TEMPE, Arizona – Texas A&M junior Sam Humphreys broke his own school record in the javelin by nearly five feet in winning the event at the Baldy Castillo Invitational hosted by Arizona State with a U.S. leading mark of 256-6 (78.19).
After a week of training under sunny skies on the ASU campus, the Aggies competed with overcast conditions on a breezy second day of the meet.
Texas A&M also enjoyed winning performances from hurdlers Donique’ Flemings, who set a career best of 13.27 (1.9 wind) in the 100 hurdles, and Wayne Davis II, who ran a windy 13.72 (2.2) in the 110 hurdles.
Meanwhile, the sprint tandem of Ameer Webb and Prezel Hardy, Jr. sped to a windy clockings of 10.05 and 10.15 seconds, respectively, in the 100 meters. The wind reading measured 4.9, which is too much to qualify the A&M pair for the NCAA West preliminary rounds.
Humphreys, the NCAA bronze medalist in 2011, entered his first meet of the season with a school record of 251-9 (76.73). On his second throw of the day Humphreys unleashed his 256-6 (78.19), which currently ranks No. 9 on the 2012 world list.
“After watching the team compete indoors I get fired up waiting for the first outdoor meet,” noted Humphreys. “Then I get out here today with all that adrenaline and hit a big throw. I’m happy with the performance I had in the first meet. Now I look forward to the next one.
“Going off a short run in my approach I was just looking for a PR. I wasn’t looking for anything big. So, to hit a 78-meter throw, I’m very pleased with that. I can’t wait to see what comes from a full approach. My previous best on a short approach was 74 meters (245-2).”
The mark from Humphreys also betters the A qualifying standard of 252-7 (77.00) for entry into this summer’s Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Humphreys opened the competition with a throw of 246-2 (75.03) that broke the meet record of 230-1 (70.14) that was set in 2001 by John Stiegler.
Finishing second to Humphreys was teammate Jon Gomez, who produced a career best of 220-8 (67.27). A&M frosh Devin Bogert placed fifth with a mark of 202-4 (61.67).
Webb equaled the fifth fastest wind-aided mark on the Aggie all-time 100-meter list, matching the time Tyrone Edgar produced at the NCAA Midwest region meet in 2006. The A&M wind-aided times ahead of Webb include 9.98 by Curtis Dickey (1978), 10.03 by Gerald Phiri (2008), 10.04 by Ray Brooks (1978) and Andre Cason (1989).
The wind reading in the two heats of the men’s 100 prior to Webb’s race registered readings of 1.4 and 1.9, then a gust shot the reading over 4.0.
“I was really excited, but running that fast surprised me,” noted Webb. “Sometimes that’s the way it happens with the wind. You have to run either way, whether it’s zero wind or not. I just did my best for today.
“After winning the NCAA Indoor 200 I had certain goals for that event outdoors, now I can add the 100 to those plans as well. Now I know my body can move that fast, wind or no wind.”
Earlier in the meet Webb and Hardy teamed up on the 4 x 100 relay to post a 39.41 winning time for an early U.S. leading mark. Also running on the sprint relay for the A&M men were Ricky Babineaux and Michael Bryan, who won the 200 in 20.80 (1.9 wind).
“The 4 x 100 was a great team effort,” said Hardy. “Last year on our spring break trip we opened with a 39.99, but also got disqualified that day. Plus to open with a 10.15 in the 100 is a good accomplishment as well. It’s a positive thing to open up with a pair of fast times, regardless of the wind.
“It’s a great feeling to come out in the first meet of the outdoor season and send a message like that. I know that’s what I wanted to do. To run 10.05 and 10.15, that sends a strong message to everybody. We also have the national leader in the 4 x 100 and we can build from here to nationals. “
Webb added: “I’m very happy to be part of the 4 x 100. They’ve done great things in the past and I want to help them do better things.”
The Aggie women sped to a 2012 world leading time of 43.56 in the 4 x 100 relay running a foursome that included Olivia Ekponé, Kamaria Brown, Dominique Duncan and Ashley Collier.
Later Ekponé won the 100 in 11.59 (1.4 wind) with LaKeidra Stewart second in 11.68. Then in the 200, it was Chandrell Stephens posting a windy 23.45 (4.2 wind) as runner-up to Arizona State’s Jasmine Chaney (23.18) while ahead of teammates Flemings (23.46), Kanika Beckles (23.73) and Ibukun Mayungbe (23.79) who placed 2-3-4-5 from the same heat.
Texas A&M ran multiple 4 x 400 relay teams and claimed a pair of victories. The Aggie women won in 3:38.06 with the crew of Beckles (54.5), Jillian Anderson (55.4), Stewart (54.4) and Tiffany Singleton (53.8).
In the men’s race the first A&M team finished in 3:05.14 with the foursome of Joey Roberts (47.6), Babineaux (46.5), Michael Preble (45.2) and Deon Lendore (45.8). a second Aggie group placed third in 3:12.09 while a third A&M squad finished fifth in 3:18.57.