AUSTIN -- Leading qualifying times were registered by Aggies in three events – men’s 4 x 1, men’s 100 and women’s 100 – Friday morning at the 81st Texas Relays while A&M sophomore Hillary Pustka captured a javelin title with a career best mark.
Relay qualifying in the 4 x 100 started at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning and a 4 x 1500 final completed the day at 10 p.m. for Texas A&M. In between the 12-plus hour day the Aggies had their share of success on the track and in the field.
The lone win for A&M in a final came from Pustka when she improved to 161-5 (49.19) for the victory in the ‘B’ division at the Texas Relays. Two weeks ago Pustka registered a PR of 158-5 (48.28) for second place at the Texas Invitational.
The big mark for Puskta, which keeps her in the No. 8 position on the A&M all-time list, came in the third round. It allowed her to pass Oklahoma’s Amy Backel, who hit 160-2 (48.82) in round two. Aggie freshman Emalie Humphreys placed fifth with a toss of 141-2 (43.03).
Josh Tiemann also registered a career best in the discus as he placed second in the ‘B’ division. His mark of 180-7 (55.05) was runner-up to a 183-4 (55.89) set by UCLA’s Bo Taylor. The previous best by Tiemann measured 178-6 (54.41) from last year.
A hard rain followed by cool temperatures and a stiff wind greeted athletes at Myers Stadium in the early morning hour. Later in the day the sun came out, but a steady breeze remained.
Despite 55 degree wet weather in the morning, the Aggie men posted the top qualifying time in the 4 x 100 relay. Freshman Gerald Phiri and sophomore Porscha Lucas each did the same in the 100-meter qualifying.
The foursome of Richard Adu-Bobie, Gerald Phiri, Dominique Stafford and Chris Dykes motored through the qualifying round running an impressive 39.26 seconds, given the conditions. It was the second fastest time run by the Aggies this season, just behind the 39.17 world-leading mark they posted last weekend.
Dykes, a junior, anchored the relay for the first time in his career at A&M. The Aggies won the first heat with UT-San Antonio taking second in 40.38.
Challenger TCU, who has run 39.99 this season, dropped the baton on the final exchange as they ran in the lane adjacent to Texas A&M and did not finish. Other heat winners included LSU (39.73) and Florida State (39.84).
Phiri led a trio of Aggies in qualifying for Saturday’s 100 final by clocking a 10.34 with a legal wind of 1.5 mps. Stafford posted the fourth-fastest mark from the prelims with a 10.40w (2.5) while Adu-Bobie was sixth with a windy 10.42 (2.3).
Lucas, the current world leader at 11.20, cruised to a top qualifying time of 11.26w (2.8). The second fastest mark was an 11.46 (1.9) from USC Carol Rodriguez.
Earlier in the morning Lucas ran second leg of the A&M’s 4 x 100 relay that posted a time of 44.50, second fastest to LSU’s 44.19. Elizabeth Adeoti led off the sprint relay for the Aggies followed by Lucas, Simone Facey and Gabby Mayo.
Advancing to the finals of the 100 hurdles were Jennifer Williams (13.52w) and Whitney Holmes (13.58w).
Aggie triple jumpers reached impressive distances with the aiding wind. Yasmine Regis led a 2-3-5 finish for A&M in the women’s triple jump while Tyron Stewart placed third in the men’s event.
Regis hit a windy mark of 43-5 (13.23) in the fifth round to get within range of the winning mark of 43-9 ¾ (13.35) posted by Louisville’s Seidre Forde. The previous best by Regis this season had been a 41-10 mark set two weeks ago.
Angela Thomas waited until the sixth round to produce a windy leap of 42-10 ¾ (13.07) for third place. Ashley McCarty claimed fifth place with a windy 41-5 ¾ (12.64).
Stewart placed third in the men’s triple jump with a windy mark of 51-11 ¾ (15.84) while Melvin Echard hit a windy 48-10 ¾ (14.90) for 11th place.
Another field event final on Friday morning had Laura Asimakis finishing in a tie for sixth in the ‘B’ division pole vault, clearing a height of 12-1 ½ (3.70). In the men’s ‘B’ javelin Josh Posten finished seventh with a mark of 200-5 (61.09).