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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggie track and field starts championship run in Houston

Future Olympic hopefuls will grace the track this weekend when the Texas A&M track and field team travels to Houston to compete at the Leonard Hilton Memorial.
For A&M senior Jon Peschel and junior Jennifer Johnson, the Olympic trials are only a few months away. Peschel hopes to qualify for the summer Olympic trials in the 60-meter hurdles. Johnson will compete in the same event for the women.
“My motivation is indoor nationals, and look to tryout for the Olympic trials,” Johnson said. “I try to beat my personal best every (meet).”
Johnson will be called upon to help lead her teammates this weekend at the Yeoman Field House on the University of Houston’s campus.
A large number of returning athletes has Coach Nelson confident in his team’s prospects in 2004.
“A lot of our guys are back this year,” said A&M head coach Ted Nelson.
“Last year we finished second in the (Big 12) Conference.”
The meet, which brings top schools from around Texas, including TCU, Baylor, Texas and the University of Texas at San Antonio, will be held Friday.
The Aggies are looking to capitalize on various key athletes such as Peschel, who placed first in the 60-meter hurdles last Saturday at the OU Classic. He will be competing this weekend in the same event along with the 4×440-yard relay.
Sophomore Fabrice Lapierre grabbed the gold in the men’s triple jump, and senior Ellison Collins came out with a gold medal in the shotput last weekend.
“We are just going to take it one meet at a time,” Peschel said. “I look for our team to win the championship. The good start showed us where we are at and need to be.”
Another Olympic hopeful, junior Jarrad Matthews, looks to win gold in the javelin.
“Our strengths lie in the field events,” Nelson said.
Jarrad and his sister, freshman Jennifer Matthews, and brother, senior Jason Matthews, will also be competing on the field for the Aggies this weekend. Jennifer and Jason will be competing in the pole vault.
“We have a lot of dominance in the throws,” said Jennifer.
The Aggie track team began its season last Saturday at the OU Classic., claiming three first-place finishes within the men’s division. The A&M women placed second in the women’s 60-meter hurdles and third place in the women’s pole vault.

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