AUSTIN – Donique’ Flemings had the race of her career as she posted a personal best of 12.88 seconds that was aided by a 2.2 wind in defeating an elite field of hurdlers at the 85th Texas Relays at Myers Stadium.
Texas A&M had three more victories on the final day of the Texas Relays bringing their weekend total to six. Another pair of school records fell in the process. Attendance for Friday and Saturday at the Texas Relays totaled 34,729 and for the whole four days the tally reached 39,270.
“This was a very good Texas Relays for us,” stated Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “This is a tough track meet spread out over four days. We had some really good things happen and had some people step up and do things across the board. I’m very pleased with it.”
A great start in the 100 hurdles had Flemings in the hunt and by the halfway point of the race she was in the lead holding off the challenge from Baylor’s Tiffani McReynolds (12.97w), who is the current collegiate leader with a 13.04, and Keisha Wallace of Mississippi State (12.97w). Vashti Thomas placed fourth in 13.04.
“I had a good start and a solid race, start to finish,” Flemings said. “I wanted to make sure I got out strong, focused on myself throughout the race and just finish strong. Words can’t tell you how I felt when I saw 12.88 on the scoreboard. It means I ran a great race. My practice has paid off and now it’s showing on the track.”
Flemings’ 12.88 ranks second in the world for the 2012 season, under all conditions, and she is the fourth-best performer in A&M history with that time, under any conditions.
“Donique’ is really getting to where she is really trusting and believing in herself,” said Henry. “That’s what it’s all about.”
It was just the third time an Aggie has won the women’s 100-meter hurdle title at the Texas Relays. Flemings joins Natasha Ruddock (12.97 - 2010) and Anjanette Kirkland (12.89w in 1995).
“I knew the field was going to be competitive, so I knew I was going to run fast,” noted Flemings. “To beat the ladies I ran against is a good feeling. Winning here makes me excited to run again.”
The Aggie men opened the relay portion of the Texas Relays on Saturday with a winning time of 1:21.21 in the 4 x 200, its fourth fastest time ever, as A&M claimed the win in this relay race for the third time in the past four years. Last year the Aggies set the meet record of 1:20.61.
Running on the squad this year were Michael Bryan, Prezel Hardy, Jr., Carlyle Roudette and Ameer Webb. As the anchor leg, Webb brought the Aggies from third to first over Baylor (1:21.72) and LSU (1:22.44) on his carry.
The rest of the 4 x 200 field in the two-section final included Pittsburgh (1:24.56), Oklahoma (1:24.73), Grambling (1:25.17), Boston (1:25.59), Northwestern State (1:27.22) and BYU (1:27.42). Auburn opted not to run this race and focused on the 4 x 100.
In the women’s 4 x 200 relay the Aggies placed third in 1:31.28, seventh fastest at A&M, behind a meet record victory by LSU (1:30.01) and Texas (1:30.98). The Tigers recorded the fourth-fastest time ever on the collegiate list. Running on the A&M relay were Chandrell Stephens, Olivia Ekponé, Dominique Duncan and Ashley Collier.
Also in the two-section final were Arkansas (1:33.04), USC (1:33.61), Pittsburgh (1:34.21), and Kansas (1:34.74).
Texas A&M surprised the field with a 9:35.36 victory in the distance medley relay, a first ever win at the Texas Relays in this event for the Aggies. The crew of James Bonn (2:57.4), Ashton Young (46.1), Oscar Ramirez (1:49.1) and Henry Lelei (4:02.8) won the race by over seven seconds as they broke the school record of 9:42.73 set in 2003.
Finishing second in the race was Texas (9:42.82) with Baylor (9:44.17), Stanford (9:44.26) and Lamar (9:44.58) rounding out the top five schools.
Both Aggie sprint relays placed second in the 4 x 100. The A&M men ran 38.84 with a crew of Ricky Babineaux, Webb, Bryan and Hardy, Jr. as they finished second to a meet record of 38.30 established by Auburn, who became the third fastest school ever with the fourth fastest collegiate time.
“I have a 4x1 that’s disappointed with running 38.8, which is really fast this time of the season,” said Henry. “Auburn beat them, so they are really upset with themselves.”
The rest of the men’s field in the 4 x 100 included Mississippi State (39.17) in third followed by Texas Tech (39.23), Florida (39.26), LSU (39.54), TCU (39.59), Texas (39.67) and Oklahoma (40.45).
In the women’s 4 x 100, the Aggies ran 43.21 to finish second to LSU’s 42.99. Finishing behind A&M was Texas (43.88), Houston (44.36), Texas Tech (44.64), Stanford (44.84), Arkansas (44.87), USC (44.94) and TCU (45.35). The Aggie relay included LaKeidra Stewart, Ekponé, Duncan and Collier.
Natosha Rogers established her eighth school record of the season with a runner-up finish in the 1,500. Rogers ran a 4:17.06 after leading the field through each lap at 400m (67.1), 800m (2:16.9) and 1,200m (3:26.3).
Treneire Moser, a professional runner, passed Rogers in the final 90 meters to claim the win in 4:16.13 while Sara Sutherland of Texas placed third in 4:18.62.
Rogers remains the second fastest collegian this season and is currently 10th fastest in the world for the 2012 season. She broke the A&M school record last weekend with a runner-up finish of 4:18.75.
In the 100 meters, the Aggies turned in a pair of 3rd and 5th place finishes in both races. Duncan ran a windy 11.15 for third in the women’s race while Collier claimed fifth in 11.24. Hardy, Jr. ran 10.17 wind-aided for third in the men’s race with Bryan clocking 10.36 for fifth. Webb did not start the final.
LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan won the women’s race in 10.94 (3.0 wind) while Florida’s Jeff Demps finished first in the men’s race with a 10.01 (2.9 wind).
Wayne Davis II ran a windy 13.77 (2.9) to place sixth in the 110 hurdles. Dalton Rowan finished eighth in the discus with a toss of 186-1 (56.71), the No. 10 mark all-time at A&M.
In the B division of the women’s discus Jill Hydrick placed ninth with a mark of 147-0 (44.81). Laura Asimakis finished 10th in the pole vault, clearing 13-7.25 (4.15).
Last season the Aggies were able to close out the meet in grand fashion with a pair of 4 x 400 relay victories. This time the A&M women finished seventh in 3:35.60 while the men had an injury to first leg Joey Roberts in the first 150m of the race and were unable to finish.