SAN ANTONIO – A sprint double by Shavez Hart highlighted a day in which Texas A&M totaled a dozen victories at the UTSA Texas Challenge Invitational, the first home meet for the Roadrunners since 1995.
The Aggies totaled 14 wins on the weekend, nine for the men and five for the women. In team scoring the A&M men claimed the title with 197.5 points while the women were runner-up with 147 points.
Finishing behind the Aggie men in team scoring were Texas Tech (165), UTSA (162.75), Texas (84), Houston (62.75) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (13). Texas Tech women scored 197.5 points to claim the team title. Following Tech and A&M in women’s scoring were UTSA (142.5), Houston (93.5), Texas (73.5) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (39).
“I was real pleased with some things that happened here today,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “We accomplished some things that we needed to get done here. It was the first time outdoors for us this season, so it was good to see our throwers competing well.”
Hart recorded times of 10.24 (0.2 wind) and 20.50 (1.7 wind) in winning both the 100 and 200 meters. He led a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 with Michael Bryan (10.47) in second place and Prezel Hardy, Jr. (10.60) finishing third. Bryan was also runner-up in the 200 as he ran 20.95 ahead of the 21.02 from Errol Nolan of Houston while A&M’s Jermaine Davis finished fifth with a 21.20.
“I wanted to come out and set my marks early in the outdoor season,” noted Hart. “That way I can get my name out there. I felt I had a subpar indoor nationals, so I want to have a better outdoor nationals. So today I wanted to make up some ground.
“Both races felt good. In the 100 I really executed my race plan. I was surprised with the time in only that it was the season outdoor opener. It was fun to run on the 4x100 again and we put up a very good time heading into Texas Relays next week.”
Both Aggie 4x100 relays set collegiate leading times in claiming victories. The A&M women clocked 44.06, the second fastest time in the world behind a 43.87 for Jamaica, while the men produced a swift 38.98, the third fastest time in the world behind Jamaica (38.13) and Brazil (38.90).
Running on the men’s sprint relay were Prezel Hardy, Jr., Shavez Hart, Michael Bryan and Deon Lendore. Houston finished second to the Aggies with a 39.85 with Texas Tech third in 40.50, UTSA fourth (40.78) and Texas fifth (40.98).
“It was exciting to see Deon on the anchor leg of the 4x100,” said Hart. “He even did a 4x4 exchange on the anchor leg.”
The women’s winning relay had Aaliyah Brown, Ashton Purvis, Jennifer Madu and Ashley Collier clocking 44.06 while the foursome of India Daniels, Olivia Ekpone, Ibukun Mayungbe and Janeil Bellille finished second with a 44.32. Houston ran 45.62 for third place.
“The men’s relay had a nice run and we ran a couple of women’s teams who were pretty even,” said Henry. “It was a good day for us. We mixed some things up in the relay based on who was available. We have to test some other people and look at some other things. I found out a few things today with some people.”
The men’s 4x400 relay capped the meet with a 3:08.68 victory. The Aggies ran a foursome that included Greg Coleman (47.8), Prezel Hardy, Jr. (47.5), Deon Hickey (47.2) and Carlyle Roudette (46.2). Runner-up to A&M was Texas Tech with a 3:09.89.
Returning to the discus ring for the Aggies was Shelbi Vaughan, who claimed the win with a 182-10 (55.74) toss in the fourth round. Vaughan opened her series with a trio of marks in the 170 foot range – 179-1 (54.60), 173-11 (53.01), and 174-1 (53.07) – and fouled her last two attempts. The winning distance for Vaughan is the No. 9 performance on the A&M all-time list.
“I was ready to get back into competition mode,” said Vaughan. “I wasn’t super excited about my series, but having that 182 is pretty good. It was amazing to be back in a competition, but the conditions and weather wasn’t very good when we threw. I’m glad I had a meet like this to face some competition before we go to Texas Relays next week.”
Dalton Rowan captured the men’s discus with a 189-0 (57.62) with Jeff Bartlett placing sixth (165-4 / 50.39) and Ben Skrla finishing eighth (161-4 / 49.19).
Shamier Little won the women’s 400 hurdles in 59.47 over a 1:00.42 for Melissa Gonzalez of Texas. In the men’s race Greg Coleman clocked 51.23 for second place in a close finish with UTSA’s Keyunta Hayes, who won with a 51.19. Aikan Graham won his section in 52.88 with Kenneth Minkah third in 53.00 as they placed fifth and seventh overall.
Field event victories for Texas A&M also included Melissa Mays in the women’s triple jump, Jeffrey Prothro in the men’s triple jump, and Chase Wolfle in the pole vault. Daniel Martin rallied in the last event of the decathlon for an overall win.
Mays led a 1-2 finish for the Aggies as she produced a mark of 41-0.25 (12.50) with Jordan Wilson second at 40-9 (12.42). Prothro’s winning mark measured 49-11 (15.21).
Wolfle cleared a height of 17-6.5 (5.35) for the pole vault win as four vaulters behind him cleared 16-6.75. In the women’s vault Brittany Wooten moved to No. 4 on the Aggie all-time outdoor list with a clearance of 12-11.5 (3.95) for second place. Houston’s Karley King won the women’s vault with a 13-5.25 clearance.
After leading the decathlon through the first day, Martin slipped into second place heading into final event. Running a time of 4:31.86 over 1,500 meters secured the decathlon win for Martin with a total of 6,569 points.
A trio of runner-up finishes for the Aggies included Aaliyah Brown in the 100 meters, Dylan Williams in the steeplechase and Olabanji Asekun in the men’s long jump.
Brown ran 11.47 (-0.3 wind) as runner-up to an 11.47 by Texas Tech’s Cierra White while A&M teammates Collier (11.74) and Daniels (11.75) placed fourth and fifth. Williams ran 9:38.42 for second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Asekun’s mark of 23-11.5 (7.30) challenged Texas Tech’s Shujaa Benson, who won with a 24-2.25 (7.37).
Hillary Montgomery ran 4:31.08 for third place in the 1,500, moving to No. 8 on the A&M all-time list, while Grace Fletcher (4:34.62) and Gabby Salazar (4:36.87) placed fifth and sixth. Deon Hickey ran 48.10 to place third in the men’s 400 while Hector Hernandez clocked 48.49 for sixth in the race.
In Friday’s action the Aggies had a pair of winning efforts. Alison Ondrusek claimed the hammer with a toss of 170-9 (52.05), which ranked her No. 3 on the A&M all-time list with the No. 7 performance.
Casey Strong finished second in the men’s hammer with a throw of 200-4 (61.07) while Austin Cook’s debut in the event resulted in a 184-8 (56.28) effort. Strong’s mark is the third best performance on the Aggie all-time list behind his school record of 206-7 while Cook’s mark is No. 5 on the A&M all-time list.
A 1-2 finish for A&M in the men’s javelin had Devin Bogert winning with a mark of 234-10 (71.57) while Sam Hardin’s debut with the Aggies had him reaching a distance of 221-11 (67.65).
The women’s javelin had the Aggies placing 2-3-4-7 as Kendall Munoz led the way with a mark of 151-2 (46.09) behind the winning effort of 174-4 (53.15) by Texas Tech’s Hannah Carson. Krystyn Bradley finished third with a mark of 143-6 (43.74) while Jean Deason placed fourth with a 138-5 (42.19). Jena Hemann threw 127-3 (38.78) for seventh place.