Henry Lelei shatters A&M school record to earn NCAA Indoor berth

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SOUTH BEND, Indiana – Aggie senior Henry Lelei won the 3,000-meter race at the Alex Wilson Invitational hosted by Notre Dame with a school record effort of 7:47.91, which is the second fastest collegiate time of the season.

Lelei, who was the high point scorer at the SEC Indoor Championships last weekend, needed to improve his time during the last weekend of qualifying in order to earn a berth to the NCAA Indoor Championships. The top 16 marks in each event plus the top 12 relay teams advance to the national meet, held March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

In addition to breaking his own school record of 7:55.80 set earlier this season, Lelei toppled the meet and track records at Notre Dame in winning the race by four and a half seconds. William Mulherin of Virginia Tech finished second to Lelei with a 7:52.54 while Penn State’s Sam Masters placed third with a 7:59.80.

Lelei moves to the second position on the 2013 collegiate list, trailing only a 7:42.79 run by Arizona’s Lawi Lalang. His 7:47.91 clocking is the fourth fastest ever recorded by a collegian on an oversized track and the fifth fastest performance.

In the 4 x 400 relay the Aggie women knocked nearly a couple of seconds of their season best time in winning the event with a 3:33.57. The A&M foursome included Janeil Bellille, Ibukun Mayungbe, Olivia Ekpone and Kamaria Brown. The Aggies are currently fifth on the 2013 collegiate list.

A&M won their section of the 4 x 400 over Texas Tech (3:33.72), Notre Dame (3:34.67), Baylor (3:35.27) and Clemson (3:35.55) while also bettering the 3:33.71 Kansas ran in another section.

James Bonn recorded a career best of 1:50.01 in the 800 meters to place fifth in his section. Teammate Hector Hernandez ran 1:50.16 for seventh in another section. Overall they placed 17th and 18th among a field of 52 entrants. Bonn moves to No. 5 on the Aggie all-time list.

In Baton Rouge on Friday the Aggies registered three winning efforts, but none of those victories included improved marks.

Michael Bryan (6.84) and Jennifer Madu (7.43) each won their respective 60 meter races while Chase Wolfle claimed the pole vault with a clearance of 17-1.5 (5.22). Wolfle, who has a personal best of 17-5, passed at 17-5.75 (5.33) and took three attempts at 17-9.75 (5.43). A clearance would have placed Wolfle 14th on the current collegiate list.

Brea Garrett improved her shot put best to 52-2.75 (15.92) in placing third. She is now No. 2 on the Aggie all-time list with the No. 8 performance. In the weight throw Garrett also finished third with a mark of 62-9.5 (19.14). Casey Strong placed second in the men’s weight throw with a mark of 63-6 (19.35).

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