COLUMBIA, Mo. – Scoring 92 points on the fourth and final day of the conference meet propelled the Texas A&M women into first place as they claimed the SEC Outdoor Championship team title with a 117 point total in their first year in the conference. The Aggie men finished third with 118 points.
“This was a big meet for us,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “I think as anybody knows who follows the sport, in this conference you have to qualify well in those first couple of days to set yourself up for the final day.
“It may look like it comes down to the last couple of events, but what happens over the course of the past couple of days is what dictates a lot of what happens on the final day. This group lined up and got after it.”
In a pair of events near the end of the meet, the 200 meters and triple jump, the A&M women totaled 31 points, getting 16 points in the 200 (2-3-7) and 15 points in the triple jump (2-3-8). That gave the Aggies 112 points and the lead, by six points going into the final event – the 4x400 relay – over LSU (106), Arkansas (99) and Georgia (98).
“To score three jumpers in the triple jump at the end of the meet was big,” noted Henry. “We figured LaQue Moen-Davis would be the one to beat in the event and she jumped a long ways today. The other two ladies stepped up and scored. Jennifer Madu said before the event started she was ready to jump today.”
An Aggie fourth-place finish in the 4x400 (3:34.03) was enough to secure the team title by five points over LSU. It marks the sixth outdoor conference title for Texas A&M women in the past seven years. The Aggies won a string of five consecutive Big 12 outdoor meets from 2007 to 2011 and now have their first ever SEC crown.
Arkansas won the women’s 4x400 in 3:30.06 and the 10 points pushed them to 109 for third in team scoring. A third-place effort from LSU (3:31.94) earned eight points to reach a total of 112 for second place in team scoring.
Florida, runner-up in the 4x400 (3:31.44), placed fourth in team scoring with 106 points and were followed by Georgia (87), Missouri (49), Kentucky (46), South Carolina (41), Tennessee (38.5), Mississippi State (35), Auburn (32.5), Alabama (20), Vanderbilt (16), and Mississippi (9).
“Placing third at SEC Indoor we didn’t really like the outcome we had,” stated Kamaria Brown. “Outdoors we knew we had more individuals who could score big points. This is the first year we are in the SEC and to win the outdoor conference title is really special for us.”
The men’s title went to Arkansas with 152.5 points with Florida runner-up with 123. Following the 118 points for Texas A&M were LSU (72.5), Georgia (56), Alabama (52), Kentucky (46), Mississippi (39), Auburn (37), Missouri (37), Mississippi State (33), Tennessee (33) and South Carolina (16).
“On the men’s side we scored about what we could score,” said Henry. “But I was disappointed with the eight points we lost with the disqualification in the 400 hurdles. Greg Coleman ran a fast time for second place, and with those points we finish second in team scoring instead of third. The group competed real hard.”
Texas A&M added another five SEC champions to its collection this weekend, totaling nine over the course of the four-day meet.
Deon Lendore completed his sweep of 400 conference titles, running 45.02 to claim the SEC Outdoor title. Lendore later anchored the Aggies 4x400 with a 45.01 split as A&M won in 3:03.14.
In sweeping the indoor and outdoor conference titles in both the 400 and 4x400 relay, Lendore became the first SEC sprinter to accomplish the feat since Florida’s Jimmy Hackley in 1998. As a freshman Lendore achieved the feat in the Big 12.
“After the prelims I had a feel for the track going into the final,” said Lendore. “I executed in the final. Today the wind was much calmer, so I was happy for that. After sweeping conference titles in the Big 12 last year, I knew the best I could do in the SEC was to try and do it again. I was able to show the world I’m cable of doing this again and try to put my name out there.”
A sweep of the sprint hurdles had Wayne Davis II taking command of the 110 hurdles with a 13.46 win into a -2.1 headwind while Donique’ Flemings cruised to a 13.03 (0.5) victory in the 100 hurdles.
Both Davis and Flemings had won the same events last season in the Big 12 and they each became the first Aggies to win consecutive conference titles since 2001 when Bashir Ramzy and Christina Ohaeri achieved double wins in 2000 and 2001.
Davis topped a field that included Florida’s Eddie Lovett in second with a 13.61 while Caleb Cross of Arkansas finished third in 14.094. A&M’s Kenneth Minkah placed seventh with a 14.57.
“I’m just happy to win,” Davis noted. “I came out here trying to get a new personal best, but there was too much headwind in our race. I’m still happy with the time and it shows my potential for later this season.
“From step two out of the blocks I knew I had it. I didn’t really see Lovett, I just saw his foot on his lead leg the rest of the race. That pushed me through the rest of the race.”
Flemings defeated a pair of seniors in South Carolina’s Kierre Beckles, who ran 13.11 for second, and Ugonna Ndu of Florida, who clocked 13.14 for third. Defending champion Jasmin Stowers of LSU finished sixth 13.45 after dealing with an injury the past couple of weeks. Flemings finished sixth in the 400 hurdles with a 58.66.
