Home » Sports » Nathan Hite wins Texas Relays decathlon with career best score

Nathan Hite wins Texas Relays decathlon with career best score

(Source: Errol Anderson/Texas A&M Athletics)

AUSTIN – Texas A&M senior Nathan Hite became just the second Aggie to ever win the decathlon at the 92nd Texas Relays on Thursday, turning a five-point deficit heading into the final event into a 113-point margin of victory as he produced a collegiate-leading score of 7,774 points.

The career best score moves Hite to the No. 3 performer on the A&M all-time list, trailing only the 8,539 collegiate record set by Lindon Victor, the 2017 Texas Relays champion, and a score of 7,931 by Ricky Barker in 1991.

“This means the world to me,” stated Hite. “This is my senior year and to have a decathlon like this is something I’ll never forget.”

After nine events of the decathlon, Gabe Moore of Arkansas led Hite by five points, 7,123 to 7,118. The last event was the 1,500m. Moore came into the meet with a best of 4:47.65 while Hite had a best of 4:49.75.

Hite’s plan was to stick with Moore and then kick with 200m left and it worked to perfection. Hite even produced a career best time of 4:43.87 for 656 points to finish second overall in the race. Moore faded to a time of 5:03.72 for 538 points, placing 12th in the race.

“Going into the 1,500 there was a five point difference with Gabe Moore and I,” said Hite, who was seventh in the Texas Relays decathlon a year ago. “That is a little less than a second in the 1,500, so the race plan was to stick on his back until 200m to go. Then I was going to kick and give it everything I had. That’s what I did, and thank God it was enough.”

The second day of the decathlon started with Hite running 14.91 (1.8 wind) in the 110m hurdles for 860 points. A throw of 140-11 (42.96) in the discus was second best among the field and earned 725 points. Vaulting 15-5 (4.70) added 819 points and moved Hite into the overall lead with 6,459 points over 6,397 for Moore.

In the javelin, event number nine, Moore reclaimed a slim lead with a toss of 194-2 (59.19) for 726 points while Hite hit a mark of 179-7 (54.74) for 659 points.

“The first day was solid and only 28 points off my first day PR,” noted Hite. “I knew going into day two I had some ground to make up in the hurdles and especially in the pole vault. The discus was solid too. All around, I was excited for the day two events.”

Finishing behind Hite and Moore in third place was Charlie Card-Childers of Rice (7,529) while Paris Williams of Kennesaw State (7,405) finished fourth.

Tyra Gittens was unable to complete the heptathlon after leading the first day with a score of 3,709 points, which included a collegiate-leading 6-1 ½ (1.87) high jump.

“Definitely was disappointed and frustrated about the injury,” said Gittens. “But, if anything, this meet overall taught me that when I’m 100 percent back I’m going to be unstoppable. I like to think of this meet as a preview for the rest of the season. My head is still high and my confidence is still really strong.”

Ilolo Izu, the defending Texas Relays 400m hurdles champion, led qualifying for the final with a time of 50.25 while DeWitt Thomas posted a career best of 51.39 in running the fifth-best qualifying time. Infinite Tucker (52.36) and Tyler Hart (53.04) each finished fourth in their respective prelim heat.

Hannah Campbell picked up the Aggies second win of the day in claiming the B division of the 1,500m in 4:34.96 over a 4:35.85 by Claudine Blancaflor of Texas.

Blancaflor held an early lead in the race, going through the first 300m in 50.75 with Campbell crossing in 51.19. Maintaining the edge at 700m, Blancaflor split 2:04.38 while Campbell hit 2:05.15. By 1,100m, though, Campbell was on Blancaflor’s shoulder, 3:22.61 to 3:22.85. With 300m remaining in the race, Campbell moved ahead of the field and pulled away to the finish, covering her final lap in 1:12.09.

Texas A&M had a pair of runners – Rachel Bernardo and Zephyr Seagraves – each finish fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase with career best performances as they both improved by six-plus seconds.

Bernardo sliced six-plus seconds off her previous best in clocking 10:38.68 in finishing behind a trio of Longhorns as Anna McDonald won the race in 10:24.68. Another Aggie competing had Ashton Hutcherson placing seventh in 10:46.31.

Now the No. 3 performer with the No. 3 performance on the A&M all-time list, Bernardo moved from ninth to sixth place from the third to fourth lap. Then she went from sixth to fourth on a final lap of 1:26.84.

Seagraves improved to 9:02.80 in the men’s race, moving to No. 11 on the A&M all-time list. Alex Rogers of Texas ran 8:46.73 for the victory while Ryan Cleary of Abilene Christian finished second in 8:56.40. Also racing for the Aggies was Raymond Gonzales, who finished 10th in 9:30.62.

Jon Bishop placed eighth in the men’s 1,500m with a time of 3:57.80. Valarie Bradley placed 12th in the same race with Campbell in 4:45.20.

Closing out the second day of the Texas Relays with the 5,000m, Ashley Driscoll ran 17:00.54 to place fourth. In the men’s race, Brandt Preston finished fifth in 14:47.10 while Jacob Perry placed eighth in 14:50.55.

Story courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

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Posted by on Mar 29 2019. Filed under Sports.
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