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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Track and Field shines at Tiger Paw Invitational

Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

During the Men’s 4×400 Relay seniors Robert Grant and Mylik Kerley look to each other for a smooth baton pass.

Texas A&M Track and Field were in Clemson, South Carolina this weekend competing in the Tiger Paw Invitational. The No. 4 men’s team and the No. 8 women’s team battled a field that included nine SEC schools and 17 teams ranked inside the top 25 in the country.
The weekend featured two record-breaking performances, one on the track and one in the field.
Alex Riba became the first Aggie to break the four-minute-mile when he won the event with a time of 3:59.12. The senior passed Kentucky’s Benjamin Young on the final curve to take the victory.
“It was a great race and we had a rabbit who paced it perfectly,” Riba said to “We had competition to race with. It’s very hard to do by yourself, so since we had multiple guys going for it, it just helped that much more. I could focus on beating people instead of just racing the clock.”
“It was a great race and perfectly setup,” assistant coach McRaven said to “It was very evenly paced, and a good competition. To have two guys break four in the same race where it wasn’t at one of the ‘distance meets’ is really good to see.
“For Alex, and I’m sure he’ll say the same, it’s long overdue. We’ve been waiting and talking about it since he first got to Texas A&M. The cool thing about it he’s battled so many ups and downs with injuries, and just kept persevering to get to this point. To break a milestone like that is really cool.”
Junior Jacob Wooten also set a school record, jumping 18-412 to win the pole vault. Wooten bettered his own record of 18-3 that he set in January at the Razorback Invitational. The victory marked his fifth in six meets.
“I like to say it’s just another day in the office at this point,” Wooten said to “It’s just business as usual. I’m definitely happy to break my record, but I was looking for more today. I went for 18-8 ¼ (5.70) and I really wanted to get that bar. It’s coming, just not quite yet.”
Senior Audie Wyatt confirmed another 1-2 finish in the event for Texas A&M, clearing 17-612 to finish runner-up.
Devin Dixon had a career best performance in the 800m. The sophomore clocked a time of 1:47.37 to defend his title and improve the facility record of 1:47.85 that he set as a freshman.
Senior Will Williams came up half an inch short of winning the long jump with a leap of 24-10. Florida’s KeAndre Bates went on to win the event.
The Aggies’ 4×400 squad managed a third place finish behind USC and Florida with a time of 3:02.95. All three schools broke the previous facility record of 3:03.30 set by Texas A&M last year. Running for the maroon and white was Robert Grant (46.40), Ilolo Izu (45.54), Devin Dixon (46.14) and Mylik Kerley (44.87).
The women’s team had one victor in freshman Sammy Watson over the weekend. She clocked 2:03.42 to win her collegiate 800m debut.
“I came into this race a little bit nervous,” Watson said to “I just wanted to prove myself to myself and finish strong. It was nice having a rabbit in the race so I knew if I was staying on pace through 600m.”
“It was very exciting to open up with a 2:03 in the 800,” Watson added. “I know I can only get better, and there’s a lot more to come later in the season.”
Other top finishers for the Aggies included senior Alison Ondrusek who had a career best toss of 69-1134 to win the weight throw. Texas A&M claimed a 2-3 finish in the 3000m with sophomores Ashley Driscoll and Ashton Hutcherson clocking times of 9:44.85 and 9:59.75, respectively.
Texas A&M will be back at home on Feb. 17 when they will host the Aggie Twilight, their final meet before the SEC Championships.

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