NEW YORK CITY - Texas A&M churned out solid
performances across a variety of track and field events during the opening day
of action at the Armory Collegiate Invitational. Action resumes early Saturday
morning for Aggie distance runners and field event personnel, who will be
involved in nine events from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
In qualifying events for Saturday finals the Aggie women
claimed four heat victories in the 400 meters, advancing three athletes to the finals
while the A&M men advanced a pair of sprinters. Kanika Beckles ran the
second fastest qualifying time in recording an indoor career best of 53.64,
which is No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list. The top qualifier was Melissa Caddle
of Coppin State with a 53.08.
Amanda Jenkins experienced a breakout performance for
fifth place in the women's championship division of the 5,000 meters as her 16:43.55
set a career best and places her No. 5 on Aggie all-time list. Jenkins took 34
seconds of her previous best in the event. LSU's Laura Carleton won the race in
16:11.58 over Maine's Corey Conner (16:14.19).
LaQue Moen-Davis reached a distance of 20-6.25 (6.25) in
the championship division of the long jump for sixth place. Teammate Jennifer
Madu placed 15th with a leap of 18-9.25 (5.72). Andrea Geubelle of
Kansas won the event with a 21-11.5 (6.69) leap. Moen-Davis was the top SEC
finisher in the field as she bettered LSU's Keri Emanuel , who placed seventh,
by a couple of inches.
Ashley Collier led a trio of Aggie sprinters in the final
of the women's 60 meters. Collier placed sixth with a time of 7.38 seconds
while Madu ran 7.40 for seventh and Ashton Purvis placed eighth with a 7.44. LSU's
Kimberlyn Duncan won the race in a meet record of 7.16 to top the 7.17 set by
LSU's Kelly Baptiste in 2008.
In the prelims of the women's 60 it was Madu who led the A&M
trio with a 7.39 while Purvis ran 7.42 and Collier posted a 7.43.
Prezel Hardy, Jr. qualified for the consolation final of
the men's 60 and finished second with a time of 6.75. Tennessee's Jamol James
won the race in 6.72 while Kendel Kee of South Carolina placed third in 6.76.
Wayne Davis II advanced to the consolation final of the
60 hurdles. He placed third with a time of 7.86, which ended up as fifth best
overall when including times from the championship final. In the prelims Davis
ran 7.96 for the 13th best qualifying time.
Texas A&M women's distance medley relay finished
fifth in their section of the college division race with an 11:49.53, the No. 8
time on the Aggie all-time list. Ashley Chamberlain led of the foursome with a
3:37.0 split on the opening 1200m leg. She handed the baton to Ibukun Mayungbe,
who split 54.3 on her leg.
The Aggies were in third place when Aliese Hyde received
the baton from Mayungbe and she moved into second with a 2:09.7 carry on the
800m leg. A&M only trailed Ohio State when Sophie Blake took over the
anchor leg of 1600m. Blake maintained second place for a majority of her leg,
but faded a bit in the late stages with a 5:08.5 split.
Cameron Thornton placed 11th overall in the men's
1000 meters with a time of 2:27.86, which is No. 11 on the A&M all-time
Devion Harris placed second in the college division of the
high jump as he matched his best effort while an Aggie with a clearance of
6-10.25 (2.09), which is No. 9 on the A&M all-time list.
The women's college high jump final had Jena Hemann
placing sixth with a clearance of 5-7 (1.70) while teammate Sierra Patrick
finished 13th with a clearance of 5-5 (1.65). In the college division
pole vault Brittany Wooten placed 22nd as she cleared 11-7.75
Casey Strong, who will compete in the weight throw on
Saturday, placed 20th in the shot put with a mark of 51-5.75
(15.69). Brittany Wooten placed 22nd in the women's pole vault as
she cleared 11-7.75 (3.55).
Joining Beckles in the women's 400m final on Saturday are
Kamaria Brown (54.39) and Janeil Bellille (54.48). Ibukun Mayungbe ran 54.89 to
win her heat, and her time was 14th overall.
Deon Lendore and Aldrich Bailey, Jr. advanced to the men's
400 finals with a pair of heat victories. Lendore, the current world leader
with a 45.91, cruised to a 47.07 heat victory, the fourth fastest mark in
Bailey was second at the halfway point in his race, but
rallied on the final lap and used a lean at the finish to clock 47.16 over the
47.20 by Stephon Pamilton and 47.25 for Juan Green, both Illinois sprinters.
All three advanced to the final. Bailey's time is fifth fastest from qualifying.
The top mark in the men's 400 was a 46.26 from George
Mason's David Verburg with Pitt's Brycen Spratling clocking 46.66 and Errol
Nolan of Houston posting the third best time with a 46.69.
Aggie newcomer Bralon Taplin ran in the same heat as
Verburg, but was knocked off stride at the 200m mark and was unable to recover.
He finished fourth in 52.12. Greg Coleman placed fourth in his heat with a 48.66.