m remaining Lelei was tripped by McGregor and knocked off stride. Then when they reached the homestretch McGregor managed to pull ahead and maintained a lead to the finish.
Following the race McGregor apologized to Lelei and A&M head coach Pat Henry for the tripping incident.
Brown registered a mark of 50-5.25 (15.37) for a runner-up finish in the B triple jump behind a 50-11.50 (15.53) by Jarard Bruner of Texas. The top six finishers bettered 50 feet among the field of 13.
The Aggie women’s distance medley relay consisted of Ashley Chamberlain (3:38.6), Donique’ Flemings (54.7), Aliese Hyde (2:11.1) and Sophie Blake (4:53.4). They moved from eighth to third over the course of the race, trailing only LSU (11:23.55) and Texas (11:30.78) at the finish with an 11:37.76.
A time of 15:44.28 placed the A&M men’s 4x1500 third behind Texas (15:36.86) and UCLA (15:40.78). The Aggies ran with a crew of C.J. Brown, MacLean O’Donnell, Colin Slattery and Isaac Spencer.
The women’s B triple jump featured three A&M jumpers. Haley Gooch led the trio with a mark of 39-8 (12.09) to place eighth. Jordan Wilson finished 11th with a 38-1.50 (11.62) while Melissa Mays had three fouls.
Kendall Munoz finished 10th in the women’s javelin with a throw of 141-11 (43.27) while Jean Deason placed 13th with a 124-7 (37.97). Brea Garret threw 48-6 (14.78) in the shot put for 11th place. Jonathan Turner placed 12th in the B long jump with a mark of 22-7.25 (6.89). Devion Harris cleared 6-8.75 (2.05) to place 13th in the B division of the high jump. Chelsea Utley, the defending champion in the B high jump, missed three attempts at her opening height of 5-5 (1.65).
The Aggies 4x100 relay teams each posted the top qualifying times from the morning session while the women’s 4x400 relay registered the second fastest qualifying time. Individually, A&M advanced three sprinters to the women’s 100 final while a pair of Aggies qualified for the men’s 100.
Running in the opening heat of the women’s 4 x 100 the A&M women won in a time of 44.32 with the foursome of LaKeidra Stewart, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown, and Ashley Collier.
Joining the Aggie women in the final of the sprint relay are Oregon (44.50), Texas (44.97), Kentucky (45.19), Florida (45.28), Illinois (45.31), SMU (45.43), TCU (45.65) and UCLA (45.78).
The A&M men were challenged by Baylor in the opening heat of the men’s 4x100 as the Aggies won in 39.73 with the Bears second at 40.00. Running on the A&M squad were Ameer Webb, Aldrich Bailey, Jr., Michael Bryan and Prezel Hardy, Jr.
The nine-team field for the men’s 4x100 final includes Florida (39.76), Baylor (40.00), TCU (40.02), Jackson State (40.20), LSU (40.32), Houston (40.59), Louisiana Tech (40.74) and Tennessee (40.75). Defending Texas Relays champion Auburn finished third in their heat with a 41.24.
In the women’s 4x400 the Aggies won the opening heat in 3:33.75 with a foursome that included Olivia Ekpone (54.6), Ibukun Mayungbe (52.6), LaKeidra Stewart (54.0) and Kamaria Brown (52.5).
Florida, who ran the leading qualifying time at 3:33.44, joins A&M in the final of the 4x400 along with Texas (3:34.89), Arkansas (3:36.78), Baylor (3:37.17), Illinois (3:37.30), Texas Tech (3:38.08), Clemson (3:38.39) and LSU (3:38.50). Missing out on the final were Kansas (3:38.65) and Oregon (3:39.17).
Jennifer Madu led a trio of sprinters to the finals of the 100 with a wind-aided 11.32 as she finished second to LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan (11.15). Ashley Collier posted a windy time of 11.37 to finish second in another heat while Ashton Purvis clocked a windy 11.39 to win her heat. India Daniels ran a wind-aided 11.70 to place 21st among a field of 86 entrants.
In the men’s 100 Ameer Webb rolled to a 10.18 (2.8 wind) victory while Michael Bryan posted a windy 10.34 (2.9 wind) to place third in a heat that included Auburn’s Harry Adams (10.17) and LSU’s Aaron Ernest (10.29).
While Webb and Bryan advanced to the final, Prezel Hardy, Jr. missed out as his windy 10.45 placed 13th overall. Jermaine Davis ran 10.60 to finish 33rd among the field of 64.
Donique’ Flemings advanced to the final of the women’s 100 hurdles with a 13.38 for second place in her prelim race. LaQue Moen-Davis ran a windy 13.72 for fifth in her heat of the hurdles and 19th overall. In the men’s 110 hurdles Kenneth Minkah ran 14.26 to place sixth in his heat and 16th overall in the qualifying section.