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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A&M men notch top-10 finish in NCAA Indoor Championships

Photo by CJ Smith
Texas A&M junior Joniar Thomas jumps during the Charlie Thomas Invitational at the Murray Fasken Indoor Track on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

Texas A&M track and field claimed 12 All-America honors at The Track at New Balance at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 8-9 in Boston. The men finished sixth with 24 points, while the women finished 14th with 16.5 points overall, including senior Lamara Distin’s second-place finish in the high jump to earn first-team All-America honors.

Junior Heather Abadie kicked off the competition on Day 1, breaking her previous record in the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.40 meters. She finished in sixth place and earned first-team All-America honors. Senior Joniar Thomas placed 14th in the women’s long jump with a distance of 6.11m, which earned her second-team All-America.

Coach Pat Henry said he was pleased after the first day, especially with Abadie’s performance.

“We looked like Texas A&M today,” Henry said. “I thought our entire group went out there and competed at the highest level. I told them at the conference meet we are shaping into a real team and that was evident today.

“I thought Heather [Abadie] really had a great day, she keeps improving and showing her maturity in the event,” Henry said. “She’s now clearing difficult marks on her first attempts, which is really impressive, she was outstanding today.”

On Day 2, Distin cleared five bars with a 1.97m leap in the women’s high jump for second. On the men’s side, junior Ushan Perera placed 13th in the men’s high jump, with a clearance of 2.15 meters. Perera also secured second-team All-America honors.

Junior Auhmad Robinson now trails only Aggie all-timer Fred Kerley in the men’s 400-meter. Robinson was one of two athletes to run sub-45.0 seconds, finishing with a time of 44.91 to place second and earn first-team All-America honors.

Junior Ja’Qualon Scott and senior Connor Schulman both earned first-team All-America honors in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, finishing third at 7.59 and fifth at 7.66, respectively.

The men’s 4×400-meter with the line-up of Robinson, Scott, senior Jevon O’Bryant and junior Kimar Farquharson ran a time of three minutes and 3.35 seconds to finish first in the second heat with the third-fastest time on the day. The squad is now No. 9 in the A&M history books and earned all of them first-team All-America honors.

For the women’s sprints, senior Jermaisha Arnold ran a time of 51.83 in the women’s 400m, ranking her fifth. She was also named first-team All-America and established as one of the nation’s best in the women’s 400m. Senior Semira Killebrew also was named first-team All-America after running her second-fastest time in the women’s 60-meter with a time of 7.20.

“I thought our men’s team did an outstanding job today,” Henry said. “The group all around put up some great marks and impressed me. Auhmad [Robinson] running 44.91 is extremely fast, Ja’Qualon [Scott] and Connor [Schulman] ran great times in the 60m hurdles. Then the 4x400m relay at the end ran really well and ranked third in the country, which was a great end to the meet.

“The women had some good performances today,” Henry said. “Lamara [Distin] was in an incredibly tough competition and still jumped really well. Jermaisha [Arnold] ran a great time in a competitive 400m final. Semira [Killebrew] ran two good times in both her prelims and finals. The women’s relay had a tough day, but we will learn from it and be ready for outdoors.”

The Aggies’ outdoor season begins with the Puerto Rico Spring Break Classic on March 15-16 in San Juan.

Youngchan Kang is a journalism sophomore and contributed this article from the course JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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