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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M track and field earn multiple wins at LSU Invitational

Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Senior Mylik Kerley lead the Men’s 4×400 team to victory as they set the SEC and Gilliam stadium record, only fractions of a second off the collegiate record.

In the last meet before the SEC Championships, Texas A&M track and field was in Baton Rouge competing in the LSU Invitational. The Aggies produced standout performances throughout the day on Saturday.
A&M’s middle distance prowess was on display, as the Aggies swept the 800m titles behind runs from freshman Sammy Watson and sophomore Devin Dixon.
Watson won the women’s 800m with a time of 2:02.49. For the season, Watson is the third fastest collegian and the fastest freshman.
“This race, once again, put more confidence in my head,” Watson said to “I’m getting better and better at running races alone and pushing myself, knowing even without some competition I can still run fast times.”
Dixon ran to victory with a time of 1:45.62, holding off a challenge by Alabama’s Alex Amankwa down the final stretch of the race. With the career best time, Dixon is the current U.S. and collegiate leader in the 800m.
“I’m just really happy with that performance,” Dixon said to “I could feel [Amankwa] on my back the whole time, he was really pushing me to run what I needed to run. It was a really good race. I’m not surprised because I put in all the hard work and effort during practice. This is the result, the fruits of my labor. I think running the 400m has helped me a lot with my confidence. What I’m able to run in the open quarter, it breaks down the 800 into smaller pieces. It helps me relax and understand the 800 more.”
A&M also had highlights in the long distance races on Saturday. The men’s team had a 1-2 finish in the 3,000m steeplechase by two freshmen, as Raymond Gonzales ran a time of 9:09.04 to pass teammate Zephyr Seagraves on the final stride of the race. Both ran career best times.
Taking the lead with two laps remaining, fellow freshman Rachel Bernardo won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase with a career-best time of 10:48.76 to complete the sweep of the event.
The women’s team produced a 1-2 finish in the 5,000m, as freshman Maddie Vondra won the event with a career best time of 17:27.64, followed by sophomore teammate Lauryn Barrientos at 17:50.50. On the men’s side, Taylor Clayton won the 1,500m with a time of 3:55.05.
The Aggies only produced one winner in the field events this weekend, however, it was a highlight performance. Kristen Clark won the women’s javelin throw with a career best heave of 56.20m. The senior led the field from the first round, and her distance currently leads the SEC.
“At Baylor last weekend I didn’t throw that well, but I felt really good on the runway,” Clark said to “I knew I had confidence coming off of Baylor going into practice this week. I had the best practice I’ve had in a long time. Today was the most fun I’ve had and the most comfortable. It was the easiest throws I’ve ever taken.”
The Aggie women ended the meet on a high note, being the top collegiate finishers in the 4×400 relay behind Athletics Canada. The squad ran a season best time of 3:30.53.
On track for A&M were Julia Madubuike, Glorilisha Carter, Jazmine Fray and Watson. On the anchor lap, Watson held off an attack from Alabama freshman Tamara Cark to claim victory for the maroon and white.
“It’s been fun getting back into 4×400 relay races,” Watson said to “I’ve missed it a lot.”
The A&M men’s 4×400 relay squad managed a runner-up finish behind LSU who took the lead with 50 meters remaining. The Aggie time of 3:05.32 was run by Richard Rose, Infinite Tucker, Dixon and Kyree Johnson.
The Aggies’ next action will come on May 11-13 when they will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to compete in the SEC Championships.

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