DES MOINES, IA -- Regional awards from the United States Track and Field / Cross Country Coaches Association were announced on Monday prior to the start of the NCAA Championships later this week at host Drake University.
Representing Texas A&M for awards in the South Central region were athletes Julian Reid and Yasmine Regis along with head coach Pat Henry and assistant coach Vince Anderson.
Reid, a freshman from Kingston, Jamaica, earned the men’s field event honor while Yasmine Regis, a junior from London, England, claimed the women’s field event award. Both athletes, coached by A&M assistant Jim VanHootegem, were champions at the Big 12 meet and among the top three at the Midwest Region.
Reid won the long jump with a personal best of 25-6 ¼ (7.78) during the conference meet held in Boulder, Colorado. He matched that distance in placing second during the Midwest Region meet. In the triple jump, Reid produced a personal best of 54-3 ¾ (16.55) to win the UCLA Invitational in mid April. In postseason action he placed runner-up at the Big 12 Championships and finished third at the Midwest Region.
A Big 12 champion in the triple jump, Regis broke the Aggie school record with her winning distance of 45-5 ¼ (13.85). She was runner-up in the Midwest Region meet with an effort of 44-4 ¼ (13.52). The career best mark from the Big 12 meet also established an under-23 British record for Regis.
LSU sprinters Richard Thompson and Kelly-Ann Baptiste were the recipients for the South Central track athlete honors. Leonel Manzano of Texas tied Thompson to share the men’s track award.
The men’s head coach award in the region was given to Arkansas’ John McDonnell while the assistant coach honor was awarded to Louisiana Tech’s Shawn Jackson.
Henry, who also earned Big 12 Women’s Coach of the Year honors indoor and outdoor this season, oversaw an Aggie squad that successfully defended Big 12 and Midwest Region titles by dominating margins. Now in his fourth season with Texas A&M, Henry shared the South Central Coach of the Year award with Dennis Shaver of LSU for the second consecutive year.
Texas A&M bettered conference runner-up Nebraska by 52 points, 157-105. For the Midwest Region title, A&M was half a point shy of a 50-point margin when they bettered Texas Tech, 116 to 66.5.
Ranked third in the nation for a majority of the outdoor season, the Aggie women claimed No. 1 status after the conference weekend and head into the NCAA Championships with a No. 2 ranking behind LSU. A&M women have 17 athletes qualified for the NCAA meet in 10 events, totaling 23 entries.
Supplying a surplus of those Aggie points during the conference and region meets were the sprinters and hurdles coached by Texas A&M assistant Vince Anderson, who earns his third consecutive coaching honor.
The Aggies won three sprint events in the Big 12, taking titles in the 100 (10.95), 200 (22.29) and 400 (51.09), along with the 4 x 100 relay. In addition A&M was runner-up in the 100 and 400 hurdles with Jennifer Williams and finished second in the 4 x 400.
All three of the individual winning marks were collegiate leaders at the time. The 10.95 by Simone Facey and the 22.29 by Porscha Lucas remain the top collegiate marks with Lucas also holding the distinction of world leader. Beard’s 400 time is second on the 2008 collegiate list.
During the Midwest Region meet the Aggies repeated the effort in claiming victories in the 100, 200 and 400 along with the 4 x 100 relay.