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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 split squads to shine at meets in California, Florida

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

In a week when the Texas A&M men’s and women’s track and field teams were ranked first in the U.S., and senior Timara Chapman and freshman Abigail Martin made SEC Weekly Honors, the squads continued a stellar outdoor season, including personal bests as they split to compete at the Bryan Clay Invitational and Tom Jones Memorial over April 11-13.

Junior Victor Kibiego set the tone as he climbed to No. 2 in the nation and second on the A&M all-time performers list in the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase, finishing fourth with a time of 8 minutes and 25.48 seconds to end Day 1 of the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California.

On Day 1 at the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Florida, junior Lianna Davidson continued her winning to claim her fourth javelin title with a throw of 57.26 meters. Her second-longest throw of the year, Davidson remains No. 2 in the nation. Freshman McKenzie Fairchild took sixth at 48.93 meters.

On the men’s side, junior Sam Hankins finished fourth at 75.05 meters, and senior John Baker debuted his outdoor season in the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.36 meters.

Junior Sam Whitmarsh debuted on the Bowerman Watchlists and finished third overall and first among collegians in the men’s 1500 meters, with 3:40.74 minutes. Whitmarsh is now No. 2 on the A&M all-time list and seventh in the U.S. this year.

Junior Connor Gregston claimed his first win in the men’s open pole vault, clearing 5.13 meters, while sophomore Jack Mann III finished 10th in the invitational section after clearing a mark of 5.15 meters.

On Day 2 of the Bryan Clay Invitational, the Aggies secured four personal bests, starting with senior Eric Casarez in the men’s 5000-meters with a time of 13:44.77 minutes, which was good for third in his heat and third-fastest mark in Aggie history while trailing both of his previous two marks. Kibiego and senior Jonathan Chung followed up with personal records with times of 13:45.80 minutes and 14:11.51 minutes, respectively. Kibiego also shot to No. 3 in the A&M record books while placing second in his heat and Chung finished 13th.

On the women’s side, freshman Kennady Fontenot ran the women’s 5000-meters in a new personal best time of 16:19.48 minutes to finish fourth in her heat and at the No. 5 spot in the A&M record books. Freshman Avery Perkins was the final Aggie to run a personal best in the women’s 800-meters at 2:10.66 minutes.

At the Tom Jones Memorial, junior Kimar Farquharson secured first place in the men’s 800-meters in a photo finish at 1:46.69 minutes, beating out second place with a time difference of 0:00.07 seconds.

Junior Auhmad Robinson claimed his first outdoor sub-45 time in the men’s 400-meters, finishing second with a time of 44.98 seconds. Robinson is ranked No. 11 all-time for the Maroon & White. Senior Jevon O’Bryant finished in eighth place, clocking in at 45.37 seconds. Senior Jermaisha Arnold finished sixth in the women’s 400-meters, with a time of 50.86 seconds, ranking in the top six best times in the nation.

Senior star Lamara Distin finished second in the women’s high jump at 1.92 meters. Freshman Carlie Weiser finished second in the women’s shot put with a career toss of 16.05 meters, the No. 2 spot on A&M’s all-time list and seventh nationally among freshmen in the event.

The men’s and women’s 4×400 meters relay finished second and sixth, respectively. The men’s team of O’Bryant, Robinson, Farquharson and junior Cutler Zamzow finished with 3:01.30 minutes for the Maroon & White’s second-fastest time this season. The women’s team of junior Kennedy Wade, junior Jaydan Wood, sophomore Camryn Dickson and Arnold finished sixth overall and third among collegians, finishing with a season’s best of 3:29.03 to rank No. 4 in the nation.

Sophomore Bailey Goggans moved to fourth in the A&M record books with 2:02.86 minutes to place fourth in the women’s 800-meters. Sophomore Jaiya Covington finished eighth in 13.18 seconds to end the Tom Jones Memorial meet.

The A&M track and field team will next compete at the Alumni Muster at E.B. Cushing Stadium on April 20.

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

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