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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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Top-ranked track teams to compete in Sun Angel Classic

Three meets into its outdoor season, the Texas A&M track and field team continues to hold the top spot in national polls.

The Aggies have been ranked No. 1 on both the men and women’s side since the preseason rankings were unveiled in mid-March. Still, head coach Pat Henry said leading the rest of the field in the polls, while an honor, is not something the team focuses on during the season.

“The [long term] goal is to win, there’s no question about it, but the immediate goal is for individuals to continue to get better all the time,” Henry said. “We have a sport where that’s what it’s all about — each individual continuing to get better.”

The collegiate track rankings have nothing to do with popularity or a program’s prestige. They’re entirely computer generated, much like the BCS rankings previously used in football. The USTFCCCA rankings are based on the past production of a team’s returning members and the performances the teams are turning in each week during the season.

The Aggies vaulted themselves to the top of the polls in the preseason on account of the prior accomplishments of former champions like senior sprinter Deon Lendore and junior discus thrower Shelbi Vaughn, but it has taken a combined effort to stay on top.

That includes the emergence of Ioannis Kyriazis, a newcomer from Athens, Greece. Kyriazis, who is affectionately referred to as “John” by his coaches and teammates, earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks after an impressive showing in the javelin at last weekend’s Stanford Invitational. Kyriazis throw of 247 feet, 7 inches moved him up to fourth among fellow collegians and third place in the world junior rankings.

“Coming off the Stanford meet, we had some great efforts out there and John was one of them,” Henry said. “For a freshman to throw 247 feet, that’s a big throw for anybody. He’s doing real well right now.”
The Aggies return to the campus of Arizona State, where they began their outdoor campaign, to take part in the 36th annual Sun Angel Classic. Texas A&M will face quality teams this weekend as Kansas State (No. 12 women), Boise State (No. 24 women), BYU, Washington State and host Arizona State are all slated to participate along with a number of individual athletes who have earned an invitation.

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