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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 women finish in fifth place, men take 22nd at NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Sophomore+Jemaisha+Arnold+and+Tierra+Robinson-Jones+run+the+800m+during+the+NCAA+Outdoor+Track+and+Field+Championships+on+Saturday%2C+June+10%2C+2023+and+Mike+A.+Myers+Stadium+in+Austin%2C+Texas+%28Ishika+Samant%2FThe+Battalion%29
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Sophomore Jemaisha Arnold and Tierra Robinson-Jones run the 800m 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)

The Texas A&M track and field teams wrapped up the 2022–23 season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, a four-day event that culminated on Saturday, June 10, at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. The women’s team finished the event in fifth place with 36 points, while the men came in 22nd with 11 points.
“We had a good effort,” coach Pat Henry said to 12thMan.com. “We’re the fifth best women’s team in the United States, so you can’t be too disappointed. We had some good efforts this weekend, and a couple surprises where I thought we would do a little bit better. For the most part, we were pretty close to doing what we were capable of doing, so I can’t be too disappointed.”
The Aggies sent 28 athletes to the meet at the University of Texas. Last year, the women’s squad came in fourth place, while the men came in 25th.
On June 8, A&M’s women’s team kicked off its run with a pair of podium finishes in the javelin from sophomores Lianna Davidson and Katelyn Fairchild. The duo notched personal best performances of 192 feet, 10 inches/58.78 meters and 190-2/57.97m to earn second and third place, respectively. Davidson and Fairchild have come a long way in the past year, having finished 15th and 16th at last year’s championships, respectively.
“For them to throw that far in this competition is a tremendous feat,” Henry said to 12thMan.com. “Both of those ladies threw the furthest they have in their entire life, they did very well. To be second and third in this competition is big time.”
Senior Tierra Robinson-Jones, freshman Sanu Jallow and sophomores Jermaisha Arnold and Kennedy Wade made up the 4×400-meter relay that finished second overall in the semifinals with a time of three minutes and 27.05 seconds. Arnold’s 50.61 split was the second-fastest time of the day.
The women’s 4×400 squad followed up their second-place semifinal finish with another one in the finals, earning All-American honors for the fourth time in a row and securing the silver medal in the event.
The 4×100 semifinal relay of senior Jania Martin, freshman Camryn Dickson, sophomore Semira Killebrew and Wade was named a Second Team All-American after a season-best 43.30 time, good for fourth in its heat and eleventh overall.
Killebrew grabbed Second Team All-American status for herself with a tenth-place finish in the 100 semifinals at 11.17, while Dickson came in 17th at 11.27. Dickson completed her big day with a 22nd-place finish in the 200 semifinals at 23.28.
Freshman Jaiya Covington was named a Second Team All-American with a 14th-place finish in the 100 hurdles semifinals with a time of 13.16. Sophomore Joniar Thomas continued the day’s action in the long jump. The Grenada native was named a Second Team All-American with her ninth-place leap of 20-7/6.27m.
“Overall, on the women’s side, I think our young people showed up and finally began to understand what I’ve been saying all year long,” Henry said to 12thMan.com. “You’ve got to be ready to step up every time you step on the track. We had three freshmen that weren’t able to do that this week.”
Thomas finished sixth overall in the heptathlon, scoring a personal-best 5,967 points, while also finishing fourth in the javelin, scoring another personal-best with 744 points.
A pair of Aggies advanced past the 400 semifinals, with Arnold’s 50.80 time good for eighth and Robinson-Jones’ 51.20 locking up ninth place in the 400 finals. The maroon and white finished the day in second place with 14 points.
“You could tell who our young people were,” Henry said to 12thMan.com. “This is one of the toughest competitions in the country. You need discipline to make the top eight in each event, especially when you think of the thousands and millions of athletes that compete. This meet is all about our athletes being able to handle their emotion. You could see our youth, but you could also see our athletes that turned it up and did a pretty good job.”
Senior Lamara Distin added another silver medal to her collection, clearing 6-1.5/1.87m in the high jump.
“Lamara, our three-time national champion, was a surprise that she wasn’t able to clear that next bar, but she’s still the second best high jumper today, adding valuable points for our team,” Henry said to 12thMan.com. “Our 4×400 runners ran pretty well, almost as good as they’ve run all year. We were second, which is a great accomplishment, but our quarter milers don’t like getting beat.”
The A&M men’s squad opened the meet on June 7, highlighted by junior Sam Hankins’ fifth-place performance in the javelin. He was named a First Team All-American with a throw of 249-11/76.18m, a personal best good for No. 4 in the A&M record books.
Junior Connor Schulman recorded a second-place finish in the 110 hurdles semifinals at 13.33, becoming the No. 2 performer in A&M history in the process. In the 400 hurdles semifinals, junior James Smith II advanced with a seventh-place time of 49.40, while sophomore Bryce McCray was named a Second Team All-American with his 50.54 13th-place time.
The 4×400 relay of sophomores Omajuwa Etiwe and Auhmad Robinson and freshmen Eric Hemphill III and DeMarco Escobar advanced to the finals after a seventh-place finish in a season-best 3:00.88. That marks the seventh-best time in program history.
The 4×100 semifinal relay of junior Ryan Martin and sophomores DeVante Mount, Isaiah Teer and Jordan Chopane garnered Second Team All-American honors with a season-best time of 38.81 to finish sixth in its heat and 14th overall.
In the pole vault, senior Zach Davis became a Second Team All-American with his 17-4.5/5.30m leap to pick up 15th place. Sophomore Sam Whitmarsh finished his 800 heat in sixth and 18th overall with a time of 1:50.12.
On June 9, the 4×400 relay came just behind its semifinal time, posting a fifth-place finish at 3:00.90 to receive First Team All-American honors. Schulman couldn’t match his semifinal performance either with a 13.47 time in the 110 hurdles, but came in seventh and became a First Team All-American. With that, he’s the first A&M man to be named an All-American in the event since 2013.
Smith II was named a First Team All-American for the second straight year in the 400 hurdles, finishing in eighth place with a personal best of 49.21. He built upon his No. 4 performance in program history. Junior Carter Bajoit picked up Second Team All-American status with a 13th-place finish in the high jump at 7-1/2.16m. Bajoit’s performance comes after he underwent surgery in the fall but made a recovery in time for the spring season.
“Coming back here, being in this position, is just a blessing in itself,” Bajoit said to KBTX. “Being able to put up a decent jump here in front of the crowd, having my family and friends here, it’s just a blessing to be here.”

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