BATON ROUGE, LA. – Under clear blue skies and ideal conditions, Texas A&M set a pair of school records Saturday during the first two running events they contested at the LSU Alumni Gold Invitational held at Bernie Moore Stadium.
Sarah Ravenelle, running in the lead from the start of the 3,000-meter steeplechase, churned out a career best of 10:29.52, which lowered her existing school record by 10 seconds. In the process she is currently No. 12 in the nation among collegiate runners.
“I just wanted to go out and be aggressive,” Ravenelle said of her strategy. “I knew if I ran hard, with the way I’ve been training, I could finish like I needed to.”
Also in the steeple race Brenna Williamson bettered the regional qualifying mark in placing second. Her time of 10:43.80 lowered her career best by nearly 30 seconds as she moved to No. 2 performer with the No. 4 performance on the Aggie all-time list.
“It was amazing that I had Brenna there today,” Ravenelle noted. “I knew she could be there and I’m glad we got her motivated to make the regional standard. Now we can train together for another couple of weeks, get ready for conference, and set bigger goals.”
“The key was having my teammate there with me. Getting her to believe in herself, I knew she could do it.”
In the 4 x 100 relay the Aggies lowered the school record for the fourth time this season. A clocking of 43.80 placed A&M second to the 43.26 posted by LSU. The Aggies improved the school record from a 43.87, which had been run twice this season.
Running on the sprint relay for A&M were Tresha Henry, Porscha Lucas, Khrystal Carter and Rachel Foster, the sixth different relay combination used this season.
The men’s 400 was one of the highlight races of the day as it featured three former Tigers in multiple NCAA champion Xavier Carter, along with Olympians Derrick Brew and Alleyne Francique.
Coming into the homestretch Brew led the field with Francique and A&M’s Justin Oliver offering a challenge. Meanwhile, Carter dropped to the track with about 65 meters left in the race after grabbing the back of his leg. Brew carried on for a 45.77 victory as Francique followed in 46.39 for second while Oliver posted a 46.52 for third.
The following section of the 400 had LSU’s Marvin Stevenson winning in 46.22, moving the Tiger into second place overall, ahead of the 46.58 run by A&M’s A.C. Robinson. Oliver ended up fourth overall while Robinson finished fifth.
More Aggie victories followed on the women’s side as Caroline Wolf cleared 6-0 for the first time this outdoor season to claim the high jump. Meanwhile, Anteneshia Lindsey bumped her career best in the discus to 159-2 (48.52) for a winning margin of nearly five feet.
In the 5,000 meters A&M recorded a 1-2-3 sweep as Meredith Snow led the trio with a winning time of 17:14.16 while Sarah Sauvageau was runner-up in 17:29.42 and Christina Munoz finished third with a 17:42.07.
Closing out the day with the shot put, the Aggie women enjoyed a 1-2 finish there with Kasey Onwuchekwa hitting a mark of 51-11.25 (15.83) for the win over the 46-5.25 (14.15) set by Anteneshia Lindsey in second place.
The A&M men opened the running events with victory by David Hebert in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as he clocked a personal best of 9:16.79 while Joe Sauvageau finished third in a personal best of 9:26.14.
A runner-up finish followed in the 4 x 100 relay. Running with a foursome of Quinton Young, Justin Oliver, Bryant McCombs and Richard Adu-Bobie the Aggies clocked 39.93 behind the winning mark of 39.43 recorded by LSU.
LSU also managed to finish just ahead of A&M in the 4 x 400 as well. The Tigers lowered the collegiate leading time they came in with by posting a winning mark of 3:04.51 while the Aggies lowered their season best to 3:05.62 for second place. A&M ran with the quartet of A.C. Robinson, Bryant McCombs, Nick Robinson and Justin Oliver.
Nick Robinson, who claimed a big 400 hurdles victory on this track a year ago, challenged Isa Phillips once again this season.
