COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M junior Brea Garrett threw some weight around inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on Saturday in front of 1,904 fans as she improved her previous school record of 68-3.75 (20.82) by six feet in winning the 20-lb. event with a massive improvement to 74-4.25 (22.66).
In addition to being the yearly collegiate leader in 2014, overtaking the previous top mark of 73-4 by Dani Bunch of Purdue, Garrett became the No. 10 collegian all-time and is No. 7 among US collegians. Her improved school record is the fourth best mark this season among professionals and collegians.
“I’m just in utter shock,” stated Garrett. “I had told coach that I was going to hit 71 today, and I did it. I just completely skipped 71 and went straight to 72 and then 74. It was like the skies the limit from here.
“I came into the meet wanting to be No. 1. The field was really stacked and each time I stepped into the ring I told myself you can be No. 1. I went out there and I did it.”
In winning both team titles at the Aggie Invitational the A&M men totaled 160 points while the women accumulated 172. LSU finished as runner-up to the Aggies in both team chases, with 99 points for the men and 96.5 for the women, while Tennessee placed third, with 92 points for the men and 90 for the women.
Following the SEC schools in the men’s field were Baylor (64), UCLA (62), Houston (60), UTEP (55), Arizona State (28) and TCU (15). Baylor was also fourth in the women’s field with 88 points ahead of UCLA (72), Houston (68.5), UTEP (32), TCU (18), and Arizona State (7).
Facing a stern test with the weight throw field in the Aggie Invitational, Garrett trailed a 70-1 mark produced by LSU’s Denise Hinton in round two. After improving her school record to 69-10.75 in the second stanza, Garrett responded in round three with an outstanding toss of 72-9.25.
The next couple of rounds included throws of 68-6 and 71-4 for Garrett while the best Hinton could respond with was 69-0.75.
With the final attempt of the competition, Garrett unleashed the monster throw that moved her to the number one position among collegians this season and a place among the best to ever compete in the event.
“I didn’t even think the last throw was 74 feet,” explained Garrett. “I knew it was a good mark, but I thought it was 72 again. When I turned around and saw 74 on the board I didn’t expect that. Then I thought, oh wow, I’m No. 1. It all kind of hit me at once.”
Garrett broke the meet record of 72-2.25 (20.00) set by Chelsea Cassulo of Arizona State in 2013 just missed the facility record of 74-5.5 (22.69) set in the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships by Felisha Johnson of Indiana State.
“Actually I did no throws this week in practice,” noted Garrett. “I didn’t touch an implement. I just worked on my explosiveness with my legs doing a bunch of jumps. I wanted my legs to be ready to hit a big mark. It really paid off, I’m just so excited. It’s a blessing to continually be able to throw a PR after PR.”
Three seniors finished in the three places behind Garrett. Hinton placed second in the event with her 70-1 while UCLA’s Ida Storm finished third with a 64-9.25 and Baylor’s Erin Atkinson was fourth with a 63-4.25.
On the track Aggie Deon Lendore moved down to the 200 meters and promptly equaled the world leading time of 20.68 for the 2014 season to win the event over teammate and roommate Shavez Hart, who clocked 20.72 as the runner-up.
Already the world leader in 400 meters at 45.47 this season, Lendore produced the No. 5 time on the A&M all-time list with the No. 10 performance. Hart’s time is No. 7 on the Aggie all-time list. Texas A&M enjoyed a 1-2-3-4 sweep of points in the event as Michael Bryan finished third in 20.98 and Prezel Hardy, Jr. placed fourth in 21.11.
“Coming out in the 200 I wanted to test myself and see what’s my best and what’s my limit to help me in the 400,” said Lendore. “I wanted to know what’s the fastest I can go so I could measure it and do something better with my 400, especially in the first lap.
“I came out here today to have fun and having Shavez in the race with me it was kind of fun since we are roommates. He ran a PR and I equaled the world leader. It was amazing.”
A pair of 20.68 times in the 200 have been recorded this indoor season, first by Wallace Spearmon in Fayetteville on Jan. 10 and then by Jamaican Jermaine Brown at altitude in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Jan. 24.
In the 400 meters Kamaria Brown ran a winning time of 52.73 to break the meet record of 52.79 set by Oregon’s Keisha Baker in 2010. Aggie teammate Janeil Bellille set a career best of 53.05 as runner-up, moving to No. 4 on the A&M all-time list.
Aldrich Bailey, Jr. matched his 400 time of 46.25 from a week ago as he claimed first place and equaled the No. 5 mark on the Aggie all-time list. Later in the meet Bailey anchored A&M with a 45.97 split to a 3:06.18 victory in the 4x400 relay over LSU (3:06.62), Baylor (3:09.07) and Arizona State (3:12.67).
Running the first three legs on the relay were Carlyle Roudette (46.39), Lendore (45.62), and Hector Hernandez (48.21).
The women’s 4x400 relay produced a winning time of 3:36.19 over Arizona State (3:38.17), Houston (3:38.43), LSU (3:38.57) and Baylor (3:42.69). The Aggie crew consisted of Ibukun Mayungbe (55.63), Shamier Little (54.05), Bellille (53.07) and Olivia Ekpone (53.46).
Brittany Wooten became the No. 2 performer in A&M history in the pole vault as she made it over a career best mark of 13-4.5 (4.08). Wooten needed three attempts to get over her opening height of 12-0.75 and then handled the next three heights on one attempt. She missed three tries at 13-8.5 (4.18) when she was the lone vaulter left in the competition.
Wayne Davis returned to his winning ways in the 60 hurdles as he captured the race in 7.80. In the women’s 200 Ekpone and Little went 1-2 with times of 23.67 and 23.72. Little also set a career best of 8.43 for third place in the 60 hurdles to equal the No. 10 time on the A&M all-time list.
Devion Harris cleared 6-11 to win the high jump, moving to No. 7 on the Aggie all-time list as Sam McSwain made 6-8 for third place. Harris had three attempts at 7-0.25 and nearly completed a clearance on his third attempt. Jeffrey Prothro claimed the triple jump with a leap of 49-3. Kara Erickson finished second in the women’s high jump with a 5-5.25 effort.
A 7.49 over 60 meters earned Ashton Purvis a runner-up finish while Hart overcame a bad start in the men’s 60 to run 6.68 for third. Hart’s effort moved him to No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list.
Initially Josh Hernandez placed second in the 800 with a time of 1:51.51, but a disqualification for Houston’s Drevan Anderson Kaapa for impeding gave Hernandez the victory. The race needed a second start after a wayward women’s weight throw landed on a track during the start of the 800 race and disrupted the field of runners.
Third place performances for the Aggies included Daniel Martin scoring 4,846 points in the men’s heptathlon, Casey Strong with a 63-9 in the weight throw, Cameron Villarreal clocking 8:19.84 in the 3,000, and Jordan Wilson hitting 39-9.25 in the triple jump. In the men’s weight throw Austin Cook improved his career best by a quarter of an inch to 59-9.5 for fifth place.
The women’s 800 produced a slew of personal best marks with performances that moved into the Aggie all-time top 12. Aliese Hyde ran 2:10.02 for fifth place as she matched the No. 6 performance at A&M. Katie Willard and Ashley Chamberlain finished 1-2 in the second section of the 800 with times of 2:12.48 (No. 6 at A&M) and 2:14.01 (No. 9 at A&M) to place eighth and ninth overall. Lekesha Jelks posted a 2:15.95 for 13th overall and is No. 12 on the Aggie all-time list.