COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M had a split decision during the Charlie Thomas Invitational with the women claiming the team title while the men were runner-up. The Aggies generated three event wins on the second day of the meet from freshman Lauren Fairchild in the mile, Jacob Wooten in the pole vault and Ciynamon Stevenson in the triple jump.
In team scoring the Aggie women prevailed with 129 points over Cincinnati (96.5), Arkansas (90), Texas (64), Stephen F. Austin (63), Houston (58), and TCU (40.5) among a field of 11 teams. Houston bettered the Texas A&M men with 126.5 points to 118.5 for the Aggies along with a field of 10 teams which included Texas Arlington (57), UTSA (57), Cincinnati (55), and Texas (52).
“We found out a little bit more about our team today,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “We had some key people we did not run, we didn't put them on the track. I hope we help ourselves in the long run.
“We got beat on the men's side today, and it's the first time we have been beaten at home in 10 years. This was a learning experience for a lot of people today. Houston has a good team and looked good. We are fortunate to have a facility where we can get good teams to come.”
Fairchild produced a career best of 4:55.11 in the mile, moving to No. 13 on the Aggie all-time list, as she charged to the finish ahead of TCU’s Evelyn Mandel, who placed second in 4:55.39. A&M teammates Ashton Hutcherson (4:56.32) and Valarie Bradley (4:56.58) placed third and fourth in the race.
“I was really prepared,” stated Fairchild, who covered the last 200m in 34.44 and the last 400m in 70.63. “It’s exciting, and I feel like I have more to come. Having my teammates around me really helps. Workouts are going perfect and I have been having fun.
“I saw myself on the last backstretch on the screen and I saw a girl coming up behind me. I said, ‘No, no, no, that's not going to happen,’ and turned it on from there.”
Wooten was challenged by Antonio Ruiz of Stephen F. Austin in the pole vault. Wooten made his opening height of 17-3 ¾ (5.28) on first attempt, passed 17-7 ¾ (5.38) and then had three misses at 17-11 ¼ (5.48). Ruiz needed two attempts at 17-0 (5.18) and three to make 17-3 ¾ before misses his three tries at 17-11 ¼.
The Aggies also finished third and fourth in the vault with Robin Nool (17-0) and Logan Freeman (16-6).
An effort of 40-10 ¼ (12.45) was enough for Stevenson to win the triple jump over Camille Little of Rice, who reached a distance of 40-5 (12.32).
A pair of career best performances by Taryn Milton (8.44) and Kennedy Smith (8.49) led to a 2-3 finish by the Aggie duo in the 60m hurdles. Milton’s time moves her to No. 13 performer on the A&M all-time list. Smith had run 8.59 five times this indoor season, including the prelims this weekend.
Kirby Matocha’s runner-up finish in the high jump with a clearance of 5-7 ¾ (1.72), left her trailing Cincinnati’s Loretta Blaut, the 2018 NCAA indoor and outdoor runner-up, who improved her meet record to 6-1 ½ (1.87).
Placing behind Matocha was 2018 NCAA Outdoor champion Alexus Henry of Texas Arlington, who also cleared 5-7 ½, but needed three attempts to Matocha’s two.
Aggie freshman Mason Farley cleared 6-8 ¾ (2.05) in the men’s high jump for a runner-up performance. Teammate Mason Corbin matched that height in tying for fifth place.
The Aggie men were runner-up in the 4x400 at 3:08.01 behind a 3:07.83 for Houston while TCU finished third in 3:08.47. Texas A&M’s line-up included Richard Rose (48.52), Carlton Orange (46.35), Kyree Johnson (46.73) and Ilolo Izu (46.41).
In the women’s 4x400 the Aggies finished third at 3:38.49 behind Texas (3:34.81) and Arkansas (3:35.80). A&M’s crew consisted of Brenessa Thompson (55.18), Jara Owens (52.96), Sammy Watson (55.29) and Jazmine Fray (55.06).
Julia Madubuike sped to an indoor best in the 400m, clocking 53.77 to place third behind Morgan Burks Magee of Arkansas (53.26) and Lily Beckford of TCU (53.44). In the men’s 400m, a pair of career best times were turned in by Colby Zamzow (47.46) and DeWitt Thomas (47.72) as they finished fourth and sixth.
Diamond Spaulding posted a 23.40 for third place in the 200 as teammate Jania Martin registered a 23.76 for fifth place overall after winning her section. Arkansas posted the top two times in the 200 with Kiara Parker (23.26) and Payton Chadwick (23.37).
Razorback’s Parker also won the 60 in 7.24 over Kennedy Flannel of Texas (7.34), Jada Baylark of Arkansas (7.37) and A&M’s Thompson (7.42).
Gabe Oladipo equaled his indoor best in the shot put with a toss of 58-4 ½ (17.79), which keeps him at No. 10 on the A&M all-time list. In the weight throw Oladipo placed third with a mark of 63-2 ¼ (19.26).
Lizette Chapa scored a pair of points for the Aggies in the women’s 3,000m as she placed seventh with a best of 9:59.05. A year ago in this meet Chapa finished 17th in 10:29.38.