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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 track and field continues stride at 44 Farms Team Invitational

Photo by Adriano Espinosa
Senior decathlete Timara Chapman jumps during the Texas A&M 44 Farms Invitational Meet on Friday, April 5, 2024, at E. B. Cushing Stadium. (Adriano Espinosa/The Battalion)

Texas A&M track and field competed in the 44 Farms Team Invitational where it showcased its talented roster on April 5-6. Ten teams competed at E.B. Cushing Stadium and the Aggies set the bar high, breaking several records and personal bests.

“I thought we performed very well this weekend,” coach Pat Henry said. “There were some really high caliber marks across the board, and it was good to see our athletes compete at a high level.”

Day 1 had many storylines, including junior Heather Abadie breaking the school record in women’s pole vault. Abadie’s performance broke the previous personal best she had at A&M with a clearance of 4.36 meters/14-3.5. Her stellar athleticism resulted in her securing her fourth-straight outdoor season event win.

Right behind Abadie was senior Sevanna Hanson, who finished second with her season-best mark of 4.07m/13-4.25. Freshman Ella Vajdos earned her personal best in pole vault, scoring 3.95m/12-11.5 to land at No. 10 overall on the all-time performers, which was a two-spot jump.

Meanwhile, sophomore pole vaulter Jack Mann Ⅲ scored the highest out of any Aggie on Day 1, as he leaped his way into third place with a 5.28m/17/3.5 finish.

Sophomores Blake Harris and Landon Helms finished at the top of the board at the end of the day, holding first and second, respectively. Harris won all five events with personal bests in shot put (12.63/41-5-25) and 100-meter (10.53), while Helms wrapped his night up with personal bests in high jump (1.87m/6-1.5) and 100m (10.95).

A&M attained podium finishes by junior Lianna Davidson and junior Katelyn Fairchild in women’s javelin. Davidson finished first and set a new meet record, throwing 57.09m/187-3 while Fairchild finished third with a recorded mark of 53.84m/176-8. Freshman McKenzie Fairchild, Katelyn’s sister, exited the night with her personal best toss of 51.10m/167-8.

In men’s javelin, A&M recorded two top-three finishes courtesy of redshirt junior Sam Hankins and senior Julian Stoicoviciu. Hankins clinched the javelin title after he displayed his powerful throws that broke another meet record with a score of 76.32m/250-5. Stoicoviciu finished third overall in the javelin and earned his personal best throw 65.68m/215-6.

Freshman Abigail Martin, freshman Carlie Weiser and sophomore Ethan Sanders all added new personal bests in discus. Martin tossed a 59.44m/195-0 that became her third-straight time she tossed for a personal best and now holds the seventh longest throw in the nation.

Weiser secured No. 4 overall on the all time performance list after having a career day throwing for 54.54m/178-11. Meanwhile, Saunders joined the A&M record books at 11th overall, throwing for 57.21m/187-8.

Redshirt senior Timara Chapman achieved personal bests in several events. In high jump, she cleared 1.79m/5-10.5 that positioned her No. 12 all-time on the performers list. Chapman’s other personal bests came in the 100m hurdles (13.50), 200-meter (24.22) and shot put (13.63m/44-8.75).

Senior Joniar Thomas also added personal bests in the 100m hurdles (13.61) and 200m (23.53).

On Day 2, Chapman and senior Lamara Distin added two dazzling records that secured nation-leading marks in the women’s heptathlon and high jump, respectively.

Chapman’s success carried into Saturday, where she won two of her three events that added up to 6219 points and ranked her No. 1 in the nation for the heptathlon. The performance put her No. 2 overall in A&M’s record books.

Distin’s finish in high jump broke her 2021 meet record with a clearance of 1.96m/6-5. Senior Carter Bajoit also snagged a win in men’s high jump with a leap of 2.14m/7-0.25.

In the 800-meter, Thomas captured first and capped the meet off with 5916 total points which put her second in the nation.

On the second day of the decathlon, Harris accumulated 7488 points that won the event. To add to Harris’ spectacular day, he collected two personal bests in the javelin (50.02m/164-1) and discus (37.93m/124-5) that resulted in being No. 7 all-time on A&M’s all-time performers list.

Helms accomplished his personal best in points scored (7241) with a second-place finish and notable career marks in the discus (41.60m/136-6) and javelin (41.81m/137-2).

The women’s 3000-meter steeplechase saw redshirt freshmen Kennady Fontenot and Emma Little both secure all-time marks. Fontenot finished in first with a time of 10:18.59 that lifted her to No. 2 all-time in A&M history books. Meanwhile, Little crossed the line at 10 minutes and 54.90 seconds to secure second and No. 9 overall in the record books.

A&M won six other events on Day 2 including the 400-meter, 1500-meter, 100m hurdles, 800m, men’s shot put and the 4×400-meter.

Senior Jevon O’Bryant secured the win in the 400m with a time of 46.31 and junior Cooper Cawthra was victorious in the 1500m with a 3:50.22 time.

Sophomore Jaiya Covington finished with her season-best time of 12.99 in the 100m hurdles while freshman Ondrej Gajdos obtained his first outdoor season win, clocking in at 1:50.63. Junior football center Bryce Foster tossed 17.95m/58-10.75 in shot put that won his event, and, to finish the evening, the A&M speedsters consisting of junior Cutler Zamzow, junior Christian Rosales, redshirt junior Kirk Collins Jr. and sophomore De Marco Escobar finished first in the 4x400m with a time of 3:10:88.

The Maroon and White will return to action in the Bryan Clay Invitational at Cougar Athletic Stadium in Azusa, California on April 11-13.

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