With Phillips holding a slight edge going through the curve on the way to the homestretch, Robinson clipped hurdle seven and was knocked off stride enough to prevent a repeat win. Phillips won the race in 49.86, just off his collegiate leading mark of 48.76, while Robinson settled for second this time in 51.75.
James Jerry (52.63) and Cade Liverman (52.90) finished fourth and fifth overall after going 1-2 in the second section of the 400 hurdles.
Jennifer Williams established another career best in the 100 hurdles, while Lindsey Adams recorded a season best mark.
Competing in the first section, way out in lane 8, Williams cruised to a career best of 13.24 just one week after setting her personal best of 13.27 in Miami. She placed third to professional Lolo Jones (12.97) and LSU’s Jessica Ohanaja (13.16). Whitney Holmes finished seventh in the race with a 13.92.
Adams won the second heat with a 13.79 clocking, improving on her previous season best of 14.06. Sheree Francis claimed the third heat in 14.66.
In the 110 hurdles Cade Liverman won the second section in a season best of 14.15 seconds, into a -2.1 headwind, and placed third overall.
Williams also contested the 400 hurdles, where she ran 59.89 for third place behind a 55.87 run by LSU’s Nickiesha Wilson and a 58.86 clocked by Jacksonville’s Janel Grooms.
Wilson came into the meet as the collegiate leader with a 56.67 and she set a world leading mark with her win at the Alumni Gold, bettering the 55.99 run by Jamaica’s Melanie Walker at the Mt. Sac Relays last weekend.
Brian Duplechain just dipped under the regional qualifying standard for the 1,500 (3:47.80) when he placed third with a season best effort of 3:47.20 as he chased a pair of Alabama runners, Augustus Maiyo (3:46.35) and Emmanuel Bor (3:46.77) to the finish line.
Nick Toohey added a third-place result in the 800 as his 1:51.06 time was the best mark run by an Aggie this season. Paul Vance (1:53.86) was just off his personal best as he placed ninth overall after placing second in the second section.
The Aggie 4 x 400 placed third with a season best time of 3:34.97 running with the foursome of Tresha Henry, Porscha Lucas, Katie Baker and Sandy Wooten.
LSU recorded a world-leading time of 3:30.13 as they defeated a professional unit of former Tigers, who placed second in 3:30.30. The previous world-best time for 2007 was 3:30.58 run by Jamaica during the Mt. Sac Relays.
Ashley McCarty became the fifth Aggie to surpass the regional standard in the triple jump as she placed fourth with a distance of 40-10.25 (12.45).
Richard Adu-Bobie finished fourth overall in both the 100 and 200. He placed third in his section of the 200 with a 21.01 and was also third in his section of the 100 when he ran 10.51.
Porscha Lucas ran 23.43 to post the top time by A&M in the 200. She placed fourth in her section behind a pair of LSU sprinters, Sherry Fletcher (23.06) and Kelly Ann Baptiste (23.17), while Novlene Williams (sister of Clora Williams) finished third in 23.39.
Tresha Henry claimed section two of the 200 in 23.74 to place sixth overall. Elizabeth Adeoti (24.03) and Khrystal Carter (24.08) placed ninth and 10th overall.
Another Aggie section winner included Rachel Foster (24.26), who recorded the top 100 time by an A&M sprinter on the day when she ran 11.78 to win the third section and placed fifth place overall. Adeoti clocked 11.81 for fifth place in section one, which resulted in her placing ninth overall.
Jennifer Davidson cleared 12-1.50 (3.70) to finish fourth in the pole vault. In the men’s pole vault Dusty William placed fourth with a clearance of 16-2.75 (4.95). Javier Olivas reached a distance of 54-6 (16.61) for fourth place in the shot put.
Mitch Bible finished fourth in the 5,000 as he ran a 14:57.14 while J.P. Machemehl finished sixth in 15:05.23. In the women’s 1,500 an Aggie season best mark was established by Kathryn Hearn, who placed fifth in the race with a 4:42.61.