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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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Athing Mu breaks 800-meter under-20 world record at SEC Indoor Championships

Athing+Mu+will+no+longer+be+a+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+athlete.
Photo by Aiden Shertzer

Athing Mu will no longer be a Texas A&M athlete.

Texas A&M track and field took home both men’s and women’s 800-meter titles at the SEC Indoor Championship with freshman Athing Mu setting a new collegiate and under-20 world record in the 800-meter run.
Mu’s victory sealed the Aggies’ sweep after Brandon Miller won the men’s event with a time of 1:49.69. The A&M men’s and women’s teams ended the championship meet at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday night with 22 Aggies scoring points over the three-day meet, including Tyra Gittens’s Day 2 SEC titles in high jump and long jump.
Mu’s time of 1:58.40 crowned her the SEC Champion while breaking a collegiate record by a whole two seconds that had stood since 2017 when former A&M national champion Jazmine Fray clocked 2:00.69.
“She might be the greatest freshman athlete in any sport ever at Texas A&M, and maybe the greatest collegiate freshman athlete in the sport of track and field,” head coach Pat Henry told 12thman.com.
Mu’s time set Randal Tyson Track Center and SEC Championship records in the 800 and was the third best time in the world this year.
Mu set the under-20 400-meter record earlier this season with a time of 50.52 and helped the women’s 4×400-meter relay team break the collegiate record with a time of 3:26.27 at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 13. The women’s 4×400-meter team did not compete in the SEC Championship this weekend in a coach’s decision to rest the athletes for the NCAA Championships.
Miller’s win means A&M has produced four men’s indoor 800-meter champions in the last five seasons.
“He didn’t run as fast as he has ran before, but this meet is not about how fast; it’s about who you beat, and he did that,” Henry told 12thman.com.
Gittens’s performance was a highlight of Day 2 when she doubled up and claimed event titles in the high jump and long jump. The multi-athlete won the high jump with a clearance of 1.89m/6-2.25, the second-highest clearance in A&M history only behind her own school record of 1.91m/6-3.25.
Gittens advanced to the long jump finals on a Round 3 jump and claimed victory with her final attempt when she landed at 6.62m/21-8.75. It was her second victory of the day, and her mark equaled her personal best, which ranks as the second best performance in program history.
Gittens was named the women’s Cliff Harper Award recipient for the second consecutive season. Awarded to the top point scorer, Gittens won after she bounced back from scoring only three points on Day 1 in the pentathlon. Gittens’ 23 points is the most since 2008 when Brittney Reese of Tennessee tallied 31 points, according to 12thman.com. Gittens is the first athlete to win the award outright since 1997 when Becki Wells of Florida claimed the award after scoring 30 points in 1996 and 22.5 in 1997.
“Tyra has worked hard to deserve that award,” Henry told 12thman.com. “When you think about how nobody has won the award in consecutive seasons, [it] shows you how SEC has had, and does have, some of the greatest athletes in the country. For her to be that good in this environment is a tremendous accomplishment.”
Other Aggies who placed well in the meet include senior Sean Clarke finishing fourth in pole vault clearing a season-best 5.25m 17-2 ¾ and sophomore Zach Davis placing eighth clearing 5.05m 16-6 ¾.
Senior Bryce Deadmon placed fifth in the 400-meter final with a time of 45.86. Senior Jania Martin placed sixth in the women’s 200-meter final with a time of 23.27, while the men’s 200-meter final saw sophomore Lance Broome finish sixth with a time of 21.15.
Senior Emmanuel Yeboah, who has competed for the country of Ghana, placed seventh in the men’s 60-meter final with a time of 6.80 while Junior Tierra Robinson-Jones placed eighth in the women’s 400-meter with a season-best time of 52.93.
Junior Mason Corbin placed third and had a season best in the men’s high jump finals with a jump of 6-9 ¾.
The A&M track and field teams will compete in the NCAA Championships March 11-13 at the Randal Tyson Track in Fayetteville, Ark.

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