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Several Aggies break records in day two of Michael Johnson meet

Saturday in Waco, the Aggies participated in a beautiful second day of competition at the Michael Johnson Invitational hosted by Baylor University. The biggest victories of the day for the Aggies were Jacob Wooten setting the outdoor school record in pole vault by clearing 18 feet, 8 ¾ inches and Ciynamon Stevenson jumping over 45 feet twice in the triple jump event.
“We actually saw the sun today during a meet and as a result we had some really good things happen today,” Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry said to 12thman.com. “We didn’t plan to do a lot of things today, and if we could go back and do it again I might plan it differently and be ready to run on such a great evening we had over here. Our people did a really good job.”
Texas A&M’s Wooten holds the indoor school record at 18-9 ½ (5.73), and held an outdoor best of 18-2 ½ (5.55) coming into this track & field meet. Wooten has missed the past few weeks of competition due to injury, but managed to challenge Baylor freshman KC Lightfoot throughout the meet.
“Jumping with KC was a real pleasure, that kid always brings it on the runway,” Wooten said to 12thman.com. “I knew I would have someone to keep pushing me up there. The school record fell into my jump plan. I wanted to come in with an easy bar and then make some attempts at 19 feet if I could. I accomplished that goal.”
Both Wooten and Lightfoot made each height on the same attempt from their starting height of 17-5 (5.31) through 18-8 ¾ (5.71). Both pole vaulters passed the next bar after clearing 17-5 on the first attempt and needed two attempts at 18-1 (5.51). Wooten set an outdoor personal best after a first attempt clearance followed at 18-4 ¾ (5.61).
Wooten and Lightfoot each passed 18-6 ¾ (5.66) and soared over 18-8 ¾ (5.71) on first attempts. Wooten’s effort broke the Aggies’ outdoor record of 18-8 ¼ (5.70), which was set by Audie Wyatt two years ago this month. Lightfoot sailed for a career best, improving his indoor height of 18-7 ½ (5.68) and outdoor best of 18-5 ¼ (5.62).
“He was putting on the pressure with the first attempt clearances,” Wooten said to 12thman.com. “When he cleared 18-8 ¾ on first attempt I didn’t really know if I could match that. It lined up well on that jump, thank goodness.”
Wooten passed at 18-10 ¾ (5.76), while Lightfoot missed three attempts. Wooten then challenged 19-0 ¾ (5.81), bailing on the first two attempts and knocking the bar off on his last attempt.
“I knew if I was going to jump another bar I wanted it to be 19 feet,” Wooten said to 12thman.com. “On the jump to break the school record I was able to keep my run under control and execute. It’s great to have both school records, and I’m hoping to raise it a bit more to give these other guys something to shoot for in the coming years.”
The outcome left Wooten and Lightfoot tied for first place in the event, while Aggie Carl Johansson tied for fourth place by clearing 17-5 (5.31).
Stevenson had two tremendous jumps to win the triple jump, rising over 45 feet twice. The pair of efforts were aided by the wind as she challenged a field that consisted of Baylor’s Alex Maddock, runner-up with a 44-2 ½ (13.47w), and former Red Raider Viershanie Latham, third with a 43-9 ¼ (13.34w).
During the fourth round, Stevenson measured a 45-6 ½ (13.88) [wind 2.3] and then went higher in round five with leap of 45-9 ¾ (13.96) [wind 3.0]. Stevenson’s wind-legal best is 43-6 (13.26) set in May of 2018 and her previous windy best was 43-8 (13.31), set last weekend at the Texas A&M Invitational.
“It’s really amazing, I’ve been working for this for three years,” Stevenson said to 12thman.com. “It’s something my dad has been telling me since I was a freshman in high school. He tells me every time just go out there and do it on the first one. The first attempt felt really good, so I thought today is the day. Jumping 45 twice was so emotional. I almost cried, but I held it in until we were done.”
