COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Tyra Gittens set a school record in her first-place pentathlon performance and Deborah Acquah won the long jump as the Aggies completed the first day of the 2020 SEC Championships Friday, February 28 in the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
Gittens became the first Aggie to win the SEC Championship in the pentathlon after being the top pentathlete in the high jump (1.86m/6-1.25), shot put (13.05m/42-9.75) and long jump (6.27m/20-7). Her high jump mark matched the Texas A&M all-time indoor record and was a quarter of an inch shy of setting an SEC Championship meet record for the pentathlon high jump.
Acquah became the first Aggie to claim the SEC Championships in long jump with her mark of 6.45m/21-2. Gittens followed up in fourth with a 6.27m/20-7 mark.
Also in the pentathlon, Virginia Preiss logged a new personal record with a score of 3,826, after clearing a personal-best mark (1.68m/5-6) in high jump.
Logan Freeman (5.26m/17-3) and Zach Davis (5.11m/16-9.25) placed fourth and eighth respectively in pole vault as they each cleared personal-best marks.
Eric Casarez ran the third fastest indoors 5,000m in school history (14:01.50) to earn fifth place, while Jon Bishop placed eighth (14:28.57).
Wes McPhail clocked a personal best time (4:08.21) to advance to the finals in the men’s mile, while Rachel Bernardo ran the fifth fastest preliminary mile on the women’s side to advance to Saturday’s final.
The Aggies advanced three half-milers and three quarter-milers to the finals. Devin Dixon (1:48.62), Carlton Orange (1:52.45) and Charokee Young (2:09.28) each advanced in the 800m, while Bryce Deadmon (45.86), Jamal Walton (47.15) and Syaira Richardson (52.71) advanced in the 400m.
Emmanuel Yeboah punched his ticket to the finals as he matched his personal record (6.74) in the 60m prelims.
The 2020 SEC Championships resume Saturday with the continuation of the men’s heptathlon at 10:00 a.m., followed by field events at 1:15 p.m. and finals on the track at 4:10 p.m.
Head Coach Pat Henry on…
…today’s meet and Tyra Gittens:
“I was pleased with the day, we scored about what I thought we would score. Tyra Gittens set a new school record in the pentathlon and that’s not easy to do. Deborah Acquah won the long jump today as well with a good jump and Tyra came back and finished fourth with a pretty good mark.”
Junior Tyra Gittens on…
…winning the pentathlon in school-record fashion:
“I’m amazed. I came in today and just wanted to make sure I was consistent through all of my events. I wasn’t expecting to win, but I knew once everything came together I could put on a good score. That’s exactly what happened today. Even though I expected a little more out of three of my events, everything else was consistent. I’m just so happy that I was able to provide that win for my team, because every point counts.”