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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

No. 1 track poised for strong meet at Penn Relay Carnival this weekend

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Kamaria Brown earned this week’s SEC runner of the week honors.

The No. 1 Texas A&M men and women’s track and field teams are set to spend an extended weekend in the city of brotherly love as they compete in the 121st Penn Relay Carnival. The Aggies have enjoyed recent success at the event, claiming six consecutive 4×100 relay victories and taking the top spot in six of the past seven 4×200 relay races.

“The Penn is a great rehearsal for big meet competition,” said track and field head coach Pat Henry. “There are going to be 60,000 people in the stadium and that makes for an environment that is very conducive for [what we’ll see at] the NCAA championships. We’re just trying to put ourselves in that sort of situation and that’s what [this weekend] is all about.”

The Aggies are coming off a rain-shortened Michael Johnson Classic in Waco in which several events were canceled due to inclement weather. Still, the Aggies were able to notch more than their share of victories before the cancellation.

Senior sprinter Deon Lendore ran a new season best in taking first place in the men’s 400 meter, freshman newcomer Ioannis Kyriazis set a new career best en route to taking the first place and SEC Freshman of the Week honors in the javelin and Kamaria Brown and Shamier Little placed fourth and fifth in a loaded women’s 400 meter field that included both the defending Olympic champion, Sanya Richards-Ross, and NCAA title holder, Courtney Okolo.

“We accomplished a lot in a short period of time,” Henry said. “We had some great efforts. Our Javelin throwers looked good, Deon looked good, Kamaria and Shamier looked real good in the 400 meters. We got a lot done.”

Brown earned SEC runner of the week honors for setting a new career best outdoor 400 time (51.76) and running the third leg in the women’s 4×100 sprint relay. Brown’s 400-meter time is the fifth best in the NCAA and the second-fastest SEC time recorded this season.

“[Her season] has been a struggle to get healthy,” Henry said. “Now she’s finally healthy and she’s ready to run. She showed that last weekend. Anytime you run you first 400 in 51-plus seconds, that’s a tremendous first effort. I think there are big things to come for Kamaria.”

Still, it wasn’t all rainbows and weather delays in Waco. Last week’s USTFCCA honorable mention national athlete of the week, Bralon Taplin, was injured during the exchange in the 4×100 men’s sprint relay and is still struggling to recover. On the women’s side, key piece Olivia Ekpone continues to regain her form from an injury that has held her out of outdoor competition all season long.
The Penn Relay Carnival begins at noon Thursday in Philadelphia. Competition will continue through Saturday, when the action starts at 12:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.

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