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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggie track proves No. 1 rank at Texas Relays

The No. 1 Texas A&M track team worked to justify its lofty preseason ranking with a strong performance at the 88 annual Texas Relays.

Among a massive field that included representatives from 208 college teams, the Aggies managed to separate themselves from the competition with 10 wins, including five victories in heavily weighted relays.

The Aggie men, who were responsible for eight of those titles, were named the Most Outstanding Team at the meet. The foursome of Gregory Coleman, Shavez Hart, Bralon Taplin and Deon Lendore took the top spot in both the 4×100 and 4×100 relays. This is the same quartet of seniors who set the indoor collegiate record in the 4×400 just weeks ago at the NCAA championships, and collectively, they’re some of the most accomplished runners in school history. But still, this weekend’s win meant a lot to the group, especially former Bowerman winner Lendore.

“I really wanted to win, because this is the first year I’ve had a win at the Texas Relays,” Lendore said. “We all came out here and did what we needed to do. It’s always nice to get wins over here, so I’m happy I finished my senior season with a bang at the Texas Relays.”

The men’s other victories came in the distance medley relay, 4×800 relay, the long jump, triple jump and B division wins in the pole vault and triple jump. Olabanji Asekun gave the Aggies their first long jump title at the Texas Relays since 2006 with a leap of 26 feet, 4.5 inches and Latario Collie took the top spot in the triple jump in his Texas Relays debut with a mark of 54 feet, 8.5 inches.

“I’m elated with the things that we did here this weekend,” Texas A&M head track coach Pat Henry said to the media after Saturday’s competition. “To win the 4×100, 4×400, 4×800 and distance medley here at the Texas Relays is a huge accomplishment for any team. Then we also won the long jump and triple jump. Those are huge efforts for our team right now.”

Junior discus thrower Shelbi Vaughn led the charge for the women, who also enjoyed their fair share of success in Austin. Vaughn set a new meet record en route to capturing her third consecutive victory at the Texas Relays. Vaughn’s winning spin of 179 feet, 6 inches now makes her the American leader for 2015 and moves her up to ninth on the world leader board.

“It’s exciting since it’s only my third time to throw over 200 feet,” Vaughan said. “Having everybody out here on the final day while I was throwing, and hearing all the cheering while relay races are going by, was really nice. I looked at the schedule to see what over events were going on while I was throwing. I was excited since I knew there would be a good crowd out here.”

The women’s other victory came in the 4×200 relay, where the Aggies were edged out off Texas by less than a tenth of a second. A&M’s relay team included Ashton Purvis, Jennifer Madu, Shamier Little and Aaliyah Brown and the squad used last year’s disappointment to fuel their winning run.

“We came out determined in the 4×200, because last year we came up a little bit short,” said Brown. “We wanted to win that relay for a bit of revenge and that’s what we did. It’s great to come out and beat someone on their home track. It was a great race.”
The Aggies next meet is this Friday’s Stanford invitational in Palo Alto, California.

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