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Kristen Clark scores first point for Aggie women at NCAA Championships

EUGENE – Kristen Clark scored the first point for the Aggie women with an eighth-place performance in the javelin at the NCAA Championship on Thursday with 9,702 in attendance at Hayward Field. In semifinal races, the Texas A&M tandem of Jazmine Frayand Sammy Watson were the top qualifiers in the 800m for Saturday’s final.

Clark’s first round throw of 173-4 (52.83) was her best of the day. She followed with a series of 164-2 (50.05), 156-7 (47.74), 168-9 (51.45), 169-11 (51.80) and 166-8 (50.81).

“It was really cool to make it here, and I feel like that was my big goal all year,” said Clark, who qualified for the NCAA Championship as a freshman in 2015. “To make finals is really exciting, because the last time I was here I got 11th. Obviously I wanted to do better, but it’s kind of hard to be upset with eighth place, scoring a point and getting a trophy.”

Teammate Maddy Stulce had three fouls in the javelin competition and wasn’t able to join Clark in the final three rounds.

“It’s a tricky situation,” noted Clark. “I like when one of does well on the first throw, then that person kind of becomes the helper and encourager. It’s tough when both of us aren’t super happy with our throws. We want to encourage each other, but we also want to figure out our own stuff. I wish so badly she could have been in the finals with me, because we for sure throw better together.”

Tyra Gittens placed ninth in the long jump with a leap of 20-11 ¼ (6.38). The mark for eighth place, the final scoring place, was 21-0 ¾ (6.42) by USC’s Madisen Richards. Georgia’s Keturah Orji won the event with a 21-10 ¾ (6.67).

Nathan Hite, who competed in the decathlon despite dealing with an injury, scored 6,518 points through nine events to place 18th. He did not finish the final event, the 1,500m.

Hite’s second day started with a 15.63 in the 110m hurdles for 775 points. He then scored 667 in the discus with a toss of 131-8 (40.14) and added 763 in the pole vault by clearing 14-9 ½ (4.51) on his third attempt. A javelin throw of 164-2 (50.05) picked up 589 points.

In semifinal qualifying races for the women on Thursday, the Aggies advanced two individuals and one of two relays to Saturday’s finals.

Jazmine Fray and Sammy Watson became the first pair of Aggie women to reach the final of the 800m at a NCAA Outdoor Championships as they finished 1-2 in the second semifinal heat. Fray led the field the whole race and won in 2:02.55, the No. 6 performance on the Texas A&M all-time list, while Watson posted a 2:02.65, the No. 7 A&M performance, as runner-up.

Fray’s splits in the race included 200m (28.5), 400 (1:00.58), and 600m (1:31.5) as she ran the second lap in 1:01.97. The 400m splits for Watson were 1:00.80 and 1:01.85. The two time qualifiers to the final came from this heat. Finishing in third place was Stanford’s Olivia Baker in 2:02.76 while Villanova’s Siofra Cleirigh Buttner placed fourth in 2:03.11.

Auto qualifiers reaching the final included Oregon’s Sabrina Southerland (2:02.96), Abike Egbeniyi of Middle Tennessee (2:03.18), Northern Arizona’s Ashley Taylor (2:05.65) and Martha Bissah of Norfolk State (2:06.17).

The 4×100 relay crew of Amber IvyDiamond SpauldingBrenessa Thompson, and Julia Madubuike placed third in the first of three semifinal heats with a time of 43.34 that advanced on time to the final. The Aggies finished behind LSU (42.09) and Florida State (43.33) while placing ahead of Alabama (43.35) in the heat.

Joining those four teams in the final were Oregon (42.95), USC (42.97), Kentucky (42.99), and Auburn (43.11).

The time by LSU, the second fastest collegiate time ever, broke the meet record of 42.36 established by Texas A&M in 2009 when the Aggies bettered the previous collegiate record of 42.50 set in 1989 by LSU.

Fray later anchored the 4×400 to a third-place effort with a time of 3:32.78 behind Oregon (3:28.01) and Kentucky (3:29.24). The last qualifier on time to the final, though, was a 3:31.02 by Ohio State.

Madubuike (53.0) led off the Aggies 4×400 with Ivy (53.0) on the second leg. Glorilisha Carter (53.11) covered the third leg with Fray (53.68) on the final lap.

Friday’s meet begins at 12:30 p.m. (PT) with the first event of the heptathlon for Tyra Gittens and Shaina Burns. The first men’s event for Texas A&M starts at 5:40 p.m. with Tahar Triki in the triple jump while the first final on the track is 6:44 p.m. with Devin Dixon in the 800m.

Texas A&M Schedule – NCAA Championships – Eugene, Oregon
(times listed in Pacific time)

Friday, June 8

12:30 p.m. Heptathlon 100m Hurdles Tyra GittensShaina Burns
  1:30 p.m. Heptathlon High Jump Tyra GittensShaina Burns
  3:30 p.m. Heptathlon Shot Put Tyra GittensShaina Burns
  5:40 p.m. Men Triple Jump FINAL Tahar Triki
  6:44 p.m. Men 800m FINAL Devin Dixon
  6:57 p.m. Men 400 Hurdles FINAL Infinite Tucker
  7:13 p.m. Heptathlon 200m Tyra GittensShaina Burns
  7:51 p.m. Men 4×400 Relay FINAL Texas A&M

Saturday, June 9

11:30 a.m. Heptathlon Long Jump Tyra GittensShaina Burns
12:45 p.m. Heptathlon Javelin Tyra GittensShaina Burns
  3:05 p.m. Women Discus FINAL Serena Brown
  3:32 p.m. Women 4×100 Relay FINAL Texas A&M
  3:40 p.m. Women Triple Jump FINAL Lajarvia BrownCiynamon Stevenson
  4:44 p.m. Women 800m FINAL Jazmine FraySammy Watson
  5:13 p.m. Heptathlon 800m

Tyra GittensShaina Burns

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

Short URL: http://wtaw.com/?p=125354

Posted by on Jun 8 2018. Filed under Sports.
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