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Aggie men win Razorback Invitational by half a point over Florida

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In a track and field meet that featured 10 nationally-ranked schools, Texas A&M captured the Razorback Invitational men’s team title in defeating Florida by half a point, 88.5 to 88, while the Aggie women finished seventh with 45 points.

The Aggie men repeated the half-point advantage over the Gators they enjoyed last season in claiming the school’s first-ever NCAA Indoor team title. The rest of the men’s field included Georgia (73.5), LSU (67), Kansas State (56.5), Florida State (47.5), USC (47), Arkansas (45), Mississippi (31.5), Oklahoma State (29.5) and Iowa State (27).

Arkansas women totaled 118 points for the team title over USC (81) and Georgia (81). The rest of the women’s field included LSU (53.5), Kansas State (53), Mississippi (50), Texas A&M (45), Florida State (40), Florida (38), Iowa State (36) and Oklahoma State (8.5).

A highlight for the Aggie women came from Jazmine Fray, who generated a winning time of 2:02.30 in the invitational section of the 800 meters to claim the collegiate lead for 2018 as she produced her second fastest time indoors behind the collegiate record of 2:00.69 set last year.

“It’s still early, so I was trying the best I could,” noted Fray. “I definitely wanted to take out in the lead, because that’s when I know I’m going to do my best and control the race. That was the strategy going into the race.”

Fray put a full second on the field with runner-up Jasmine Staebler of Iowa State clocking 2:03.59 and Nikki Hitz of Arkansas finishing third in 2:05.16. Fray opened with a 29.05 on the first lap, then had a 31.33 for a 400m split of 60.38. Pulling away from the field on her third circuit, Fray used a 30.78 to split 1:31.16 at 600m. She finished off the victory with a 31.14.

“The third lap is definitely the most important lap of the 800,” added Fray. “So, I wanted to make sure I really ran that lap and did the best I could.”

Devin Dixon won the men’s invitational 800m in 1:49.95 to complete the event sweep for Texas A&M. Challenging Dixon for the victory were Jaymes Dennison of Iowa State (1:49.98) and Georgia’s Jeramey Hampton (1:50.40).

Dixon later supplied a 46.16 third leg for the Aggie 4×400 as they cruised to a 3:03.95 victory. The Texas A&M foursome included Robert Grant (46.16), Ilolo Izu (46.18), Dixon and Mylik Kerley (45.45). The performance ranks No. 2 among collegians this season, behind a 3:03.49 by Florida, and is the No. 7 performance on the Aggie all-time list.

“After our 400m races I was telling the guys on the relay you have to get that out of your mind and go to the next race,” said Kerley. “In big meets like this that is what you have to focus on. We’re still running fast. They guys put it out there for me to finish it off.”

Finishing behind Texas A&M were LSU (3:04.92) and Arkansas (3:08.37). A second Aggie crew won another section of the 4×400 in 3:09.45 with Elijah Morrow (48.11), Bryce Deadmon (47.42), Richard Rose (46.53) and Kyree Johnson (47.39).

Fray anchored the women’s 4×400 relay to a runner-up finish in 3:32.61 behind a 3:31.25 winner effort by USC. The Aggie foursome included Danyel White (53.73), Glorilisha Carter (53.09), Jarra Owens (53.73) and Fray (52.06), with the fastest split among any of the teams competing. LSU (3:34.90) and Arkansas (3:36.44) rounded out the invitational field in the 4×400.

After anchoring the Aggie distance medley relay to a victory on Friday, Alex Riba finished third in the invitational 3,000m on Saturday. Riba improved his career best by seven-plus seconds in clocking an 8:15.44 to finish a couple strides behind Oklahoma State’s Hassan Abdi (8:15.03) and Edwin Kurgat of Iowa State (8:15.06).

In the Invitational 400m, a trio of Aggies finished 4-5-6 led by a 46.24 from Mylik Kerley, who ran in the second section of the final. Ilolo Izu (46.85) and Robert Grant (47.07) were both in the first section, with Grant having to hurdle over Razorback Rhayko Schwartz, who fell after completing the first lap.

Obi Igbokwe of Arkansas won the race in a collegiate-leading 45.72 over a 46.14 from Florida’s Benjamin Vedel, who won the first section.

Will Williams finished fourth in the 60m final with a 6.78 after running the same time in the prelim. Georgia’s Cejhae Greene won the final in 6.66 ahead of Florida’s Michael Timpson (6.72) and USC’s TJ Brock (USC).

Tyler Guillory matched his career best in the 60m hurdles to place sixth in the final as he ran 7.06 to equal his No. 8 ranking on the Aggie all-time list. LSU’s Damion Thomas won the final in 7.75 over Georgia’s Michael Nicholls (7.79) and Florida’s Cory Poole (7.84).

An early session of 800m races had a pair of Aggies producing career best indoor times. Brittany Parker posted a 2:08.94, No. 6 at A&M, while Jean Jenkins ran 2:09.34, No. 8 at A&M, as they finished fourth and fifth overall.

Hannah Campbell ran a career best of 4:54.89 as runner-up in the mile, and remains at No. 12 on the Aggie all-time list. Campbell finished behind a 4:53.58 from Emma Wren of Kansas State. In the men’s mile, Taylor Clayton placed fifth with a best of 4:09.05.

Among a competitive shot put field, Gabe Oladipo placed seventh with a toss of 55-7 ¾ (16.96) as he used the spin technique instead of the glide he used in high school. Georgia’s Denzel Comenentia won the event at 65-4 ¼ (19.92). Ciynamon Stevenson placed seventh the triple jump (40-7 ¾).

The second day of the heptathlon for Nathan Hite started off with an 8.51 in the 60m hurdles for 858 points, but was followed with a no height in the pole vault at 13-1 ½. Hite ran the final event, the 1,000m, and added 767 points to his total with a 2:49.90. With 4,686 points Hite still placed fifth overall.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Jan 29 2018. Filed under Sports.
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