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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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A&M athletes shine on world stage at 2017 World Championships

Photo by Errol Anderson

US 4x100m winning team of Tori Bowie, Morolake Akinosun, Allyson Felix and Aaliyah Brown withe the American flag, the US won with a time of 41.82sec. at the 16th. IAAF World Outdoor Track & Field Championships held in London on Saturday, August 12, 2017. Photo by Errol Anderson

Among the hundreds of athletes who were on the world stage over the last ten days, at this year’s IAAF World Championships in London, England, there were several current and former A&M  athletes bringing their best for the country and their school in a wide range of events.

It was Aaliyah Brown who helped bring gold home for the United States in the women’s 4×100. Brown ran the first leg in both the prelim and the final, as the U.S. ran a world-leading 41.82 to be crowned champions. Filling out the team was Allyson Felix, Morolake Akinosun and Tori Bowie.

“It’s definitely a blessing to be on a gold medal relay on my first world championships team,” Brown said to “For me to set the tone on the first leg and give the baton to Allyson Felix, one of the greatest track athletes, was a great feeling. I was confident in my job, I knew I could set the tone on the first leg, close the gap and get us in the race.


“This was my goal for this season, to get to the World Championships. Then to top it off with a gold medal in the relay is great. As Texas A&M we were doing our thing out here today. It’s really great to be another Texas A&M person that people can talk about getting a medal in these championships.”

Texas A&M alum Simone Facey was also on the track for the 4×100 final, running the third leg for the Jamaican team who won the bronze medal. Starting the race was Jura Levy who handed off to Natasha Morrison, and Sashalee Forbes, who took the baton from Facey, ran anchor for a time of 42.19.

“It’s always great to get a medal,” Facey stated to “We were looking forward to winning gold, but it wasn’t meant to be. Getting the bronze medal means a lot to us since it’s a young team. I’m just happy for this bronze medal and I’m happy for the younger ladies.


“After the race, I told Aaliyah congrats. It’s always good to represent our school. For both of us to come out with medals is a great feeling.”

Facey also competed as an individual in the 100m and 200m. She made it to the semi-finals in both events, however finished sixth (11.23) in her 100m race and fourth (23.01) in her 200m race to just miss out on a final appearance.

Texas A&M and American star Fred Kerley ran anchor for the United States in the men’s 4×400; the final event of the Championships. Kerley was leading as the runners approached the homestretch, but was passed by a surging Lalonde Gordon as Trinidad and Tobago went on to win the gold medal and the U.S. was forced to settle for silver with a time of 2:58.61. Wil London, Gil Roberts and Michael Cherry rounded out the U.S. team.

“It felt good to finish my season off with a global medal,” Kerley said to “It’s a blessing to just compete on a stage like this. I gave it all I had. My body was just pushed to the line. I look forward to getting back healthy and the next stage of my career. Just to put the USA uniform on my body is a wonderful feeling.”

Kerley had a strong individual performance in the 400m where he placed seventh in the final with a time of 45.23. He cruised to a 44.92 time to win his opening round heat and finished third in his semi-final heat (44.51) to advance on time for a spot in the final. Kerley was coming off an undefeated collegiate season in which he set a new all-time record in the 400m and won a U.S. title in June.

Aggie alum Ameer Webb, also coming off a U.S. title in June, produced a strong performance in the men’s 200m. He finished second in his opening round heat with a 20.22 to advance to the semi-finals. Webb’s semi-final race was run in the rain as he clocked another 20.22 runner-up finish, good enough for a place in the final. The 26-year old claimed fifth place in the final with a time of 20.26.

“I had a good time, and I definitely enjoyed myself,” Webb said to “I wish I could have seen where I was actually in the race. I could’ve done a better job. I couldn’t see. It was a little bit hard to see where I wanted to distribute my energy. I learned that you better win your heat or you’ll get a lane like 9.”

Shamier Little, who won the 2015 silver medal for the U.S., was trying to get on the podium again in the 400m hurdles. She had a strong start to her opening round heat and was leading coming up to the homestretch. However, Little clipped the eighth hurdle, breaking it in half, and struggled over the final two before recovering and finishing fourth in her heat. She was able to grab the last automatic qualifying spot for the semi-finals.

“I’m definitely glad how I set the race up,” Little said to “The plan was to set it up and come home smoothly. I had to do a lot more work in the homestretch that wasn’t necessary and it kind of threw me off. I just need to focus more on my finish. I’m excited for what’s to come.”

In the semi-finals, Little finished fourth in her heat with a time of 55.76 and just missed out on making it to the final.

Donovan Brazier, a 2017 U.S. title winner, competed in the men’s 800m. He cruised to a 1:45.81 heat win in the opening round, but finished seventh in the semi-finals with a 1:46.27 and missed out on a place in the final.


A couple of Aggies performed at a high level in their field events. Aggie alum Fabrice Lapierre, who took home a silver medal in 2015, competed in the long jump for Australia. He claimed the last spot in the final by only three quarters of an inch with a jump of 7.91 in the qualifying rounds. Lappierre ended up finishing in eleventh place in the final with a jump of 7.93.

Coming off his first NCAA title, Ioannis Kyriazis of Greece competed in javelin where he breezed into the final after a throw of 84.60 during the qualifying rounds. He performed well in the final with a throw of 84.52, good for a sixth place finish.

“Obviously, I was kind of stressed out going into the third round,” Kyriazis noted to “I tried to calm down. I knew I had the meters, I knew I could throw further. So, I just focused and had a good throw. It kind of worked, but I’m not happy with sixth place. Although, I can’t be sad either.

“I should be super excited with my performance, since I beat some people like Olympic champion Walcott, and a couple of guys who have thrown over 90 meters. The thing that matters is who is better on a specific day.”

Having just won another NCAA decathlon title, Lindon Victor was excited to compete against a world-class field in London. After day one of competition, Victor had tallied 4,192 points over five events and was in fifteenth place out of a field of 32.

“Four or five days before the meet I was feeling really good, but in the last couple of days I started feeling tighter each day,” Victor noted to “My body just wasn’t responding today, and I don’t know why. I may have come over here too early. Plus, I’ve had a very long season with a lot of decathlons.”

Victor started well on the second day, running a 15.36 in the 110m hurdles for 807 points.  However, he recorded three fouls in discus and was forced to take no score. This would ultimately end Victor’s Championship as he decided not to continue. Victor’s older brother, Kurt Felix, managed a seventh place finish with a total of 8,227 points.

Over the course of the World Championships SEC athletes represented their schools and conference in an impressive fashion, racking up 20 medals between eight schools (Eight gold, six silver, six bronze).

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