Hemann fourth in SEC heptathlon, Strong fifth in hammer final

By: TAMU Sports Information Department/Shawn Price
By: TAMU Sports Information Department/Shawn Price

LEXINGTON, Kentucky -- Jena Hemann placed fourth in the heptathlon with 5,471 points as she came within five points of placing third. Georgia finished first and second in the heptathlon with Kendall Williams (5,877) and Quintunya Chapman (5,527) while Alex Gochenour of Arkansas placed third (5,476).

Finishing behind Hemann were Brittany Harrell of Florida (5,436), Mary Nall of Mississippi (5,390), South Carolina’s Sarah Graham (5,254) and Arkansas’ Leigha Brown (5,239) to round out the team scoring positions. Georgia totaled 18 points in the event with Arkansas scoring seven. Hemann picked up five points for the Aggies.

“Coming in from yesterday I wasn’t in the best place I wanted to be as far as points and place,” noted Hemann, who was in eighth place after the first day of the heptathlon. “So I knew I had to come out here and do the best that I could and just get after it.”

With a long jump of 18-7.75 to start the second day of the multi-event, Hemann picked up 753 points and moved from eighth place to sixth. Then Hemann improved to second place going into the final event as her javelin throw of 142-7 earned 734 points and bettered the field by nearly 25 feet. Running 2:22.04 in the 800 meters earned Hemann 796 points.

“The track is a little different, it feels like the curves are a little longer and the straightaway is shorter,” said Hemann. “I actually really liked that, because you don’t think as much on the straights. I felt a lot more relaxed in the 800 today than I normally have, so I’m hoping that will continue from now on.”

The tally of 5,471 points is the best production from Hemann in a conference heptathlon as she placed fifth the two previous years in the SEC (2013 – 5,378) and Big 12 (2012 – 5,285). Her score is the No. 9 performance on the A&M all-time list, where she now has three performances among the top 10.

Her point production of 2,283 on the second day is Hemann’s best effort among the seven collegiate heptathlons she has contested, topping the 2,203 she scored at Texas Relays this season in reaching a 5,440 total.

Casey Strong placed fifth in the men’s hammer with a toss of 205-8 (60.57) as he scored in a conference meet for the fourth consecutive year. Aggie frosh Austin Cook opened with a 192-5 (58.65) to place ninth.

Strong has totaled 17 conference points in the hammer over the past four seasons. He finished fourth a year ago with a 206-7 and was sixth (192-9) and fourth (195-11) in the Big 12 during the 2012 and 2011 seasons.

In producing his fifth best performance on the A&M all-time list, Strong’s series included marks of 198-8 (60.57), 201-10 (61.53), 204-3 (62.26), 202-11 (61.86), 205-8 (62.69) and 200-3 (61.05). Cook had a set of five fouls following his opening throw.

Georgia freshman Alex Poursanidis won the hammer with a 218-4 (66.54) effort as Alabama’s Elias Hakansson (217-6) placed second with Florida’s Kyle Strawn (211-11) in third place.

The 3,000-meter steeplechase is the only track final on Saturday while field event finals will be contested in the five women’s events – long jump, javelin, high jump, shot put, pole vault – along with a pair of men’s events – long jump and discus. Prelims will be contested in the 1,500, 100 & 110 hurdles, 400, and 100.


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