Mountain View, Calif. – As the Texas A&M track and field program continues to aspire to greater heights under head coach Pat Henry and his staff, first time achievements continue to be claimed on a regular basis.
The Aggie women's 2007 recruiting class has been rated No. 1 in the nation, a first for the program. The distinction was made by Track & Field News, and will be published in the December issue of the monthly magazine.
The women's recruiting class for Texas A&M was judged as best in the nation over a field that includes UCLA, Florida State, Oregon, and Michigan among the top five schools. Receiving honorable mention were North Carolina, Stanford, Nebraska, LSU and BYU.
"We feel good about adding this quality of talent to our program," said Pat Henry, who is in his fourth season at Texas A&M. "This recruiting class is an important addition to the program. In our continued effort to balance our program this class is significant in reaching that goal."
Last year the Aggie women's recruiting class garnered a No. 2 ranking in the nation behind USC. Members of the 2006-07 A&M class played an integral part in leading Texas A&M to first-ever conference titles during the Big 12 Indoor and Outdoor Championships as well as producing a program best of 13th at the NCAA Indoor and fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Headlining the 2007-08 class are three high school All-Americans in Gabby Mayo, named the 2006 High School Athlete of the Year; Jessica Beard, a three-time All-America and two-time No. 1 in the 400; and April Williams, who rated No. 1 twice in the 100 hurdles while earning three consecutive All-America honors.
Beard and Mayo are featured in Track & Field News as prize recruits for the 2007 season.
Texas A&M's recruiting class also includes Allison George, winner of four NJCAA titles over 60, 200 and 400 meters as well as the 4 x 400 relay from Essex County; Brooke Upshaw, winner of the 2006 SEC cross country meet while at Arkansas; Emalie Humphreys, U.S. Junior runner-up in the javelin; Tiffany Peters, State 4A triple jump champion; Laura Asimakis, State 4A pole vault runner-up in 2005; and Cyne' Wardsworth, a member of the Ft. Bend Marshall State 5A champion 4 x 400 relay teams in 2005 and 2006.
The group also includes Sarah Pierson, a Nebraska State champion in the 100 hurdles and Katy Eudaly, a four-event winner at the 2004 TAPPS State 3A meet. Athletes in the recruiting class who have already made a contribution during cross country season include Kirsten Brown, Alie Cornell and Kasey McNorton.
In addition to ranking the recruiting classes, Track & Field News also offers an early look into who they think will contend for the top places at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Texas A&M women are tabbed for second place, just one point behind defending champion Arizona State. The predicted finish, with team scores, includes: 1. Arizona State 66; 2. Texas A&M 65; 3. LSU 61; 4. UCLA 51; 5. BYU 43.
Last season at this time the magazine's prediction guru, Jack Pfeifer, predicted the Aggies to win the NCAA women's title by a point over South Carolina. Texas A&M produced its highest ever finish in the program's history at the NCAA Outdoor Championship when they placed fourth behind Arizona State, LSU and Michigan.
Individual winners are also predicted by T&FN's Pfeifer, who tabbed the Aggies as favorites to win the 200 meters and defend their 4 x 100 relay title. Simone Facey, runner-up in the 200 last year, is predicted to win the 2008 title. Facey is also one of three returning athletes on Texas A&M's victorious sprint relay, joining Elizabeth Adeoti and Porscha Lucas.