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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 track and field heads to Arkansas for SEC 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)

After a successful indoor season, the Texas A&M track and field team heads to the SEC Indoor Championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Feb. 23-24.

The Aggies enter the Championships with three conference-leading marks and one national leader. Leading the conference and the nation in the women’s high jump is senior Lamara Distin’s leap of 1.97m/6-5.5 at the Tiger Paw Invitational.

In the women’s pole vault, junior Heather Abadie ranks 13th in the nation after setting a program-record clearance of 4.38m/14-4.5 on her way to the win at the Razorback Invitational. With a time of 7.60 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, sophomore Ja’Qualon Scott ranks second-fastest in the nation this year.

“We’re going in healthy, and so there’s no reason for us not to do the absolute best we can do,” coach Pat Henry said. “Track is always looked at for some one reason or another as it’s an individual sport all the time, but it’s not. They give a medal count. You keep it by the country you know, so there’s a score at these championships, and we’re going to try to do the best we can to be successful.”

The Aggies brought home six medals, including a pair of golds and four bronze, from last year’s championship. The two first-place finishes came in the high jumps, as Distin looks to defend her title for a third successive year while junior Ushan Perera will push for back-to-back wins.

Senior Connor Schulman added a bronze in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, while Tierra Robinson-Jones claimed third in the 400-meter. Jack Mann III and Zach Davis each garnered a third-place finish as they tied their clearance in the men’s pole vault.

The Aggies have 19 Top 25 marks heading into the weekend, with eight on the men’s side and 11 on the women’s, including junior Auhmad Robinson, senior Jermaisha Arnold , sophomore Camryn Dickson and senior Joniar Thomas . Both the men’s 4×400 and women’s 4×400 relay teams hold Top 25 marks.

On Feb. 21, Distin was named SEC Indoor Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year after a standout performance at the Tiger Paw Invitational on Feb. 9-10. She is the second collegiate high jumper with three clearances all-time across indoor or outdoor competition. Distin was also named SEC Honor Roll and USTFCCCA All-Academic for the 2022-23 season and added to the Bowerman Watchlist for the second season.

SEC Championship will be broadcast on ESPN with the results being posted at University of Arkansas 2024 SEC Indoor Championship on FlashResults.

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

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