COLLEGE STATION – A collegiate record of 3:03.20 in the men’s 4x400 relay highlighted the final day of the SEC Indoor Championships hosted by the Aggies in front of 2,846 fans at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on Saturday along with a historic double victory by Kamaria Brown in the 200 and 400 meters.
Meanwhile, a disqualification of the Texas A&M women in the 4x400 relay following their second place finish behind Florida cost the Aggies the SEC team championship. It was ruled by meet officials that A&M impeded the Gators during the anchor leg of the relay. Following an appeal by Texas A&M to the Jury of Appeals the decision was upheld.
Instead, it was the Gators claiming the women’s team trophy with 102 points while A&M placed second with 96.5. Prior to the disqualification the Aggie women totaled 104.5 points over Florida’s 102.
The rest of the women’s field included Arkansas in third with 93.5 points followed by Kentucky (72), Georgia (64.5), LSU (47), Tennessee (35), Mississippi State (32), Missouri (29.5), Alabama (27), Auburn (25), South Carolina (21.5() and Vanderbilt (15.5).
Arkansas claimed the men’s team title for the third consecutive year with 121 points. Florida scored 106 points as runner-up with the Aggies in third with 83.33. The remainder of the field included Alabama (76), Kentucky (69.33), Georgia (39), Mississippi (36), Auburn (34.33), Tennessee (34), LSU (26), Missouri (24) and South Carolina (14).
The Cliff Harper Trophy for the high point scorers in the meet was shared by Kentucky’s Matt Hillenbrand and Florida’s Arman Hall with 20 points apiece for the men’s honor. The Gator’s Cory McGee earned the women’s honor with 20.5 points.
Texas A&M men’s relay withstood the challenge from Florida, who equaled the previous collegiate record of 3:03.50 set by Arkansas in 2013, in the men’s final event of the meet to claim the victory with the fastest time ever run by a collegiate squad indoors. The Aggie crew consisted of Shavez Hart (47.06), Aldrich Bailey, Jr. (45.40), Carlyle Roudette (46.12) and Deon Lendore (44.63).
Brown rolled to a dominant victory in the 400 meters as her time of 50.94 that broke the SEC meet record of 51.13 set by LSU’s Hazel-Ann Regis in 2004. Brown became the eighth fastest collegian with her mark that places her a bit closer to the Aggie school record of 50.79 held by Jessica Beard.
Runner-up to Brown was Florida’s Robin Reynolds in 51.77 while the Aggies claimed third and fourth with career best times from Shamier Little (51.86) and Janeil Bellille (52.58). A&M totaled 21 points in the event.
An hour and 20 minutes later Brown cruised through one lap of the Gilliam track in 22.50 seconds, breaking the SEC meet record, facility record and school record of 22.51 she had set the previous day in the prelims.
In completing the rugged sprint double victory in the 400 and 200 meters, Brown became the first SEC sprinter, male or female, to achieve the feat. Regis of LSU had won titles in each event, but in separate years, claiming the 400 in 2004 and the 200 in 2005.
Runner-up to Brown in the 200 was Kentucky’s Dezerea Bryant, the 60m champion in 7.16 seconds, with a 22.75 while Florida’s Kyra Jefferson placed third in 22.87. Aggie Olivia Ekpone placed fourth with a career best of 23.10 while Ashton Purvis finished sixth in 23.29.
Before anchoring the A&M men’s relay to a collegiate record, Lendore defended his SEC Indoor title in the 400 meters with a world-leading time of 45.03 seconds. He lowered his own school record from 45.15 and broke the facility record of 45.33 set by A&M’s Demetrius Pinder at the NCAA Championship in 2011.
Lendore also is the first SEC sprinter to defend his 400m title indoors since Florida Jimmy Hackley in 1997 and 1998 while Georgia’s Torrin Lawrence won a pair of titles in 2010 and 2012.
As a junior, Lendore has been victorious in every conference race he has competed in during his collegiate career. He also claimed his fifth conference title in the event and was a part of his fifth conference relay title. Lendore previously won the Big 12 indoor and outdoor 400 as a freshman in 2012, and then claimed a pair of SEC titles in 2013.