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Jacob Wooten vaults to fourth place in NCAA Championships

EUGENE – Jacob Wooten cleared an outdoor career best of 18-2 ½ (5.55) to place fourth in the pole vault in front of 9,767 spectators during the first day of the NCAA Championships held at Hayward Field.

The effort by Wooten was the best vault by an Aggie ever in the NCAA Outdoor meet and moved him to equal No. 4 on the Texas A&M all-time list. Wooten’s previous outdoor best was 17-10 ½ (5.45) that he set a year ago in the NCAA meet to tie for fifth place.

“It’s about time,” noted Wooten. “I’ve had a little bit of a rough go outdoors and I’m glad I was able to put it together at the outdoor national championships. After my third attempt clearance at 17-10 ½, I knew I really needed to clear 18-2 ½ to score some points. I was in a tie for eighth prior to that, so I was only going to get half a point.

“My wrist is fine now, but I think I’m still a little timid with it. I just have to work through those little issues. I had some good attempts at 18-4 ½, but I also had some bad ones.”

In 1982, Texas A&M’s Randy Hall set a meet record of 18-2 in winning the NCAA title. Three other Aggie vaulters have cleared 18-0 ½ in NCAA Outdoor competition. The trio includes Jon Nance (5th in 1981), Chase Wolfle (=5th in 2014) and Audie Wyatt (4th in 2015).

Wyatt placed 14th in this competition, clearing 17-4 ½ (5.30) on his second attempt and missing at 17-10 ½ (5.45).

Also scoring for the Aggies on the first day was Tahar Triki in the long jump, where a leap of 25-9 ½ (7.86) placed eighth for one point. Triki, the collegiate leader this season in the triple jump, will compete again on Friday. Placing in ninth behind Triki was Florida’s Grant Holloway with a mark of 25-8 ¼ (7.83).

Texas A&M has six points from those two events and are currently in a tie for 16th place with Kentucky and Colorado State. Georgia leads the men’s team scoring with 20 points with Mississippi State in second with 18 while Akron sits third with 16.

Nathan Hite’s first day of the decathlon produced a score of 3,724 points, which has him in 19th place through five events.

A 10.99 in the 100m scored 863 points, but a windy 20-3 ¾ (6.19) long jump only picked up 628 points. Hite rebounded with a 45-5 ¼ (13.85) shot put for 719 points and cleared 6-1 ¼ (1.86) in the high jump for 679 points. Wrapping up the first day with the 400m, Hite clocked 49.57 for 835 points.

A throw of 220-10 (67.33) placed William Petersson 13th in the javelin. Mississippi State’s Anderson Peters won the event with a meet record of 271-9 (82.82) that bettered the mark of 270-11 (82.58) set by Texas A&M’s Ioannis Kyriazis last year.

In semifinal qualifying races, a pair of Aggies advanced to Friday’s finals along with the 4×400 relay squad.

Devin Dixon finished second in first semifinal heat of NCAA 800m in 1:47.12. Dixon led the field through 200m (24.7), 400m (51.28), and 600m (1:19.1) and covered the second 400m in 55.85. Dixon finished behind UTEP’s Michael Saruni (1:46.98), who broke the collegiate record earlier this season. Bryce Hoppel of Kansas posted the top time with a 1:46.90.

Infinite Tucker was the top time qualifier for the final in the 400m hurdles with a 49.84 that placed him third in the heat and fourth best overall. Ilolo Izu finished fourth in another heat with a 50.97 that placed him 11th overall.

Dixon later anchored the Aggies 4×400 to its best time this season to post a 3:01.13 over USC’s 3:01.30 and Florida’s 3:01.61 in a loaded semifinal heat. A split of 44.45 carried Dixon from third to first as he passed the Gators’ Grant Holloway (45.35) and the Trojan’s Michael Norman (45.19) in the homestretch.

Running the first three legs for the Aggies were Bryce Deadmon (45.8), Kyree Johnson (45.2), and Ilolo Izu (45.58).

This marks the 12th consecutive appearance in the NCAA 4×400 final for the Texas A&M men. They produced the No. 11 performer on the Aggie all-time list and improved the U.S. leading time for 2018 from the 3:01.23 they ran in the NCAA West meet.

Joining those three teams in the final will be LSU (3:02.68), Arkansas (3:03.98), Stanford (3:04.82), Houston (3:06.51), and Baylor (3:06.52).

With the top five in each heat advancing to the final, Alex Riba finished seventh in the first of two semifinal heats of the 1,500m with a time of 3:50.72. He end up 19th overall after the second heat produced the two time qualifiers at 3:48.00 and 3:48.01. The fifth place time in Riba’s heat was 3:50.03.

A slow pace through the first couple of laps produced splits of 65 and 2:12 for the field Riba raced in. Riba covered the final lap in 54.22, but had too much ground to make up to reach the fifth-place finisher. Last year Riba ran 3:44.14 in the semifinal to place 14th overall.

Jace Comick placed 19th overall in the semifinal of the 100m as he clocked a windy 10.24 (2.3 wind) to finish eighth in the third semi heat. It’s the fastest time Comick has run this season under all-conditions.

Thursday’s action begins at 10 a.m. (PT) with the continuation of the decathlon for Nathan Hite while the women get into action starting at 4 p.m.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Jun 7 2018. Filed under Sports.
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