STANFORD – Seven more victories and a pair of meet records in the relays on the second day of the 30th Stanford Invitational had Texas A&M totaling 10 wins for the weekend at Cobb Track and Angell Field.
Field event titles were claimed by Brea Garrett (hammer), Shelbi Vaughan (discus) and Melissa Mays (triple jump). On the track Wayne Davis II claimed a very close 110 hurdles while the Aggies swept the 4x400 relays and the A&M women won the 4x100.
“It’s the first time we’ve brought a team to Stanford in all the years I’ve been coaching,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “It’s a different experience here and was good for our team after coming off the Texas Relays. We didn’t double people up that much this weekend. We got the kind of meet in that I think the team needed.
“This was a good environment for us, particularly for our middle distance and distance people. Our sprinters, jumpers and throwers all did a fine job here this weekend.”
Garrett’s season debut in the hammer, after enjoying a major improvement in the weight throw during the indoor season, resulted in a huge career best throw of 192 feet, 6 inches to win the collegiate division by 11 feet. Runner-up was Cara McClain of Modesto Junior College, the 2013 U.S. junior champion, with a mark of 181-6 (55.33).
Garrett added 22 feet to her previous personal best of 170-0 set last season. Garrett moves to No. 2 on the Aggie all-time list with the No. 6 performance. The school record of 200-0, set by Meshell Trotter in 2000, is a reachable goal for the junior thrower.
After fouling her first attempt, Garrett produced an impressive series of marks: 185-9 (56.63), 184-8 (56.30), 181-5 (55.30), 189-6 (57.76), and 192-6 (58.68). The consistency and distance were the goals Garrett wanted to attain in her first meet throwing the hammer.
“I was so excited and ready to open up in the hammer,” stated Garrett. “I’m trying to get a gauge on where I’m at and where I can get better. It’s been a hard week of practice, so we were just trying to make sure I got all of my throws in and my feet in the ring. Today was a great consistency day and it was a fantastic day to throw.”
Claiming another victory in the discus, Vaughan hit a mark of 198-5 (60.49) that was just five inches off her school record set at the Texas Relays last week. Vaughan produced the winning toss in round four. Finishing second in the event was Stanford’s Valarie Allman with a 184-5 (56.22) while A&M teammate Jill Hydrick placed fifth with a career best toss of 164-0 (49.99), which is No. 8 on the Aggie all-time list.
The series for Vaughan started with a foul and then included 197-1 (60.09), 196-10 (59.99), 198-5 (60.49), 187-5 (57.14), 185-10 (56.65). Any five of Vaughan’s impressive marks would have claimed the win.
Wayne Davis II again ran down the competition in the final stages of the 110 hurdles to claim victory in 13.50 seconds (0.1 wind), the second fastest time in the world for 2014 with a wind-legal mark. A pair of post-collegians fell victim to Davis as Kevin Craddock ran 13.52 for second and Ray Stewart finished third in 13.54. The next collegian in the race was Cornell’s Max Hairston in fourth at 14.22.
“I’m really happy to be able to compete against a field like this,” noted Davis. “I’m still looking at cleaning up my technique. I was bettered focused throughout my race this time. I got a little close to the hurdles in the middle of the race, which slowed me a bit. In the end, though, I got it done.”
Melissa Mays broke a tie with Oklahoma State’s Viktoriia Sadokhina in the triple jump with a final round improvement to 42-0.5 (12.81) for the victory. An excited Wilson hugged and celebrated with teammates Jordan Wilson, who finished third (40-11.5), and Haley Gooch, who placed 10th (38-4).
Prior the final round theatrics, Mays moved from second into a first-place tie in the fifth round with a 41-11.25 effort.
The Aggies swept the 4x400 relays as both the women and men held off challenges by Notre Dame to close out the meet. The A&M women clocked 3:35.10 over a 3:35.17 for the Irish while the Aggie men ran 3:07.02 with Notre Dame runner-up in 3:08.04.
Running on the women’s relay were Ibukun Mayungbe (54.6), Janeil Bellille (54.7), Kamaria Brown (53.5) and Shamier Little (52.3). Kansas State led the field after the first exchange and the Aggies were in fourth place when Bellille handed off the baton to Brown. With 200m left on her carry, Brown moved from fourth to first.
Little kept the Aggies in the lead on the anchor leg with Notre Dame closing to within a stride at the finish. A&M broke the meet record of 3:35.20 set by Penn State in 2007.
