COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M’s spring signing class for track and field features two of the top high school athletes in the nation as Gabby Mayo and Jessica Beard signed letters of intent with the Aggie program this week.
Mayo (Southeast HS, Raleigh, NC) was selected as the 2006 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year and named High School Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News magazine while Beard (Euclid, Ohio) finished third in TFN’s voting for the top female prep athlete during their junior season. April Williams, who was No. 10 among the magazine’s voting last fall, signed with Texas A&M in November during the early signing period.
“Gabby Mayo and Jessica Beard are big time prep athletes and have done a great job,” A&M head coach Pat Henry said. “They really add some strength to our program and we are elated to get both of those young ladies into our group.
“They have some international experiences that not many incoming freshmen will have. Of course they still have their senior outdoor season to complete right now as well. The experiences they and bring to our program are valuable.”
Joining Mayo and Beard in the Aggie signing class this spring is NJCAA sprint champion Allison George (Essex JC / Grenada) and Katy Eudaly (Arlington Martin).
On the men’s side A&M the group of five athletes who signed letters of intent with Texas A&M is led by 2005 NJCAA 100 runner-up Dominique Stafford (Crowley, Texas) of Barton County JC, who sports a career best of 10.34 in the 100, which he has run twice in winning the 2006 Texas Relays college division and in posting a win at the Arlington Invitational during the same season.
While in high school Stafford won the Class 4A State 100 meter title as a senior, clocking a windy 10.47. He also anchored Crowley’s 4 x 100 relay, which placed second at the State meet.
The Aggies also signed Tyron Stewart (Cedar Hill, Texas), currently the top triple jumper in Texas with a mark of 50-1.75 he set in winning district this week. Stewart, whose mark is also second in the nation at this stage of the season, placed fifth in the State 5A meet last year.
Also sealing their commitment to the Aggies with letters-of-intent were Graham Northcutt (Sulphur Springs, Texas) and Vincent Scillitani (Foster HS, Richmond, Texas).
“We also signed who we think is the best junior college sprinter, too, both male and female in Dominique Stafford and Allison George,” Henry added. “We’re extremely pleased with the class we signed. It gives us, team-wise, added depth and allows us to do the things we think we need to do for the team to be successful.
“As far as the individuals we have signed we are very, very pleased. Some of them are the best young people in this country in our sport and have established some of the best prep marks ever as young athletes.”
As members of the U.S. junior national team that competed in the World Junior Championships last summer in Beijing, China, Beard and Mayo each earned gold medals as members of relay teams and were finalists in their respective individual events.
Mayo anchored the 4 x 100 for the U.S. Junior squad as they claimed gold with a 43.49 clocking, just off the 43.29 World Junior Record the foursome set in Eugene during a tune-up meet prior to the championships in China.
Individually, Mayo finished second in the 100 and fifth in the 200 at the World Junior Championships. She recorded career bests of 11.16 and 22.88 during the U.S. Junior Championships, placing second in the 100 and winning the 200. Her times topped the 2006 high school list and ranks No. 5 in the 100 and equals No. 6 in the 200 on the all-time prep list.
Beard ran the first leg of the U.S. Junior’s 4 x 400, which clocked 3:29.01 for the victory. She finished fifth in the 400 with a 52.51 clocking.
During the U.S. Junior championships Beard recorded a winning time of 51.89, a career best which led all high school marks for the 2006 season and ranks No. 9 on the all-time prep list.
Following are notes on the 2007 A&M track and field spring class, who signed letters-of-intent this week:
Jessica Beard – Broke meet record at Nike Outdoor Nationals last summer with a winning time of 52.04 to better the previous mark of 52.44 established in 2005 by Brittany Jones. Beard became just the third athlete to win an event at both the Nike Outdoor Nationals and Golden West titles when she won the 400 at each meet last summer.
