Philadelphia, Pa. – Texas A&M capped the final day of the 113th Penn Relay Carnival with a pair of runner-up performances in the Championship of America 4 x 400 relays at a packed Franklin Field on Saturday.
Attendance reached an impressive 49,363 for the sun-splashed day, which ended with only a slight drizzle during the final relays during the evening.
In the women’s race the Aggies led through the first three legs of Tresha Henry, Sandy Wooten and Clora Williams. South Carolina, the NCAA Indoor champions, overtook the led on the final curve of the third leg with Brandi Cross. Then Carolina anchor Natasha Hastings cruised home for a 3:29.78 winning time.
Katie Baker was the Aggie anchor and she held off LSU to secure the runner-up position in an outdoor season best of 3:32.08 over the Tiger’s 3:32.40.
The A&M men needed a strong anchor leg from Justin Oliver to move from fourth to second and challenge LSU for the victory. Running the first three legs for the Aggies were Bryant McCombs, A.C. Robinson and Nick Robinson.
Oliver closed the gap on the three runners ahead of him on the anchor leg in short fashion and worked towards the lead on the backstretch.
Heading into the homestretch it was a race to the finish with four schools still in contention. LSU anchor Armanti Hayes pulled ahead for a winning time of 3:07.34 while Oliver moved ahead of Kentucky and South Carolina to get A&M across the line in second place at 3:08.20. Kentucky finished third in 3:08.38 while South Carolina placed fourth with a 3:09.01.
Texas A&M set another school record in the 4 x 200 relay, knocking a couple of seconds off the standard they set Friday (1:34.37) during qualifying with a 1:32.06 for third place in the Championship of America final.
In the final the Aggies used a line-up of Katie Baker, Elizabeth Adeoti, Simone Facey and Porscha Lucas. Facey’s leg pulled A&M into second place behind LSU, but South Carolina had the stronger anchor with Shalonda Solomon as she nipped the Tigers’ anchor, Kelly Ann Baptist, at the finish line – 1:31.56 to 1:31.58.
The Aggie foursome of Quinton Young, Justin Oliver, Chris Dykes and Richard Adu-Bobie raced in the Championship final of the 4 x 100 and finished sixth with a clocking of 40.46 seconds.
LSU upset favorite Florida State, 39.72 to 39.78, with a lean at the finish line. St. Augustine’s took third in 40.05.
In A&M lone individual event on the track Saturday Jennifer Williams placed fourth in the 100 hurdles with a clocking of 13.36.
Two Aggies contested field events Saturday with Dusty Williams taking fourth place in the pole vault 16-4.75 (5.00) while Zuheir Sharif placed fifth in the triple jump 50-8.75 (15.46).