PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- Rain and weather delays greeted Texas A&M as well as the thousands of athletes competing during a very wet and cold Friday portion of the Penn Relay Carnival. Despite a two-hour delay early in the morning due to lightning, the enthusiastic crowds still swelled to 39,166 fans at Franklin Field for a bevy of relay and sprint action.
The Aggies posted a pair of third place finishes and advanced a couple more relay squads to Saturday’s Championship of America finals.
Nick Robinson raced the 400 hurdles at 9 a.m. and clocked 51.41 for third place in his heat. The sections that followed were run in a deluge of rain and the corresponding times were a bit slower than normal.
Robinson ended up in third place overall as his section was the fastest of the day. Jussi Heikkila of South Carolina claimed the victory in 51.06 seconds while Albany’s Joe Greene was runner-up in 51.27. Robinson finished ahead of Texas’ Hamza Defaf, who clocked 51.58.
Cade Liverman finished second in his heat, but the corresponding time of 54.57 as a result of the heavy ran placed him 25th overall among a field of 60 hurdlers.
In hurdle relay action the Aggie women placed third in the shuttle hurdle race with a time of 54.68. South Carolina claimed the victory in 53.54 while LSU was runner-up in 53.73. A&M ran with the foursome of Tresha Henry, Whitney Holmes, Lindsey Adams and Jennifer Williams for the rarely run relay.
In the Championship of America final for the women’s 4 x 100 relay, the A&M women finished fifth in 44.72. They ran with a foursome that included Tresha Henry, Porscha Lucas, Khrystal Carter and Simone Facey. LSU won the race in 43.66 with South Carolina runner-up in 43.80 while Auburn placed third in 43.96.
The other relay final on Friday involving the Aggie men resulted in a seventh-place finish in the sprint medley. The A&M crew of Bryant McCombs (200), Richard Adu-Bobie (200), Morquise Cleveland (400) and Nick Toohey (800) won the second heat with a time of 3:21.11 after Tennessee was disqualified. Florida State won heat one and claimed the victory with a time of 3:14.68.
Winning their heat of the 4 x 200 relay, the A&M freshman quartet of Sandy Wooten, Elizabeth Adeoti, Khrystal Carter and Porscha Lucas set a school record of 1:34.37. It bettered the previous mark of 1:38.61 set in 1990 by the Aggie foursome of Rosalyn Hunt, Regina Gentry, Yatisha Bosha and Kasandra McDaniel.
Texas A&M registered the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the 4 x 200 and were assigned lane nine for the Championship of America final. LSU led the qualifying times with a 1:33.04 followed by TCU (1:33.21) and South Carolina (1:33.86).
During qualifying in the men’s 4 x 100 the Aggie men drew national leader Florida State in their heat. A close finish had Seminole anchor Cedric Nabe held off A&M anchor Richard Adu-Bobie, 40.09 to 40.28.
FSU’s time was second fastest in qualifying to a 39.86 posted by UTech of Jamaica. The Aggie clocking ranked fifth among the eight teams advancing to Saturday’s Championship of America final.
Other teams in the Championship final include LSU (40.09), St. Augustine’s (40.11), Oklahoma (40.40), Western Kentucky (40.65) and Middle Tennessee State (40.69). Running in the consolation final are Clemson (40.76), Kentucky (40.78), TCU (40.83), Tennessee (40.87), Texas (40.98), G.C. Foster of Jamaica (41.00), Michigan (41.13) and South Carolina (41.20).
A&M then encountered South Carolina in the third heat of the men’s 4 x 400. The Gamecocks (3:07.01) ran the fastest qualifying time on the day for the win while the Aggies were second in the heat and fourth overall with a 3:09.07 from the foursome of A.C. Robinson, Marcus Pitre, Nick Robinson and Justin Oliver.
Oliver offered a split of 46.5 on the anchor leg, which equaled the eighth-fastest time among the 70 teams running in the qualifying rounds of the college men’s 4 x 400.
Field event finals on Friday had Crystal McBrady placing fifth in the college triple jump with an effort of 39-10.5 (12.15) while Angela Thomas placed 10th with a mark of 38-3.75 (11.98).
In the women’s high jump, held indoors due to inclement weather, Sheree Francis finished seventh with a clearance of 5-8.75 (1.75) while Carolina Wolf was eighth after clearing 5-7.25 (1.71).
In individual qualifying races, Jennifer Williams ran a 13.35 to win her heat of the 100 hurdles and advance to the Championship final. Lindsey Adams finished sixth in the same heat as Williams with a 14.01 while Whitney Holmes ran 14.19 for eighth place in heat one.
Elizabeth Adeoti was the lone Aggie in the women’s 100. She posted an 11.74 for third place in heat one as she followed LSU’s Kelly Ann Baptiste (11.55) and Barbara Pierre of St. Augustine’s (11.68). Adeoti’s time ranked 10th in qualifying, leaving her out of the nine-person final by just 0.02 of a seconds.