FAYETTEVILLE – In the first scoring final at the SEC Indoor Championships, the Aggie women turned in 10 points from the combination of Jena Hemann and Annie Kunz placing third and fifth in the pentathlon at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
After the first day, with only one final, Texas A&M is tied with Arkansas as each have 10 points in the women’s team scoring. Arkansas senior Makeba Alcide won the pentathlon with a score of 4,569 points, which set a collegiate record. Alcide bettered the previous record of 4,555 points set by Brianne Theisen of Oregon.
Hemann became the first A&M athlete to score over 4,000 points in the pentathlon with a career best score of 4,017 points while Kunz nearly eclipsed the mark with 3,994 points. Both bettered the Aggie school record of 3,919 points set by Daphne Fitzpatrick in 2011.
“It’s phenomenal, I really wanted to come out here and break 4,000 points,” stated Hemann. “That was my goal. As soon as I finished the long jump, the first thing I did was ask coach how fast I’d have to run to score 700 points the 800, since I knew I would need that to break 4,000 points. He told me I needed a 2:29, so I was really set to do that. To achieve that was awesome.”
Hemann and Kunz each turned in career best performances amid the five events they contested throughout the day. Going into the final event, the 800 meters, Hemann needed a time of 2:36 to better the Aggie school record while Kunz needed a 2:31.5 to topple the mark.
Kunz finished fifth in her section of the 800 with a 2:25.68 (748) while Hemann placed seventh in 2:28.50 (712 points). Hemann improved upon her previous best score of 3,789 while Kunz improved upon her previous best of 3,826.
“Jena and I were talking earlier about how it was like we were freshman again since we are in the SEC this year,” Kunz noted. “We didn’t know what to expect. So, we focused on ourselves and tried to get some PRs. We wanted to compete as best as we can and to score eight points for the team is incredible.”
Opening with the 60 hurdles both won their respective heats. Hemann set a career best of 8.81 (950) while Kunz sported an 8.65 (984) as each produced over 900 points. In the high jump Kunz cleared a career best of 5-7.75 (879) for 879 points while Hemann neared her best with a 5-8.75 (1.75) clearance for 916 points.
Moving into the shot put both Aggie athletes bettered 40 feet. Hemann produced a 41-2.25 (12.55) to ring up 698 points. Kunz, down to her last throw, pulled out a 40-4 (12.28) for 680 points. The long jump added over 700 points to each score as Hemann reached a mark of 18-6.25 (5.64) for 741 points while Kunz hit 18-1 (5.51) for 703 points.
Friday’s action begins at 10 a.m. with the men’s weight throw at Walker Pavilion for the A&M combo of Casey Strong and Ben Skrla. There are three sections of nine throwers and the top nine will advance to the final.
Other field events contested on Friday include the men’s and women’s long jump, women’s shot put and men’s high jump. Qualifying races will take place in the 60, mile, 400, 800 and 200 while finals are held in the 3,000 meters.