“We knew we had to come here, perform well and get points for the team,” said Flemings, who came very close to her career best of 13.00. “It’s a season best and wind legal. I won in the Big 12 last year, and to switch conferences it was just a matter of being competitive against a different set of teams.
“I’ve been preparing all year and slowly progressing each week during the outdoor season. This is the meet we’ve been preparing for the whole year. To come here and run a season best time means I’ve prepared well. From start to finish I focused on my lane, finished strong and came out with a victory.”
The Aggie women won the first final on the track Sunday when the foursome of LaKeidra Stewart, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Jennifer Madu posted a 43.43 win in the 4x100 relay over LSU’s 43.81 and a 45.16 by Georgia. Florida and Arkansas didn’t finish the race.
Ricky Babineaux (46.7), Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (45.8), and Carlyle Roudette (45.62) ran the first three legs of the 4x400 and gave the lead to Lendore on his anchor leg carry. A 3:03.14 had the Aggies defeating Florida (3:04.46), Arkansas (3:04.68), Mississippi State (3:05.59), LSU (3:05.96) and Alabama (3:06.36).
Kamaria Brown supplied the Aggies with a pair of runner-up finishes against defending champions in the 400 and 200 meters.
Facing Arkansas’ Regina George first, Brown ran a 52.10 behind the 51.74 from George in the 400. Ibukun Mayungbe added four points for the Aggies by placing fifth with a 53.72.
In the 200, with LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan going for her third outdoor title, Brown challenged with a 22.58 as Duncan won in 22.35 (1.3 wind). A&M teammates Ashton Purvis finished third in 23.07 while Olivia Ekpone placed seventh with a 23.38.
“In the 400 I wanted to make sure I set up my race well,” noted Brown. “Since I faced her at Arkansas a few weeks ago I knew what to expect from her. I didn’t win the race, but I’m very happy with the effort I put forth. In the 200 I haven’t raced Kim since the indoor season. She is such a great athlete, I wanted to compete against her and produce a good time.”
LaQue Moen-Davis led the A&M scoring trio in the triple jump with a wind-aided mark of 44-9.5 (13.65) that only trailed a 45-5.75 (13.85) by Florida’s Ciarra Brewer. Moen-Davis, who won the long jump the day before, also had a wind-legal 44-9 (13.64) in her series that ranks No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list.
Madu placed third with a 42-9.5 (13.04), moving to No. 10 on the Aggie all-time list, while Jordan Wilson supplied a point in placing eighth with a 41-2.25 (12.55).
In the women’s 100 meters Madu led another Aggie trio to 16 points with a runner-up finish in 11.41 seconds behind a 11.32 by LSU’s Duncan. Purvis placed fourth in 11.50 while India Daniels ran 11.56 for sixth place.
A bid by Henry Lelei for a fifth SEC individual title this academic year came up short in the 5,000 meters. Lelei, who won the 3,000-meter steeplechase the night before, ran 13:58.02 for second place behind the 13:57.17 from Kemoy Campbell of Arkansas. Aggie Isaac Spencer, who placed third in the steeple, added a sixth place finish in the 5,000 with a 14:15.21 career best time.
Webb finished as a runner-up in the 200 meters, running 20.47 behind a 20.20 facility record by Isiah Young of Mississippi. Prezel Hardy, Jr. placed sixth with a 20.96. Earlier Webb placed sixth in the 100 with a 10.29.
The A&M men’s 4x100 ran 39.11 for third place behind LSU (38.98) and Alabama (39.08) while finishing ahead of Arkansas (39.34), Auburn (39.48) and Florida (39.53). Running for the Aggies were Webb, Bailey, Michael Bryan and Hardy.
A throw of 187-3 (57.08) placed Dalton Rowan third in the discus. LSU’s Rodney Brown won with a 203-1 (61.91) with Kentucky’s Andrew Evans second with a 194-5 (59.25).
A&M scorers for the men included Hector Hernandez running a career best 1:48.62 for fourth in the 800, Babineaux (7th, 46.91) and Roudette (8th, 47.14) in the 400, Devion Harris and Chase Wolfle each equaled seventh in the high jump (6-8.75) and pole vault (16-9.25), and Dave Brown in the triple jump (8th, 49-9).
Other scorers on the day for the Aggie women included Kendall Munoz in the javelin (5th, 145-11) and Brea Garrett in the shot put (8th, 51-1).
Greg Coleman originally placed second in the 400 hurdles with a 50.48, but was disqualified for trail leg violation.
TEXAS A&M - SEC CHAMPIONS
400: Deon Lendore, sophomore
110 Hurdles: Wayne Davis II, junior
4x400 relay: Ricky Babineaux, senior; Aldrich Bailey, Jr., freshman; Carlyle Roudette, junior; Deon Lendore, sophomore
Steeplechase: Henry Lelei, senior
Javelin: Sam Humphreys, senior
100 Hurdles: Donique’ Flemings, senior
4x100 Relay: LaKeidra Stewart, senior; Ashton Purvis, sophomore; Kamaria Brown, sophomore; Jennifer Madu, freshman
Long Jump: LaQue Moen-Davis, freshman
Discus: Shelbi Vaughan, freshman