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 makes short trip to Waco for Michael Johnson Invitational

After two weeks out west in Tempe and Palo Alto, the No. 1 men and women’s track team will get the opportunity to perform in-state once again at this weekend’s Michael Johnson Invitational.

The short trip up the Brazos will provide top-ranked Texas A&M with the closest thing they have to a home meet left on the schedule, as the team currently lacks the facilities required to host an outdoor meet.

“[Waco] and Austin are the only two places we compete at that are close to home,” head track coach Pat Henry said. “This meet provides an opportunity for a couple of Aggies to come watch a track meet. There should be a good level of competition this week. There are a number of good teams, full teams, that are going to be there so we’re really looking forward to this one.”

Familiar foes Texas (women No. 3, men No. 6), Texas Tech (women No. 15, men No. 9), Nebraska (men No. 19) and host Baylor (women No. 10, men No. 12) will all join the Aggies this weekend.  All of these teams also faced off against each other previously this year at the 88th annual Texas Relays.

Senior quarter miler Bralon Taplin is one of a number of Aggies who will be looking to hold their spot at the top of the collegiate leaderboard. Taplin, this week’s SEC Runner of the Week, set a new personal best of 44.89 in his outdoor 400 debut at last weekend’s Sun Angel Classic in Arizona. His time leads the NCAA so far this season and moved Taplin up to No. 7 on the list of all-time Aggie performances.  Taplin was also acknowledged by the USTFCCA as an honorable mention National Athlete of the Week.

The women’s 4×100 relay took their performance one step further in setting a world leading mark of 43.03. The quartet of Jennifer Madu, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Aaliyah Brown set the pace for the rest of the world by usurping Jamaica’s University of Technology, which ran a 43.13 back in February.

“Once again, we got to face some really good competition last week and we had some really great performances,” Henry said. “We left the meet healthy, and when you can compete hard and leave healthy, then you’re really moving in the right direction.”

The Michael Johnson Invitational begins with the field events Saturday at 11 a.m. An afternoon running session will start two hours and the final evening session is slated to take place at 5 p.m.

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