PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The Texas A&M track and field squads, both No. 3 in this week's coaches association rankings, compete in the 114th Penn Relay Carnival from Thursday to Saturday at historic Franklin Field.
Another group of Aggies will travel to Houston on Thursday to compete in the Rice Twilight meet. Texas A&M will mainly have distance runners, jumpers and throwers in the meet. Action will start at 2 p.m. and conclude around 10 p.m.
Annually the field of athletes and teams assembled for the Penn Relays produce high-level performances that keep the 49,000-plus fans in attendance eagerly anticipating the next endeavor. With 2008 being an Olympic year, the level of excitement and energy supplied by the fans should keep the venue buzzing all weekend.
The Aggies enter the meet with the top time for 2008 in the women’s 4 x 200 relay (1:32.40) and are ranked second in the nation among college squads in the men’s 4 x 100 (38.83), women’s 4 x 100 (42.97), men’s 4 x 400 (3:04.09) and women’s 4 x 400 (3:32.21).
Texas A&M enjoyed a successful venture at last year’s edition of the Carnival, placing second in both 4 x 400 relays on the final day during the Championship of America races. The Aggie women also finished third in the 4 x 200 with a school record.
In addition Ashika Charan earned an Aggie achievement when she became the first A&M female athlete to win a field event at the Penn Relays, claiming the long jump with a leap of 20-5.25 (6.23). She was the first individual champion for the Aggie women since 1997 when Anjanette Kirkland won her second 100-hurdle title.
Thursday’s action at Franklin Field will have Texas A&M women running in qualifying heats of the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays. Other events in the evening that include Aggies will be the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and women’s 5,000 meters.
On Friday finals will be held in the men’s 400 hurdles, women’s shuttle hurdle relay, men’s distance medley relay, men’s long jump and women’s triple jump. The A&M men will have qualifying heats in the 4 x 100, 4 x 200, and 4 x 400 while the Aggie women go through qualifying in the 4 x 200. Other qualifying will be held in the men’s and women’s 100, and women’s 100 hurdles.
Saturday will feature finals in men’s triple jump along with the sprints, hurdles and relays.