Home » Sports » World Record 4×400 as Texas A&M men place fifth, women tie for 10th at NCAA Indoor

World Record 4×400 as Texas A&M men place fifth, women tie for 10th at NCAA Indoor

COLLEGE STATION – A runner-up finish for Texas A&M in the men’s 4×400 relay produced a world record performance of 3:01.39 as the Aggie men scored 29 ½ points to place fifth in the NCAA Indoor Championships held in front of a crowd of 5,280 fans squeezed inside Gilliam Indoor Stadium.

Texas A&M women totaled 17 points in tying for 10th place at the national championship meet, which has been hosted by the Aggies the past two years.

“We’re not happy with finishing fifth on the men’s side or 10th on the women’s side, but it was great competition here this weekend,” stated Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “On the men’s side we did just about everything we could do to place fifth. The one exception came in the 800 meters with Devin Dixon, who was the SEC champion but didn’t make the finals here.

“On the women’s side we finished 10th among a very talented field of teams, but our sprint talent just doesn’t look good right now and our best quarter-miler is hurt. Our field eventers are doing just fine, and outdoors we’ll be a much better team.”

A record-shattering weekend concluded with Florida winning the men’s team title with 40 points and Georgia claiming the women’s team championship with 61 points. The NCAA Indoor Championships featured two world records, two world junior records, four American records, six collegiate records and nine championship meet records.

Finishing behind the Florida men were USC (37), Georgia (32), Virginia Tech (31), Texas A&M (29.5), Texas Tech (28), Houston (26), Auburn (24), Alabama (22), Syracuse (18) and Penn State (18). Georgia finished well ahead of the women’s field as they were followed by Arkansas (49), Kentucky (34), Florida (32), Oregon (31), LSU (29), USC (28), Stanford (24), Missouri (20), New Mexico (17) and Texas A&M (17).

Finishing off the men’s meet with a scintillating 4×400, the three fastest times ever run were generated by USC, the winner in 3:00.77, Texas A&M and Florida, third with a 3:01.43.

The Trojans lay claim to a world best, topping the world record of 3:01.77 set by Poland during the IAAF World Indoor Championships last weekend in Birmingham, England. USC will also have the title of collegiate record with the foursome of Zach Shinnick (46.24), Rai Benjamin (44.35), Ricky Morgan, Jr. (45.66) and Michael Norman (44.52).

Benjamin, who is the national record holder for Antigua, registered the world’s fastest indoor split on a 4×400 as he bettered the 44.50 set by Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore in 2013. The anchor leg by Norman matched his world record setting victory of 44.52 in the 400m.

The Aggies, with four Americans on their squad, will have the official title of world record with the 3:01.39 that was produced by Ilolo Izu (46.42), Robert Grant (44.83), Devin Dixon (45.48), and Mylik Kerley (44.51). The split by Kerley ranks as third fastest ever indoors, trailing only Benjamin and Lendore.
“A world record is when you have four of the same nationality on the same team,” noted Henry. “This is the first time USC has been in the mix lately and they’re going to stay in the mix, because they have some good young talent. They are very, very good. It’s going to be some great races over the next couple of years.”

Kerley posted his best indoor time of 45.16 as runner-up behind the world record established by Norman in the second section of the men’s 400m. Kerley finished third overall behind a 44.86 by Auburn’s Akeem Bloomfield. On the Aggie all-time list, Kerley becomes the No. 3 performer with the No. 7 performance.

Norman broke the collegiate, American and World record of 44.57 set by Florida’s Kerron Clement in 2005 at Arkansas.

“I was thinking about getting my team every inch,” said Kerley. “I wasn’t thinking about a record, I was thinking about winning for my team. It’s not always about the wins, though, sometimes it’s about the moments you create. We created a lot of moments here this weekend.

“This is probably the best meet that’s been put on indoors, ever. There were a lot of great performances here. Every team that came here performed to their abilities. I think each team will take home something they can cherish.”

Grant added: “This was a tremendous meet with the amount of world records, collegiate records and all the records that went down today. I didn’t have the meet I wanted to have since I had food poisoning this week. My individual event didn’t go like I wanted it to, but I put it together in the 4×400.

“All three teams went under the world record in the 4×400 that was just set last week. That’s when you know it’s a tremendous race.”

Sammy Watson and Jazmine Fray led the Aggie women’s charge by placing third and fifth, respectively, in the 800m. Watson clocked 2:02.65 while Fray ran 2:03.88 as Oregon’s Sabrina Southerland won the final in 2:01.55.

“I wanted to challenge myself and I know I’m capable of winning in most fields,” said Watson. “I’m very satisfied and happy that I finished the indoor season healthy and I’ve been put in this position to compete as this high level.

“This gives me a lot of goals and objectives to obtain, because I do want to win a national title. This will give me something to work for and have in the back of my head. The whole day I was in bright spirits knowing that my mom, all my teammates and my friends were out there. That was special, because even though I didn’t win they are still proud of me.”

Fray led the field with Watson in tow through 400m (58.21) and 600m (1:30.39). Southerland covered the final lap in 30.64 seconds to seal the victory while Villanova’s Siofra Cleirigh Buttner placed second in 2:02.46. Watson moves to No. 2 performer with the No. 4 performance while Fray posted the No. 7 performance.

Fray anchored the Aggie women’s 4×400 relay to a sixth-place finish as she split 52.73 and Texas A&M posted a time of 3:31.64, the 10th best performance on the Aggie all-time list. The relay squad included Danyel White (52.79), Glorilisha Carter (52.87), and Jarra Owens (53.25).

White also finished eighth in the 200m with a 23.09, as she placed fourth in the same section with overall winner Gabrielle Thomas of Harvard, who broke the collegiate record with a 22.38. The previous record of 22.40 was set in 2008 by Bianca Knight of Texas.

An improvement to 43-11 ½ (13.39) in the triple jump by Lajarvia Brown placed her seventh for a pair of Aggie points. Ciynamon Stevenson finished 12th with a leap of 42-7 (12.99). In the women’s weight throw Alison Ondrusek placed ninth with a mark of 69-5 ¼ (21.16) to miss scoring a point by a quarter of an inch.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Mar 11 2018. Filed under Sports.
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