AUSTIN, TX -- After the first day of action at the 85th Texas Relays, Aggie heptathlete Annie Kunz finds herself currently in third place with 3,316 points after completing four disciplines of the seven-event contest.
Defending champion Chelsea Carrier-Eades of West Virginia leads through day one with a total of 3,536 points while Texas Tech senior Precious Nwokey is second with 3,368 points. Carrier-Eades, a senior, won the event last season with a final tally of 5,927 points.
“I definitely surprised myself a little bit,” noted Kunz, currently the top freshman in the field. “I’m excited since I did a lot better than I have been doing in the high jump. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
A&M frosh Jena Hemann is stationed in 13th place with 3,121 points amid a field of 22 athletes, which includes seven freshmen competing.
The day started with a 14.17 clocking in the 100 hurdles for Kunz, who earned 954 points. In the high jump a clearance of 5-6.5 netted 842 points. Then an impressive shot put effort of 39-7.75 added 666 points. Kunz wrapped up the first day with a time of 25.36 in the 200 for 854 points.
“This was the first time for me to get over 12 meters in the shot put,” added Kunz. “Coach Juan De La Garza has been on me about that, so now I can go tell him I finally got 12 meters.”
Hemann opened with a 15.01 in the 100 hurdles (840), and then matched the 5-6.5 (842) in the high jump. A shot put mark of 37-2.25 picked up 617 points while a 25.72 in the 200 added 822.
“I was disappointed with some of the events today,” said Hemann. “But like Coach VanHootegem was telling us you can’t be down on yourself being a heptathlete. You have to take each event as its own and try to forget the one’s that happened already.
“Hopefully tomorrow that is what I’ll be able to do. I want to go into them with a clear mind and perform better in those events.”
Kunz and Hemann complete the heptathlon on Friday, starting at noon, with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters remaining.
“I’m a little nervous about the javelin, but hopefully I can do well in the 800,” said Kunz. “Getting close to 2:20 is my goal.”
Hemann, meanwhile, hopes to pick up some key points in the javelin.
“I’m looking forward to the javelin tomorrow,” noted Hemann. “I surprised myself with how far I threw it in my first competition, so I want to improve on that mark and have some fun with it.”
Big 12 weekly honor awarded to Michael Preble
IRVING – For the second consecutive week Texas A&M was honored with the men’s Big 12 Athlete of the Week in track and field. Receiving the honor this week was Michael Preble, who set a school record in the 800 meters when he won the USC Trojan Invitational with a time of 1:46.43.
In addition to breaking the A&M mark of 1:46.98 held by current teammate Joey Roberts, Preble also bettered the Olympic Trials ‘A’ standard of 1:46.50. The Olympic Trials will be held this summer in Eugene, Oregon, a couple of after the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Preble also ran the third leg of the Aggie 4 x 400 relay team that finished second to USC with an impressive time of 3:03.16. The Trojans won the race with a world-leading mark of 3:02.24.
A&M javelin thrower Sam Humphreys won the Big 12 award last week while Aggie hurdler Donique’ Flemings earned the women’s award.