Stevenson’s 45-9 ¾ ranks No. 6 on the 2019 world list under all conditions and moves her to No. 10 all-time on the all conditions U.S. collegiate list. Stevenson also claims the best Aggie mark all-time, under all conditions, breaking the A&M school record of 45-5 ¼ (13.85) set by Yasmine Regis in 2008 at the Big 12 Championships.
“My first reaction to jumping 45 was thinking it’s finally here,” Stevenson said to 12thman.com. “I want to keep this going on. Today, even in the long jump, I was really attacking the board. It all came together today.”
Stevenson opened the invitational with a 43-2 ½ (13.17w), then followed with a 44-0 ½ (13.42w), foul, 45-6 ½ (13.88w), 45-9 ¾ (13.96w), pass.
“We’ve had some pretty good triple jumpers before, but putting together a series like that is impressive,” Henry said to 12thman.com. “As a result of her having that kind of series, you look forward to Ciynamon having a good season.” 
Tyra Gittens took the long jump title for the second consecutive week, leading an Aggie 1-3-4-8 finish, as she measured a 21-1 ¼ (6.43) twice among her six jumps. Both efforts were wind legal at 1.9 and 1.6. The mark ranks equal the No. 7 performance on the A&M all-time list, joining another mark that Gittens set at the 2018 SEC Championships.
Deborah Acquah finished in third place with a 19-10 ¾ (6.06) while Ciynamon Stevenson finished in fourth with a windy 19-8 (5.99) and Taryn Milton leaped for a 19-1 ½ (5.83) and finished in eighth.
Respectable victories for the Aggies also consisted of Jazmine Fray in the 800 with a 2:03.39 along with Devin Dixon, who set a stadium record of 1:47.06 after getting an assist from Carlton Orange, who paced the field through 600m. 
A stellar performance in the women’s 400m had Aggie freshman Tierra Robinson-Jones winning in 52.46 over Jaevin Reed, who was runner-up in 52.48, as Jarra Owens finished in sixth in 53.83. Robinson-Jones moved to No. 11 on the A&M all-time list.
Texas A&M’s women took the top six places in the 200m. Brenessa Thompson led the Aggies in 23.05 (0.8 wind) and was followed by Danyel White (23.21), Diamond Spaulding (23.21), Amber Ivy (23.62), Syaira Richardson (23.62) and Jania Martin (23.68). 
Spaulding was victorious in her section of the 100 in 11.52 (1.0 wind) and placed in third place overall, while Ivy ran 11.56 and Martin posted an 11.64.
In the 4×100, the Aggie squad of Gabrielle McDonald, Martin, Ivy, and Julia Madubuike had a 43.99 win over Baylor (44.35) and Texas Tech (44.91). 
McDonald had an outstanding day in the hurdles, first having a windy 13.10 career best to receive fourth, and then being granted first in her section of the 400m hurdles in a career best of 59.15 to finish in fourth place overall. Kennedy Smith produced a career best of 13.33 in the open section of the 100m hurdles to improve the field and move to equal No. 14 on the A&M all-time list.
The men’s 400m hurdles represented the Aggie talents as Infinite Tucker ran 49.78 as runner-up to 49.75 by Texas Tech’s Norman Grimes. Ilolo Izu finished in third place with a 50.19, while Robert Grant posted a 51.25 in his first hurdle race since June of 2017.
Kyree Johnson received first place in his section of the 400m in 46.72 and placed seventh overall. Jace Comick finished in fifth in the 100m with a 10.33 (0.8 wind).
Celine Markert won the open discus with a toss of 160-10, while Gabe Oladipo finished in fifth place in the discus with a mark of 181-5 . Markert finished in seventh in the shot put with a 46-10 ¾.
Abbey Santoro and Julia Black made debut at 1,500m for the Aggies. The duo finished in first and second in the first section of the open division. Santoro finished in 4:43.06 in the 200m, while Black ran a 4:45.45 as runner-up.
Noah Jacobs finished in third place in the 1,500m as he clocked 4:00.23. Raymond Gonzales caught up with leader Lakelin Conrad of TCU in the final stretch of the men’s open 1,500m to snatch the victory with a career best of 4:02.73. Conrad finished as the runner-up at 4:02.77.

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