AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas A&M closed out the men’s portion of the NCAA Championships with a school record victory in the 4x400 relay, posting the second fastest time in collegiate history with a time of 2 minutes, 59.05 seconds. The Aggies totaled 29 team points to place sixth in the meet.
Also scoring for Texas A&M were Devin Dixon and Carlton Orange in the 800m along with Bryce Deadmon in the 400m.
Meanwhile, Aggie sophomore Tyra Gittens leads the heptathlon through the first day with a career best tally of 3,872 points and leads the field by 161 points.
“Bryce had his fastest lead-off leg ever on the 4x400, and the rest of the guys ran fast to get a 2:59.05, second fastest time in history,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “I’m pretty pleased with that. We lose Bobby Grant of that group, but nobody else.
“Devin knows how to run the anchor leg, and in the last 110m you’re not going to catch him. The guy is phenomenal and he knows how to win. We did everything we could do today, but I would like to have Bobby’s points in the hurdles.”
With a relay crew of Deadmon (45.2), Robert Grant (44.5), Kyree Johnson (45.24) and Dixon (44.11), Texas A&M challenged the collegiate record with a 2:59.05 performance, earning its sixth victory in the event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as they bettered the facility record of 2:59.86 set by a USA all-star team in 2006.
The Aggies time, which ranks second on the all-time collegiate list behind the collegiate record of 2:59.00 set by USC last season, bettered a field that included Florida (2:59.60), Houston (3:00.07), Iowa (3:00.14), North Carolina A&T (3:01.50), Baylor (3:03.32), Arkansas (3:03.40) and South Carolina (3:03.97).
Dixon claimed the silver medal in the 800m final with a 1:44.84, leaving him trailing only Bryce Hoppel of Kansas (1:44.41 career best). Aggie teammate Carlton Orange produced his second career best time at this meet to finish fourth with a 1:46.40, moving him to No. 4 performer on the Aggie all-time list.
Dixon, who finished seventh as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore, produced the No. 3 performance on the A&M all-time list behind Donavan Brazier’s 1:43.55 and Dixon’s career best of 1:44.75.
This marks the first time for a pair of Aggies to score in the NCAA 800m as Dixon and Orange combined for 13 points.
Deadmon placed sixth in the 400m final with a career best of 45.18, which moves him to No. 10 on the A&M all-time list. Grant initially placed fourth in the 400m hurdles, but was disqualified for trail leg on the seventh hurdle.
Gittens started her day with a 13.49 (2.0 wind) in the 100m hurdles for 1,052 points, which tied her for seventh place overall. Then she equaled her career best in the high jump with a clearance of 6-1 ½ (1.87) to top the field and pick up 1,067 points, which moved her into the lead by 83 points with a total of 2,119 points.
A shot put mark of 44-2 ½ (13.47) secured 759 points as Gittens produced the second best mark of the field. Her overall went to 2,878 points to give her a 126 point lead over Ashtin Zamzow of Texas. Closing out the first day with the 200m, a time of 23.86 (+1.1 wind) won the heat and added 994 points to Gittens’ total.
Adding 30 points to her previous best first day score, Gittens has a first day lead over Ashtin Zamzow of Texas (3,711), Miami’s Michelle Atherley (3,671), Georgia’s Sterling Lester (3,601) and Erinn Beattie of UC Davis (3,524).
Maddy Stulce, who qualified for her fourth NCAA Championships, had a throw of 149-6 (45.56) to place 18th in the javelin.