A three-time Ohio State champion in the 400, Beard notched victories in 2004 (55.36), 2005 (53.47), and 2006 (53.58). Beard set the State record in her division during her sophomore year as her 53.47 eclipsed the record of 54.17 set in 1995.
Placed second at State in the 200 (24.25) and finished third in the 200 at Golden West last summer. In the 100 Beard ran a windy 11.77 as the Ohio State runner-up as a junior.
Katy Eudaly – Anchored the Arlington Martin 4 x 200 relay to a third-place finish in the Region I-5A final of her sophomore year. Ran the first leg of school’s 4 x 100 the past two years. Member of State 5A championship team in volleyball during fall of 2005.
Allison George – Won both sprint titles during NJCAA Indoor Championships held in March, running a 7.02 for 55 meters and 24.42 in the 200 as Essex County JC won the team title. She also ran on the 4 x 400 relay, which placed second at the national meet.
During her freshman season, George finished fourth in the 60 and fifth in the 200 at the NJCAA Indoor Championships. She has set a personal best of 7.58 in the 60 meters and outdoors she has established career bests of 11.78 in the 200, 24.20 in the 200 along with a 56.11 in the 400.
Gabby Mayo – A proficient hurdler Mayo ran a career best of 13.60 last year, which was fifth-best in the nation for the 2006 season. During elite prep meets this past summer Mayo defeated Texas signee Bianca Knight at the Nike Outdoor Nationals, 11.42 to 11.63, and placed third in the 200 with a 23.55.
In addition to running an 11.16, Mayo also clocked a wind-aided 11.14 as a junior. She was never defeated by another prep in 2006 and earned a No. 1 ranking in the 100 by Track & Field News. Adding the No. 1 ranking in the 200, Mayo became the 12th female athlete to rank atop the 100 and 200 in the same year.
Her aunt, Treshell Mayo-Herndon, was a college All-American at Clemson who reached the Olympic Trials semifinals in the 200 during 1996.
Kasey McNorton – Finished 12th in the State 5A cross country meet held last November, running an 11:29.10 while leading Plano West to a fourth-place finish in team scoring. McNorton placed fifth in the Region II meet after a runner-up finish in her district race.
An all-state selection in cross country for the 2006 season as selected by the Cross Country Coaches Association of Texas.
Also a region qualifier in the 800 last season, McNorton started her track career as a high jumper and has recently made the switch to distance running.
Graham Northcutt – Has run 4:19.63 for the 1,600 and recently placed sixth in the 3,200 during the Texas Relays. Last year Northcutt placed fifth in the 800 at the State 4A Championships, running a 1:57.83. In winning the Region II-4A meet he clocked 1:57.19. Northcutt was also named district Defensive MVP for soccer as a senior.
Vincent Scillitani – Placed third in the long jump during the Texas Relays and was third in the Region III-4A meet last year with a best of 23-8. Last summer Scillitani finished third in the Great Southwest Classic, held in Albuquerque.
Dominique Stafford – Placed fourth in the 60 at the NJCAA Indoor Championships as a freshman in 2006. Has run a career best of 6.67 for 60 meters. Recently won his qualifying heat in the college 100 at the Texas Relays in 10.50, the second fastest qualifying time.
Prior to winning the State title in the 100 during his senior year at Crowley, Stafford also claimed the Region II-4A title in a wind-aided 10.50. During the summer after his senior year Stafford finished second in the 200 (21.58) and fourth in the 100 at the Great Southwest Classic with another windy 10.50.
Tyron Stewart – Won district title in triple jump this week with a state-leading mark of 50-1.75, which currently ranks No. 2 in the nation. Previously led the triple jump list in Texas with a 49-5.5 effort from earlier this season.
Last season Stewart finished fifth at State in the 5A division of the triple jump. He won the district title in the triple jump and was runner-up in the long jump. During the Region I-5A meet Stewart placed second in the triple jump.
His grandfather, Warren Wells, was former wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders (1967-1970) who currently resides in Beaumont.