TEMPE, Arizona – Texas A&M transitioned to the outdoor season quite well at the Baldy Castillo Invitational hosted by Arizona State, winning 16 events while having the top collegian finisher in four other events and breaking five meet records.
The Aggie school record in the women’s discus fell as freshman Shelbi Vaughan produced a series of six throws that each topped the previous A&M standard of 176-10 (53.91) set in 2003 by Karenrose Honea. Vaughan’s series included a 185-0 (56.39), 177-1 (53.97), 182-6 (55.64), 185-0 (56.40), 183-3 (55.85), and 181-10 (55.44).
“I was really excited to break the school record,” said Vaughan. “I was hoping to accomplish that this weekend. The consistency was really good today and I didn’t have any fouls, which is unusual for me since I normally have one or two. I didn’t want to start out any lower than the 180s, because that wouldn’t be very good for me.”
Leading the competition from the first round on, Vaughan was tied at first by Yanbo Yang of China, who also hit a mark of 185-0 (56.39) in round two. Vaughan maintained an edge over Yang with a better second throw as Yang fouled four of her first five attempts. In the sixth round, though, Yang claimed the win with a 189-1 (57.63) toss.
The next best collegian in the meet was Alex Hartig of Arizona State with a mark of 165-8 (50.51) in fourth place overall. Aggie Jill Hydrick was sixth best collegian and eighth overall with a toss of 149- (45.42).
Sam Humphreys nearly toppled his javelin school record, a 268-7 (81.86) in winning the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, with a meet record effort of 267-0 (81.40) that is the No. 2 performance all-time at A&M.
Opening his series with a 265-0 (80.79) bettered the Castillo meet record of 256-6 (78.19) Humphreys set a year ago. His winning distance of 267-0 came in the second round and Humphreys followed with two more attempts, reaching distances of 262-9 (80.09) and 266-11 (81.37). Teammate Devin Bogert established a career best of 238-5 (72.66) on his final attempt and is now No. 6 on the Aggie all-time list.
“I never expected to open up like I did today,” noted Humphreys. “I was expecting to be in the 77 meter range, since that is what I’ve been throwing in practice off a short run. The weather was perfect. It’s what I’m used to growing up, so I felt real comfortable today. I guess everything was real loose and popped off.
“It’s neat being introduced as the Olympic Trials champion, but then I feel like all the eyes in the stadium are on me and I have to live up to it. It pushes me a little bit more, but I also try to tune it out.”
On the track the Aggies sped to some impressive early season times. Wayne Davis II won the 110 hurdles in a meet record 13.54 (0.1 wind), Ashton Purvis claimed the women’s 100 in 11.35 (0.1 wind), Kamaria Brown turned in a meet record 22.83 (1.1 wind) for the women’s 200 victory and Prezel Hardy, Jr. produced a double victory with times of 10.40 (-0.8 wind) and 20.81 (0.0 wind) in the men’s 100 and 200.
Relay work on the 4 x 100 had the A&M women rolling to a meet record 43.31 while another group of Aggies clocked 44.30 in second place. The winning unit included LaKeidra Stewart, Purvis, Brown and Ashley Collier as they bettered the 43.65 meet record they set last season. The runner-up A&M crew included India Daniels, Olivia Ekpone, Jennifer Madu and Chandrell Stephens.
For the men the A&M crew blistered a 38.76 meet record while another Aggie squad finished second in 40.32. Registering the No. 8 fastest time at A&M was a foursome that included Ameer Webb, Aldrich Bailey, Jr., Michael Bryan and Hardy, Jr. They broke a 2001 meet record of 39.01 set by Tennessee.
In winning the 4x400 relay in 3:06.44 the Aggie crew included Greg Coleman, Babineaux, Bailey, Jr., and Bralon Taplin. Coleman also won the 400 hurdles in 51.52.
Distance events had Isaac Spencer winning the 2,000-meter steeple in 5:55.55 while Sophie Blake lowered her career best in the 1,500 to 4:30.22, finishing as the top collegian and third overall.
Winning efforts for A&M included Brea Garrett setting an outdoor PR of 50-3.25 (15.32) in the shot put to move to No. 4 on the Aggie all-time list. LaQue Moen-Davis won the long jump with a 20-3 (6.17) mark that is No. 9 on the A&M all-time list and she posted a 1.392 in the 100 hurdles for third place.
A clearance of 6-10.75 (2.10) by Devion Harris won the men’s high jump. Chelsea Utley won the women’s high jump at 5-5 (1.65) with Sierra Patrick matching that same height as the runner-up. Aliese Hyde claimed the women’s 400 in 56.14 seconds.
Top collegian finishes included Dalton Rowan in the men’s discus as his 183-8 (55.98) challenged professional thrower Vikas Gowda, who turned in a mark of 204-10 (62.43).
Kendall Munoz led a crew of Aggie women javelin throwers with a mark of 154-0 (46.95) that only trailed A&M volunteer coach Ariana Ince’s winning throw of 171-10 (52.39). Finishing behind Munoz were Jean Deason (150-0), Krystyn Bradley (145-4) and Jena Hemann (141-7).
Chase Wolfle cleared 17-0.75 (5.20) in the pole vault to place second to a 17-4.5 (5.30) turned in by Minnesota’s Zach Siegmeier. Dustin Phillips cleared 16-8.75 (5.10) for seventh place.