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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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A&M shatters records in SEC Indoor Championships

Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant
Senior Lamara Distin leaps over the during the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, June 10, 2023 and Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

Senior Lamara Distin shattered the women’s NCAA high jump record as she ensured her third-straight SEC indoor high jump title on Day 2 of the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. On her third and final attempt, Distin raised the bar again and cleared the record-breaking 2.00-meter mark to write her name in history.

“[Distin] not only set the collegiate high jump record, jumping higher than any female has jumped before, but she also was awarded SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, which just shows how special she really is,” coach Pat Henry said.

The Aggies finished the meet with 71 points and a third-place overall win for the men’s team, and 61 points to finish fourth overall for the women.

In other standout performances, senior Connor Schulman and sophomore Ja’Qualon Scott placed first and second in the men’s 60-meter hurdles with Schulman taking gold with a time of 7.59 seconds, tying him with the No. 1 spot on the Texas A&M all-time performers list, while Scott took silver, tying his best time of 7.60.

Junior Sam Whitmarsh competed in his first-ever SEC Indoor Championships and earned a gold medal in the men’s 800-meter with a personal best time of one minute and 47.39 seconds.

On opening day, junior Heather Abadie set the tone in claiming her first conference title in the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.32m. Senior Savannah Hanson had a personal best in the women’s pole vault at 4.22m, placing fourth and No. 4 in the A&M all-time performers list. Freshman Ella Vajdos also had a personal best at 4.12m to rank No. 7 on the A&M all-time performers.

On the men’s side, sophomore Jack Mann III won bronze in the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 5.35m, securing back-to-back third place finishes and ranking him No. 9 all-time performers list.

Senior Joniar Thomas had a day, winning double-bronze in both the women’s pentathlon and the individual long jump. In the women’s pentathlon, she competed in multiple events, placing second with time of 8.54 in the women’s 60-meter, third in women’s long jump with a jump of 5.88ms, fourth in women’s high jump with a jump of 1.68m, fifth in women’s shot put with a toss of 11.33m and fifth in the women’s 800-meter with a time of 2:27.18. Thomas also earned a bronze medal in the individual long jump with a leap of 6.40m.

Freshman Kennady Fontenot moved up from No. 12 to No. 9 all-time in the women’s 5,000-meter with a time of 16:28.84. Sophomore Camryn Dickson also had an all-time performance in the women’s 200-meter, finishing at a time of 23.01, placing her No. 10 in the record books.

Sophomore Landon Helms started his heptathlon finishing third in the men’s 60-meter with a time of 7.02, sixth in the men’s long jump with a jump of 6.90m, 10th in the men’s shot put with a distance of 11.93 meters, and ninth in the men’s high jump with a clearance of 1.83m.

“We had some ups and downs, but I thought we did have a lot of really good things happen,” Henry said. “Heather [Abadie] looked really good and won her first championship which was great, and she just keeps getting better and better. Jack [Mann III] on the men’s side had his best indoor day ever and it was great to see him back on the podium. Joniar [Thomas] had a tough task today, and the schedule didn’t help her, However, she did a great job in both the pentathlon and the long jump. Today was both a physical and mental challenge and I think she handled it well.”

On Day 2, both the men’s and women’s 4×400-meter teams had standout performances with the men’s 4×400 lineup of junior Auhmad Robinson, senior Jevon O’Bryant, Scott and junior Kimar Farquharson earning silver with a time of 3:03.62, ranking them No. 10 on the all-time list and sixth in the country.

The women’s 4x400m team with a lineup of Dickson, junior Jaydan Wood, graduate senior Nissi Kabongo and senior Jermaisha Arnold earned bronze, with a time of 3:28.77 ranked sixth in A&M history and in the nation.

Two Aggies picked up fourth place finishes during the meet. Junior Cooper Cawthra ran a time of 4:01.87 in the men’s mile, which was the seventh-fastest performance in school history. Senior Semira Killebrew ran the women’s 60-meter with a time of 7.22, which ranked 14th in the nation.

Senior Jevon O’Bryant ran the men’s 400-meter in 46.42. Sophomore Bailey Goggans almost beat her personal best in the women’s 800-meter with a time of 1:48.26 and Farquharson ran the men’s 800-meter in 1:48.26.

Senior Eric Casarez finished eighth in the men’s 3,000-meter with a time of 7:58.26, which was the sixth-fastest performance in school history.

“We finished third on the men’s side and fourth on the women’s, which are good finishes for our teams,” Henry said. “We’ve put ourselves in a good position for the next couple of weeks, now we need to wait and see where we sit across the rest of the country.”

The track and field team will now travel to The Track at New Balance in Boston for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

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

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