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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 men place third, women sixth at SEC Indoor Championships

Texas A&M track and field played host to the SEC Indoor Championships at the Gilliam Indoor Stadium on Feb. 28 and 29.
A&M was unable to win as a team against the stiff SEC competition that has six of the top 10 teams in the nation for women and four of the top 10 for men. While A&M’s men grabbed third (82 points) and the women placed sixth (58 points), Arkansas swept the competition. This makes the Razorbacks’ third win in five years on the men’s side and brings their sixth straight championship back to Fayetteville on the women’s side.
“Overall, I’m pleased with the group, we just have to keep working hard and getting better,” A&M coach Pat Henry told 12thman.com. “I look at the whole meet and I’m pleased with the men, there are a couple of event areas that we have much more potential in that needs to be done. On the women’s side there was just a couple of events that just couldn’t get it done when it counted and that’s another thing we will have to work on, we have the potential to get it done.”
Through day one of the meet, A&M’s women sat in second, trailing Arkansas by eight points, while the men fell to seventh. Junior Tyra Gittens, the highest female scorer in the event, and junior Deborah Acquah lead the women through the strong first day. Acquah leapt 6.45 meters to take home the gold in long jump and become the first Aggie to win the SEC Championship in the event. Gittens also participated in the long jump, placing fourth with a 6.27 meter jump.
“I was pleased with the day, we scored about what I thought we would score,” Henry told 12thman.com. “Tyra Gittens set a new school record in the pentathlon and that’s not easy to do.”
Gittens shined particularly bright in the pentathlon, beating out the competition in high jump (1.86 meters), shot put (13.05), and long jump (6.27 meters), becoming the first all-time Aggie SEC Champion in pentathlon. Her high jump performance also tied the A&M indoor record that was set in 2006.
“I wasn’t expecting to win, but I knew once everything came together I could put on a good score,” Gittens told 12thman.com. “That’s exactly what happened today. Even though I expected a little more out of three of my events, everything else was consistent. I’m just so happy that I was able to provide that win for my team, because every point counts.”
The Aggie men’s day two push that brought them up to 82 points was led by graduate student Bryce Deadmon, senior middle-distance runner Devin Dixon, and the 4×400 relay team. Deadmon won the men’s 400 meter gold (45.51 seconds) and was followed up by freshman Jamal Walton (45.62 seconds), Dixon won the men’s 800 meter gold (1:49.63), and the 4×400 relay team also won gold (3:04.86). The relay was run by Dixon, Deadmon, Walton, and senior Carlton Orange, who placed third in the 800 meter (1:50.20).
“I think it can be and has shown to be the nucleus of our team over the years,” Henry told 12thman.com. “ It’s a group that when one does well then another one grabs on and all of a sudden things are happening. Both the men’s and women’s quarter-mile groups have that special bond with each other, they train and hurt with each other every day and it develops that unique bond within a group.”
This win is Arkansas’ third in five years on the men’s side and brings their sixth straight championship back to Fayetteville on the women’s side.
“Winning this league is a huge accomplishment,” Arkansas’ coach Chris Bucknam told arkansasrazorbacks.com. “We (Arkansas) won the toughest conference in the country, we won the championship.”
Aiding the Aggie men’s strong day two performance was senior distance runner Jon Bishop, who grabbed a bronze medal in the men’s 3000 meter (8:11.59). Bishop said prior to the meet, that a podium finish was his personal goal for the weekend.
“A guy like Jon Bishop is helping the younger guys mature and they are working with each other that is why that group is being successful,” Henry told 12thman.com. “ Zephyr Seagraves is a spark plug, Jon has energy and then you have a really talented young freshman in Eric Casarez.”
Bishop also ran the 5,000-meter and placed eighth (14:28.57), while freshman Eric Casarez placed fifth (14:01.50).
Freshman Cherokee Young medaled for the Aggies in the women’s 800-meter, placing third (2:05.80).
Sophomore Logan Freeman placed fourth in pole vault (5.26 meters), his personal best, and freshman Zach Davis also recorded a new personal best and placed eighth (5.11 meters).

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