Texas A&M’s John Kyriazis wins NCAA javelin with meet record, Aggie 4x400 runs 2:59.95

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EUGENE – Texas A&M junior John Kyriazis broke the NCAA meet record in becoming the javelin champion with a toss of 270 feet, 11 inches (82.58) and the Aggie 4x400 relay ran 2:59.95 in the semifinals.

Through the first day of the NCAA Champions, Texas A&M currently leads with 21.5 points followed by Virginia (20), Florida (18), Akron (15) and Kansas (11.5).

Kyriazis bettered the field by 19 feet in claiming his first NCAA javelin title after placing second last season a fifth as a freshman. Coming into the competition with only a total of three throws from three different meets, Kyriazis utilized a full approach on his delivery for the first time.

Opening with a 234-11, Kyriazis produced his winning effort in round two. He added a 261-1 (79.59) in round three and 248-6 (75.74) in the fourth stanza. Fouls followed in the fifth and sixth rounds.

Nicolas Quijera of Mississippi State finished second with throw of 251-10 (76.77) as Penn State’s Michael Shuey placed third at 250-9 (76.42). Defending NCAA champion Curtis Thompson of Mississippi State finished seventh at 237-9 (72.47). Aggie junior Sam Hardin placed 11th with a mark of 227-6 (69.34).

Closing out the first day of the NCAA Championships with the semifinal of the 4x400 relay, Texas A&M ran in the opening section and produced a sizzling time of 2:59.95, as they generated a fifth world-leading time this outdoor season.

The collegiate record in the 4x400 is 2:59.59 set by LSU in 2005 and the Aggie school record and Hayward Field record is 2:59.60, the second fastest collegiate time ever. The 2:59.95 by this Texas A&M squad is equal to the fifth fastest collegiate performance and the Aggies are the first school to generate two sub-three-minute times.

Richard Rose led off the relay with a 46.4 split while Mylik Kerley supplied a 44.4 on the second leg. Robert Grant completed his lap in 45.16 and handed off to Fred Kerley, who anchored in 43.96 to produce the third fastest split in a NCAA qualifying round.

Finishing behind the Aggies in the same heat of the 4x400 were Alabama (3:03.26) and Texas Tech (3:03.54). Joining those three schools in the final are Florida (3:03.38), Ohio State (3:03.59), Auburn (3:03.59), Iowa (3:03.74) and Arkansas (3:04.10).

In the long jump final Will Williams jumped 26 feet twice and finished third with a mark of 26-1 ½ (7.96). He produced that mark in round two and held the lead for a stanza. Florida’s Grant Holloway claimed the lead with a 26-3 (8.00) in the third round and Gator teammate secured the win with a 26-5 (8.05) in the sixth round. Florida 1-2 finish earned them 18 points.

Jacob Wooten cleared an outdoor best of 17-10 ½ (5.45) to tie for fifth place in the pole vault. Audie Wyatt also cleared 17-10 ½ in placing seventh. Combined they scored 5.5 points for the Aggies. Carl Johansson finished in a tie for 18th place with a clearance of 16-10 ¾ (5.15).

Through the first day of the decathlon, defending NCAA champion Lindon Victor is currently in third place with 4,349 points. The leader is Minnesota’s Luca Wieland at 4,440 with Georgia’s Devon Williams second at 4,354.

Victor opened with a 10.72 in the 100m (940 points), and long jumped 24-1 (896). He topped the shot put with a 53-6 ¼ (16.31) effort for 870 points. A 6-7 high jump (813) and 49.33 in the 400 (846) closed out his first day.

The Aggie 4x100 relay advanced to the final with a season best time of 38.77 as they placed second to Oregon (38.76) and finished ahead of Arkansas (38.79). Texas A&M and Oregon were automatic qualifiers for the final, while Arkansas advanced on time. Running on the sprint relay for the Aggies were Williams, Grant, Elijah Morrow and Fred Kerley.

Joining those three teams in the final were Auburn, with a collegiate leading 38.47, North Carolina A&T (38.48), Texas (38.68), Houston (38.86) and LSU (38.89).

Kerley later motored to a comfortable 44.57 clocking in the 400m semifinal to advance to the final. The top three qualifiers to the final came from Kerley’s section as LSU’s Michael Cherry ran 44.73 and Oregon’s Marcus Chambers finished in 44.92. Mylik Kerley ran 45.76 to place fourth in his section and finished 12th overall.

Devin Dixon and Robert Grant both advanced to final of their respective events by placing second in their heats. Dixon ran 1:47.00 to finish behind a 1:46.63 by UTEP’s Emmanuel Korir. Grant produced a time of 49.43 behina 49.26 for Florida’s TJ Holmes. The time by Grant is the sixth-fastest performance on the Aggie all-time list.

A career best time of 3:44.14 placed Alex Riba ninth in his semifinal heat of the 1,500m. With the performance, Riba improved upon his previous best of 3:45.79 from 2016 and moved to No. 4, with the No. 5 performance, on the Texas A&M all-time list.

Riba placed ninth overall, but didn’t advance to the 12-man final, since the last time qualifier was 3:40.99. The auto qualifiers from the second heat all ran slower than Riba with the top time being 3:44.60.

Elijah Morrow ran 21.11 to place seventh in his section of the 200m semifinal, finishing 23rd overall. Austin Cook’s best effort in the hammer measured 196-10 (60.00) and placed him 23rd.