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Aggies Threaten Their 4X400 Collegiate Record With 3:03.23

FAYETTEVILLE – Capping the two-day Razorback Invitational with the men’s 4×400 relay, the Aggies showcased their collective speed with a near collegiate record of 3:03.23 in front of 1,531 fans at the Randal Tyson Track Center.

Texas A&M set the collegiate record of 3:03.20 on its home track during the 2014 SEC Championships. On this day the 3:03.23 they produced is the second fastest collegiate time in history and the world-leading mark for 2015. It’s also the eighth fastest performance on the all-time world list and the fastest 4×400 ever recorded in the month of January.

“I’m extremely pleased with the men’s mile relay in running that fast at the end of January,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry.

“This was a meet where aimed to do a few things we felt we needed to do. Such as some double backs with a couple of people that were important to see, and we saw some things we didn’t want to see with double backs. It’s January, so we’re trying to figure those things out.”

The Aggie relay foursome consisted of Gregory Coleman (47.15), Bralon Taplin (44.79), Shavez Hart (46.18) and Deon Lendore (45.13). The competition in the race was well back with Notre Dame (3:09.90) and Purdue (3:09.97) placing second and third. LSU was an early challenger, but faded to a 3:16.69 fifth place finish.

“As the legs went by and they started calling out the splits I realized we were in a good position to run fast,” said Lendore. “So, after seeing all the guys doing the hard work I knew it was up to me to do hard work as well.

“We came close to our record, but its January so we can go back to practice and work on the finer stuff and be ready for the championship races to try to do better.”

The relay victory moved the Aggies within two points of winning the meet. Arkansas scored 85.5 points to hold off SEC foes Florida (85), Texas A&M (84), and LSU (81.5). The rest of the field included Oklahoma (70), Purdue (52), Stanford (46.5), Iowa State (43), Oklahoma State (38), Tulsa (38), Notre Dame (21.5) and Florida State (10).

In the women’s team chase the Razorbacks won with 111 points over the SEC crew of Florida (84), LSU (81), and Texas A&M (70). The remainder of the field included Iowa State (51), Stanford (48), Purdue (43), Notre Dame (43), Oklahoma (35), Oklahoma State (34), Tulsa (13) and Florida State (6).

Coleman gave the Aggies a solid lead on his opening leg carry and Taplin put the hammer down with his split of 44.79. Then Hart was able to cruise as he maintained the lead before passing the baton off to Lendore.

“I thought I was Deon Lendore out there,” Taplin quipped. “I knew Shavez had a couple of rounds in the 60 earlier in the meet, so I told him I was going to give him a gap and take the pressure off him. Before the race Coach Henry told us he wanted the number one time in the nation, so that’s what we did.”

Hart noted: “I had a good lead, so the only thing I was thinking about was to get out and hold on as fast as I could. We ended up doing pretty good and I ran fast. I wanted to help the team as best as I could.”

Earlier in the meet Coleman produced a 46.85 in the 400 meters, placing second in his section and seventh overall, while Carlyle Roudette posted a 47.64 for 12thoverall.

“All I was thinking about before the relay race was putting those guys in a good position to run fast,” said Coleman. “As soon as I heard what Taplin split I knew we were going to run fast. It would have been a better race if a couple of the other teams would have been a part of it too. It was just a great race run by this group of Aggies.”

Three rounds of action in the 60 meters had Hart and Devin Jenkins producing a 1-2 finish for A&M. Hart claimed the final in 6.71 with Jenkins runner-up with a 6.72 ahead of a 6.73 for LSU’s Tremayne Acy and a 6.79 by Florida’s Antwan Wright. After posting times of 6.55 and 6.56 in the prelim and semifinal, Oklahoma State’s John Teeters did not run in the final.

“Throughout the rounds my focus was to work on my push and focus on my finish,” said Hart. “In my first race I reacted well, in the second one I finished strong. So, in the finals I just wanted to put it all together. There’s still a whole lot more in the tank.”

An indoor best of 4:51.71 by Hillary Montgomery placed her second in the mile behind a 4:48.19 for Oklahoma State’s Anna Boyert. A&M’s Grace Fletcher finished 11th in 5:00.30.

With three laps remaining Montgomery moved into the lead after running in second place for the first half of the race. Then she shared the lead with Boyert going into the final lap. Montgomery improved on her previous best of 4:51.88 as she moved to No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list with the No. 5 performance.

Aaliyah Brown sped to a 7.31 runner-up finish in the 60 meters, trailing only a 7.29 by Florida’s Shayla Sanders while A&M teammate Jennifer Madu claimed third in 7.32. Brown just missed her career best of 7.30 that she recorded three times last season, twice at the SEC Championships and again in the prelims of the NCAA Championships.

Brown came back later in the meet to run a leg on the women’s 4×400 that posted a time of 3:38.14. Initially the Aggies placed third behind Stanford (3:36.81) and LSU (3:37.64), but the Tigers were disqualified. So A&M moved into second place with Notre Dame (3:38.17) third.

The relay crew for the Aggies included Ebony Crear (56.83), Olivia Ekpone (53.78), A. Brown (55.48) and Shamier Little (52.07). In fifth place when she received the baton Little moved A&M into the eventual second place finish on her carry, which was the fastest split in the women’s race.

“Shamier looked really good on the relay today, but she needs to have some people in front of her,” noted Henry. “We’re not real healthy and not ready to run a couple of ladies who would help out the relay.”

An indoor best of 1:49.44 placed Hector Hernandez fourth in the Invitational 800 meters while Josh Hernandez clocked 1:50.79 to place third in the first section of the event and finish ninth overall. Hector lowered his previous best of 1:49.66 and remained No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list behind a 1:49.15 best by Josh.

In an earlier section of the 800 meters, Gaines Kinsey clocked 1:51.11 as runner-up while Efrain Hernandez dominated his heat in 1:52.57 to place seventh.

Cameron Villarreal posted a time of 8:12.92, moving him to No. 12 on the A&M all-time list, as he placed third in the first section of the 3,000 meters. Florida State’s Zak Seddon won the race in 8:11.39 with Iowa State’s Brian Llamas runner-up at 8:12.68. In the women’s 3,000m Karis Jochen finished eighth in the first section with a time of 9:49.73.

Aaron Murray claimed the first section of the men’s mile with a 4:10.59 that placed him fourth overall. Alex Riba finished fourth in the second section with a 4:11.09, placing fifth overall. Ryan Teel posted a 4:13.19 that had him fourth in the first section with Murray and 10th overall.

After winning the weight throw on Friday, Brea Garrett came back to finish sixth in the shot put with a toss of 50-0 ¾ (15.26) that she produced in the sixth round. Jeffrey Protho placed sixth in the men’s triple jump with an indoor best of 50-1 ¼ (15.27). Jeff Bartlett placed seventh in the shot put with a toss of 55-1 ½ (16.80).

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Jan 31 2015. Filed under Sports.

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