By Texas A&M Athletics Department
FAYETTEVILLE – Aggie senior Brea Garrett posted a victory in the weight throw during the first day of the Razorback Invitational at Randal Tyson Track Center while runner-up performances were supplied by Austin Wells in the 5,000 meters and Austin Cook in the weight throw.
Texas A&M currently is in second place in both men’s and women’s team scoring through seven finals held on Friday. Action continues with 10 more finals on Saturday.
The top six women’s schools among the 12-team field include Arkansas (48), Florida and Texas A&M (44), Iowa State and Oklahoma (31), along with Purdue (19). In the men’s field the leading teams are LSU (46.5), Texas A&M (43), Arkansas (34), Tulsa (28), Florida (24) and Purdue (19).
Garrett dominated the weight throw in Arkansas’ new throwing facility, claiming victory with a best mark of 69-1.5 (21.07) in the second round. Garrett opened with a 59-1.5 (18.02) in round one and improved by 10 feet on her next effort. In the fourth round she went 64-5.75 (19.65). Runner-up to Garrett was a 59-4.75 (18.10) mark from Oklahoma’s Julia Reedy.
“I like the ring, it has a good feel to it,” noted Garrett. “I just need to get comfortable with my technique again. It’s important to get comfortable in the ring. I’ll have another chance to throw here when we come back for the Tyson meet in a couple of weeks. I want to hit something good so that I know that this ring can’t defeat me, but I can defeat it.”
Teammate Alison Ondrusek finished sixth with a 57-2.75 (17.44) distance. Shelbi Vaughan (53-6.25) and Carissa van Beek (53-3.5) placed 12th and 13th.
In the men’s weight throw Austin Cook improved to second place with a fifth round throw of 62-7.75 (19.09) to move ahead of LSU’s Jeremy Tuttle (61-11). Purdue’s Chukwuebuka Enekwechi won the event with a 77-10.75 (23.74) toss as he registered six marks over 74 feet. A&M’s Ben Skrla finished 12th with a 54-5.25 (16.59).
“We come back in two weeks and I need that to be a redemption week,” stated Cook. “We threw against some really good people today. All of us besides the winner had a pretty rough day though. It’s fun to throw here now since we don’t have to use the wooden ring anymore.”
Austin Wells improved his time in the 5,000 by 10 seconds as the runner-up with a 14:26.72, which moved him to No. 7 on the Aggie all-time list. Tulsa’s Tim Rackers won the race in 14:11.28.
Deon Lendore ran the 400m leg of the distance medley relay for Texas A&M, splitting 45.58 as he moved the Aggies from fourth to second place. The squad placed fourth in 9:34.30, the third fastest time ever at A&M. The only two faster efforts in school history include a 9:29.71 from 2012 and a 9:33.12 from 2004.
Cameron Villarreal ran the first leg, covering the 1,200m distance in 2:55.90. Villarreal was in seventh place in the early stages of the race and moved into fourth place when he handed the baton to Lendore.
Only Iowa State remained ahead of the Aggies when Lendore gave the baton to Hector Hernandez for the 800m leg. Hernandez passed the Cyclone runner on his first lap and kept A&M in the lead with a 1:49.98 split.
Isaac Spencer handled the anchor leg of 1,600m as he kept the Aggies in front of Iowa State, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Arkansas for a couple of laps. With two laps remaining Stanford claimed the lead in front of Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas A&M.
The final lap had the Cowboys moving to the front with Stanford and Arkansas giving chase. They finished in that order with Oklahoma State winning in 9:30.65 over Stanford’s 9:32.08 and a 9:32.43 from Arkansas. The Aggies (9:34.30) out-leaned Iowa State (9:34.36) at the finish.
Ashton Purvis and Kamaria Brown both ran 23.33 seconds in separate sections of the 200m to place third and fourth overall behind a 1-2 finish by Florida’s Kyra Jefferson, who ran a world-leading 23.06, and Destinee Gause (23.22). Shamier Little (23.91) and Olivia Ekponé (23.96) finished seventh and ninth overall. India Daniels won an earlier section in 24.36 to place 17thoverall.
The men’s 200 also had a third and fourth place effort from A&M’s Devin Jenkins (20.91) and Bralon Taplin (20.95) while Shavez Hart (21.01) placed sixth. Tulsa’s Bryce Robinson posted a winning time of 20.78 while LSU’s Tremayne Acy posted a 20.85 as runner-up. Aggies Gregory Coleman (21.48) and Deon Hickey (21.56) placed 11th and 12th overall.
Jennifer Madu placed third in the long jump with a leap of 19-7.5 (5.98) while Carl Johansson finished fourth in the pole vault with a 17-0.75 (5.20) clearance.
Brittany Wooten led the Aggie effort in the pole vault, clearing a height of 12-9.5 (3.90) for fifth place. Wooten needed three attempts to get over 12-3.5 (3.75), but managed 12-9.5 on one attempt. She completed her day with three attempts at 13-3.5 (4.05). Emily Gunderson placed seventh at 12-3.5 and Sara Kathryn Stevens finished 10th with an 11-7.75 (3.55) make.
Qualifying for Saturday’s semifinals in the 60 meters and 60 hurdles went smooth for the Aggies.
Four A&M women sprinters advanced in the 60 meters as Madu posted the top qualifying time with a 7.34. Joining Madu in the semifinals were Aaliyah Brown (7.38), Ekponé (7.43) and Purvis (7.49). LSU also had four sprinters qualify while Florida advanced a pair.
A 6.55 from John Teeters of Oklahoma State topped the men’s 60 field as Hart (6.70) and Jenkins (6.71) recorded the third and fourth fastest times moving on to the semifinal. Tulsa’s Bryce Robinson turned in a 6.66, which was second best overall.
In the women’s 60 hurdles, three A&M multi-event athletes advanced. They were led by Jena Hemann (8.91) and included Annie Kunz (8.94) and Ashtin Zamzow (8.96).
Kunz and Hemann tied for sixth place in the high jump with a 5-5 clearance while Zamzow tied for ninth at 5-3. In the men’s high jump Sam McSwain placed sixth with a 6-9 effort.