Credit to Matthew McGinnis | Student Assistant, Athletics Communications – 12thman.com
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Aggies had nine marks qualify for the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championship meet as the Texas A&M women’s track & field completed the fourth and final day of the NCAA West First Round hosted by Sacramento State University at Hornet Stadium on Saturday.
Lamara Distin began the day for the team competing in the high jump, clearing 6-0.75/1.85m to advance to the national championship meet with the highest mark out of both regions. Distin is the national leader this season at 6-4.75/1.95m and returns to the NCAA meet with hopes of adding a fourth national title to her name, as she is the 2022 indoor and outdoor champion, as well as the 2023 indoor victor. She has not lost to a collegiate competitor in the last 14 meets in which she has competed dating back to April 2022. Ally Andress also competed in the high jump competition, jumping 5-7.75/1.72m to tie for 21st place.
In the first event on the track, the women’s 4x100m, the Aggie squad of Jania Martin, Camryn Dickson, Leeah Burr and Semira Killebrew brought the baton around the track in a season best 43.35 to win their heat and secure a spot in the national championship meet. On the back curve, Burr separated the team from the competition before handing off to Killebrew, who held the lead across the line. The Aggie women have sent a 4x100m squad to nine of the last 10 NCAA Championship meets, claiming the title twice (2013, 2014).
The women’s 4x400m team of Kennedy Wade, Tierra Robinson-Jones, Sanu Jallow and Jermaisha Arnold clocked 3:28.15 to take second in their heat. Wade started in the blocks for the Aggies, clocking 54.04 on the first leg before Tierra Robinson-Jones blazed a 50.61 split on the second leg. Jallow got the baton next, splitting 52.47 to keep the team within reach, handing off to Arnold, who clocked 50.85 on the anchor leg to bring the team home to a runner-up finish. The time gives them an auto-qualifier to the national meet and registers as the fourth-fastest of the day. The Aggie women’s 4x400m squad has won two of the last three national titles (2019, 2021).
In the 400m, Arnold led Robinson-Jones through the line, crossing in a personal best 50.33 to win her heat. She automatically qualified for the NCAA meet, while also becoming the No. 3 performer all-time at Texas A&M. Robinson-Jones also registered a personal best, running 50.52 to top her time from the SEC meet by two-hundredths of a second, remaining the fourth-best Aggie 400m runner ever. Robinson-Jones will return to the national meet in the event for the fourth straight time (2019, 2021, 2022). Wade ran her third-best outdoor time ever, clocking 52.54 to finish 19th overall.
Jaiya Covington recorded a personal best time in the 100m hurdles, registering 12.93 (w/0.8) to finish second in her heat and earn automatic qualification to the national championship meet. She will be the only freshman competing in the event at the meet. Covington’s mark makes her the sixth-best performer in Texas A&M history.
Killebrew finished third in her heat of the 100m, clocking 11.14 (w/1.0) to secure a spot to the national championship meet. Her mark is a personal best, topping her previous best of 11.23 from the SEC Championships. Killebrew became the No. 6 best performer in school history with the mark.
Qualifying in the 100m and 200m, Dickson registered 11.17 (w/1.7), topping her previous personal best by a full tenth of a second. She is now ninth on the all-time list at Texas A&M. In the 200m, Dickson crossed the line in 22.88 (w/0.5) for fourth in her heat, but advanced through to the NCAA meet as the last non-automatic qualifier. The freshman will also represent the Aggies in the 4x100m.
In the 800m, Jallow ran 2:07.23, her seventh-best time of the season, to finish 18th overall.
Julia Abell clocked 10:20.60 in the 3000m steeplechase for 31st overall. Her time is the second-best performance in school history behind her own school record of 10:13.74 from the Penn Relays.
Texas A&M Quotes
Head Coach Pat Henry
On the Aggies’ Performance at the NCAA West Round One …
“It’s the kind of effort you want to have when you come to a meet. This team continues to get a little bit better all the time and we made some big jumps here. Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see the next jump they make, because they have to make another jump. But we have a big group going to the national meet. Coming into this meet, there were only a few people that I thought might advance that didn’t, but there were a few that advanced that I didn’t think would. Things balanced out and that’s what we want to happen.”
The Texas A&M men’s and women’s track & field teams travel a group of 28 student-athletes (15 men, 13 women) to compete at the NCAA Division I Track & Field National Championship meet in Austin on June 7-10.