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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Ags shine in NCAA meet

Spring has come at last for the Texas A&M men’s and women’s track and field teams. The Aggies opened the 2003 outdoor season in style, qualifying 12 people for NCAA regional competition while picking up nine gold medals at the College Station relays this past weekend at the Frank G. Anderson Track Complex. The relays concluded three days of competition that kicked off Thursday with the annual College Station Multi-Event Festival.
“It was a very solid performance across the board,” said A&M Head Coach Ted Nelson. “I thought we did a good job of focusing on what we needed to get done.”
By the start of Saturday’s College Station relays, several A&M athletes had already completed two successful days of multi-event competition.
Sophomore Allen Bulick placed third in the men’s gold division of the decathlon after posting a career-high two-day total of 7,433 points, almost 500 points more than the NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
“That was a tremendous effort by Allen,” Nelson said. “I think 7,433 points will easily get him into the NCAA Championships, and I think it shows he will be a challenger for the Big 12 decathlon crown in May.”
For the Aggie women, sophomore Jennifer Johnson also set a new personal best with a total of 4,746, enough for seventh overall in the gold division of the women’s heptathlon.
Bulick’s qualifying performance set the tone for Saturday’s meet which produced 12 NCAA regional qualifiers. Nearly all of the Aggies’ qualifying performances came in the field events, where the men’s and women’s teams combined for five first-place finishes.
On the men’s side, three Aggie throwers finished among the top four collegians competing in the men’s javelin. Junior Luke Marrs led the way, taking first in the event with a throw measuring 231 feet, 10 inches. Sophomore Jarred Matthews (211-1) and freshman Anthony Alfier (206-4) finished third and fourth respectively. Junior Ronny Jimenez produced another gold medal for the Aggie men’s field crew with a throw of 58-8 1/2 in the shot put. Junior Josh Ralston captured yet another NCAA regionals bid for the Aggies with his fourth-place throw of 182-5 in the discus.
Two Aggie fliers also qualified for regionals on Saturday. Sophomore Andrew Gamble took home the gold medal in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 50-10 1/4 while senior Chad Walters tied for second by clearing 16-6 3/4 in the men’s pole vault.
The Aggie women’s field crew also contributed four NCAA regional qualifying performances. Junior Karen Honea and freshman Rachel Walker picked up gold medals for their throws of 151-2 in the discus and 156-9 in the javelin respectively. Senior Robyn Burkhardt tied for first by clearing 5-7 in the women’s high jump, and freshman Abby Ruston’s silver medal throw of 47-6 1/2 also qualified her for regional competition in the shot put.
A&M excelled in the track events as well. Senior Regan Teague picked up the last Aggie NCAA regional qualifying bid of the afternoon by winning the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1 minute, 1.25 seconds, while sophomore Scott Petterson took home the gold in the men’s event in 0:53.64. Also producing first-place finishes were the men’s 400-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams.
The weekend’s competition also proved productive for the University of Tennessee. Along with Harris’s NCAA automatic qualifying first-place total in the men’s decathlon, the Volunteers produced several additional regional qualifiers, including freshman sprinter Jonathon Wade and junior sprinter Sean Lambert. Wade’s and Lambert’s times of 20.79 and 21.20 in the men’s 200 not only earned them regional qualifying bids, but also first and second place respectively.
“For a spring break trip we got a lot done,” said Tennessee Assistant Head Coach George Watts. “Jonathon Wade’s performance in the 200 was the highlight of the day. It was a … good start to the season.”
A&M returns to action next weekend in the Tom Tellez Invitational in Houston.

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