The men’s 4x400 quartet included Gregory Coleman (47.5), Prezel Hardy, Jr. (47.0), Hector Hernandez (47.3) and Carlyle Roudette (45.2). The A&M squad was in third place when Hardy handed off to Hernandez. In the final 100m of his carry Hernandez moved the Aggies into first place. Roudette made sure A&M maintained that position as the Irish were unable to close any of the gap.
Earlier in the meet the A&M women rolled to a 43.69 victory in the 4x100. The men, meanwhile, produced a 40.30 that would have won the event, but the Aggies were disqualified for passing out of the zone on the last exchange.
Running for the A&M women were Jennifer Madu, Ashton Purvis, Olivia Ekpone and Ashley Collier. The time of 43.69 is fourth best among collegiate teams this season, trailing a 43.41 by Florida, a 43.64 by Texas, and a 43.65 by Kentucky.
The Aggie women won the race by over a second with Utah State claiming second in 44.81, Cal State Northridge third at 44.98 and Notre Dame taking fourth in 44.92. Texas A&M broke the meet record of 44.38 set by Oregon in 2010.
The men’s foursome in the sprint relay for A&M included Hardy, Shavez Hart, Jonathan Turner and Jermaine Davis. The 40.30 by the Aggies would have defeated a field which included Utah State (40.64), Cornell (40.75) and Kansas State (40.85).
Aaliyah Brown led a trio of Aggies in her section of the women’s 200, winning the race with a wind-aided time of 23.77. Brown placed second overall to a 23.75 run by Notre Dame’s Michelle Brown in another section. Collier placed fourth in the race with Aaliyah and was fifth overall with a 24.13w while India Daniels placed sixth in 24.49 to place 15th overall.
Prezel Hardy, Jr. finished second in the men’s 200 with a 21.11 while Jermaine Davis finished fifth, and eighth overall, in 21.72. Merritt’s Kemarley Brown won the 200 in 20.77 after claiming the 100 over A&M’s Shavez Hart on Friday.
In the women’s 100 hurdles LaQue Moen-Davis rallied to place third in 13.63w (2.7 wind) behind the winning time of 13.13 by Notre Dame’s Jade Barber and post-collegian Julian Purvis (13.45).
Competing in the Invitational hammer Casey Strong placed fourth with a toss of 201-0 (61.28), which is the No. 4 performance on the A&M all-time list by the Aggie school record holder. Jeffrey Prothro finished fifth, and was the third collegians, in the men’s triple jump with a mark of 52-2.75 (15.31).
In the women’s 800, running in the third section, Katie Willard used a strong finish to run 2:08.83 with Aliese Hyde placing eighth in 2:11.62. Willard’s time moves her to No. 6 on the Aggie all-time list. When combining all the sections Willard placed 20th and Hyde was 36th.
A crew of five ran for A&M in the men’s 800 through four different sections. Hector Hernandez and Josh Hernandez both raced in the first section, placing third and seventh with times of 1:49.44 and 1:50.51. Hector was third overall while Josh placed 11th. The pair led the field through 200 (25.9) and 400 meters (53.9) while Josh was leading at 600 (1:21.6).
Gaines Kinsey (1:51.90) and Brett Scmit (1:52.84) were each sixth in their respective heats, placing 29th and 38th overall, while Cameron Cardwell finished third in his section at 1:54.34 and was 54th overall.
Friday evening distance races produced personal best times for the six Aggies racing 5,000 or 10,000 meters and altered the A&M all-time lists in each race.
Grace Fletcher ran 16:13.78 in the 5,000 meters for 24th place, improving her career best time from a 16:46.83. She is now No. 3 on the A&M all-time list with the No. 10 performance.
Hillary Montgomery ran in the main section of the 10,000 meters and set a career best of 34:01.54 to finish 20th. She improved upon her 35:10.99 from the 2013 SEC Championships and moves to No. 7 on the Aggie all-time list with the No. 7 performance.
The second section of the 10,000 had Karis Jochen running 34:41.86 to place 19th while Gabby Salazar posted a 35:59.06 for 37th. Jochen is No. 7 on the A&M all-time list while Salazar is No. 12.
In the men’s 10,000 meters Wells ran 929:53.90 for 24th place and Miller clocked 30:02.03 for 29th place. Wells is now No. 5 on the A&M all-time list with the No. 8 performance while Miller moves to No. 6 with the No. 9 performance.