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

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

The Battalion

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Junior Connor Schulman midair during the 60-meter hurdle competition on Feb. 5, 2022.

Outdoor season is here, and Texas A&M track and field athletes did not waste any time breaking records.

The team arrived in Tempe, Ariz., for the Baldy Castillo Invitational ready to make some noise.

Over the weekend of Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19, nine Aggies recorded all-time, top-12 performances and 15 personal bests to kick off the outdoor season.

Day 1

With another outdoor season underway, the Aggies’ excitement fueled their Friday.

Senior distance runner Julia Black smashed the 3,000-meter steeplechase program record with a time of 10:29.31. Black scorched the 15-year-old record in place by 35 seconds.

“Julia [Black] set a school record and ran 25 seconds faster than she’s ever ran in her life,” coach Pat Henry told “I’m so happy for her because she works hard; she’s been a four-year Aggie. She’s a good one, and she deserves it.”

The record-breaking performances did not stop there. Freshman pole vaulter Heather Abadie placed herself in the seventh spot on the all-time top-12 list and placed second at the Invitational.

Freshman hammer thrower Luke Barrett grasped the 11th spot on the all-time, top-12 list in his debut performance as an Aggie. Senior short hurdler Kaylah Robinson joined the bunch with the eighth-fastest 100-meter hurdle time ever by an Aggie.

First-place finishes came from junior distance runner Brady Grant who won the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior sprinter Zhane Smith in the women’s 200-meter, recording a personal best, and Aggie professional Fred Kerley in the 200-meter with a time of 20.04.

Senior high jumper Mason Corbin fell just short of first place, but secured an outdoor personal best at 7-0.5/2.15.

Short-hurdlers senior Deshae Wise and sophomore Connor Schulman joined Robinson in advancing to Saturday’s finals.

“Kaylah [Robinson] ran 13.09, which is her personal best, and that is a great indicator.” Henry told “I don’t think Deshae [Wise] looked outstanding, but she advanced to the finals, and it was good to get one under her belt.”

Day 2

Saturday’s competition was filled with shattered records and first-place finishes for the Aggies.

The women’s 4×400 and 4×100-meter relays recorded first-place finishes along with the men’s 4×400 relay, which registered the fastest season-opening mile relay in A&M history with a time of 3:01.51.

A trio of Aggies swept the podium in the 600-meter race. A&M professional Athing Mu placed first with a time of 1:24.13 and now ranks as the second-fastest American all time in the 600-meter. Junior Avi’Tal Wilson-Perteete followed with a second-place finish and crushed the 600-meter collegiate record by two seconds with a time of 1:28.02. Freshman Bailey Goggans joined the podium with a third-place finish.

Freshmen Lianna Davidson and Katelyn Fairchild placed second and third, respectively, in javelin and now rank seventh and eighth, respectively, on the all-time top-12 list. Junior Allyson Andress set personal bests in every event she competed in: 100-meter hurdles, long jump and javelin. 

“I’m really pleased with freshmen Lianna [Davidson] and Katelyn [Fairchild] to throw 174-foot the first time they put the javelin in the air,” Henry told “Those are big throws.” 

Running the 400-meter for the first time ever, senior Moitalel Mpoke recorded a 45.84, which makes him an early NCAA leader in the event. Junior James Smith II took home first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 49.72, placing him as No. 2 on the world performance list for 2022.

On March 24-26, the Aggies will continue their outdoor season at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin. 

“Texas Relays has gotten to a point where it’s tough to get your athletes in a good section, and I’m not pleased with the process of having some athletes left out and some that didn’t even get an invitation,” Henry told “With the people that are going, we are going to be ready to run, and we are going to be ready to compete.”

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