New York City – Two victories highlighted the second day of the eighth annual New Balance Collegiate Invitational for the Texas A&M track and field team as the Aggies finished second in women’s team scoring.
Winning performances were posted by Porscha Lucas in the 200 and Jessica Beard in the 400. Simone Facey finished ahead of Lucas in a stellar 200 field, but was disqualified. Officials ruled she veered into lane five from six in the last five meters of the race. But she didn’t impede another runner with lane five occupied by Lucas.
“We had some really good things happen, but we had some things that I’m really disappointed in happening too,” Texas A&M coach Pat Henry said. “We’ve got to have a little bit more concentration and be a little bit more concerned with making things happen at a specific time. That’s what this group is going to focus on at this point.
“I think across the board with our sprint talent people did a pretty good job. I’m not as pleased with where I thought we should be this weekend. In the men’s mile relay, this is the third year in a row that we’ve been knocked down here. It’s just a little bit of a bad luck meet for us in a couple of areas.”
Beard powered through a 400 final that featured LSU’s Deonna Lawrence and two runners from South Carolina, Brandi Cross and Krystal Cantey. Beard crossed the finish line with a 53.02 winner, marking the No. 4 performance in A&M indoor history.
Cross, running in the first section with Cantey, posted a 53.14 for the field to chase. Beard did so with her winning time in the second section as Lawrence ran 54.34.
Prior to the disqualification ruling, Facey and Lucas had provided Texas A&M with a sizzling 1-2 punch in the 200-meter final. Facey just held off her teammate in a tight finish, 23.29 to 23.33, as both bettered the LSU tandem of Kelly-Ann Baptiste (23.46) and Samantha Henry (23.54). Facey and Lucas, who both have faster times in the 200, still notched the No. 5 and No. 6 performances on the Aggie all-time indoor list.
“I’m just really excited that I did better than Friday,” Lucas noted. “The 200 is really my race, so I was glad to have such great competition and do as well as I did in the race. Having Simone in lane six ahead of me really pushed me and helped me run the race I did.”
LSU reversed the team finish of a year ago, claiming the title with 104 points to Texas A&M’s 62.
In the men’s 200 final Chris Dykes sped around the track in 20.97 seconds, just .3 off his indoor personal best and registered the No. 8 performance on the A&M all-time list. He was runner-up to Tennessee’s Rubin Williams, who clocked a collegiate leading and meet record 20.66 for the win. Richard Adu-Bobie also made the 200 final for the Aggies and ran 21.69 for 10th place.
The Aggie women picked up key points in the championship triple jump, placing 3-4-5-7 with the crew of Ashika Charan (43-1 ¾, 13.15), Angela Thomas (42-2, 12.85), Yasmine Regis (42-1 ¼, 12.83) and Tiffany Peters (40-3 ½, 12.28).
Three of the four marks earned NCAA provisional status. Charan, after equaling her indoor best as the long jump runner-up on Friday, bettered her triple jump best and improved to the No. 3 performer with the No. 5 performance on the A&M all-time list.
Thomas, who had a previous indoor best of 40-11, is now the No. 5 performer. Peters cracked the Aggie top 10 as the No. 9 performer. For Regis the New York meet was her first of the indoor season.
In the men’s triple jump, where Texas A&M produced a 3-4-7 result, Zuheir Sharif enjoyed a career best of 52-3 ¼ (15.93) as did Julian Reid with a 51-9 ¼ (15.78). Not to be left out, Tyron Stewart surpassed 51 feet as well, reaching a distance of 51-0 ¾ (15.56). The trio now occupies positions No. 5-7-8 on the Aggie all-time indoor list.
During the women’s 200 qualifying races earlier in the day Lucas had the top mark with a 23.58 while Facey turned in the second-fastest with her 23.63. Other A&M marks from the prelims included: Gabby Mayo (24.42), Elizabeth Adeoti (24.72), and Khrystal Carter (24.84).
Nick Toohey finished seventh in his section of the championship division of the 800 with a 1:57.04. Matt Ross clocked 4:16.66 in the mile to place 14th overall, while Kevin McNab turned in an 8:26.00 for the 3,000. In the weight throw Deidre Tarver recorded a mark of 47-11 (14.60). Josh Tiemann turned in a 54-3 ¼ (16.54) in the men’s weight throw as Javier Olivas reached 47-2 ½ (14.39).
Melvin Echard produced a distance of 47-11 in the college division triple jump, placing 10th. In the women’s championship pole vault, Laura Asimakis and Jennifer Davidson both cleared 11-11 ¾ (3.65). Asimakis, who improved her standing as the No. 4 performer on the A&M list, finished 14th with Davidson placing 15th.
The night wrapped up with the 4 x 400 and bumping in each race proved costly to the Aggies.
Arkansas women were disqualified when the third leg bumped Facey upon the completion of the first of two laps the runners were taking on the banked 200-meter track. A&M finished with a 3:39.40 to place third as LSU (3:34.74) and South Carolina (3:35.54) placed 1-2, but came up short of the Aggies’ collegiate-leading mark of 3:34.61.
In the men’s 4 x 400 a first leg bump of Bryan Miller led to Kentucky having a runner fall to the track, which took the Wildcats out of the race. The result for A&M, though, was a 3:18.71 finish well behind the pack.