Baylor’s Michael Johnson Invitational next challenge for No. 2 Texas A&M

Published: Apr. 18, 2019 at 4:18 PM CDT
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Texas A&M competes in the Michael Johnson Invitational hosted by Baylor this Friday and Saturday while a group of distance runners race at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California.

The Aggies, with the men and women each ranked No. 2 by USTFCCCA, face a field at the Michael Johnson Invitational which includes No. 1 Texas Tech on the men’s side along with No. 12 Baylor, No. 13 Texas, No. 24 Arkansas. On the women’s side ranked teams include No. 11 Kansas State, No. 15 Texas, and No. 18 Texas Tech. Others schools in the meet include Abilene Christian, Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Northern Illinois (women), TCU and Barton County.

The meet will be streamed live for subscribers at, and live results will be provided by

“This was a weekend we planned to run open events and maybe not double as much,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “We will run B 4x400 relays this weekend, but will still run our main 4x100 relays. So, we’re trying to get some performances done this weekend if we can. Then we will be back home the next weekend.”

Friday’s action at Baylor for A&M will include the men’s hammer, men’s and women’s javelin, an open men’s pole vault and the women’s 5,000m.

The men’s hammer begins at noon for Josh Brown, KJ Grimes and Hunter Madore. Nathan Hite throws the javelin at 4 p.m. while Logan Freeman is in the 5 p.m. pole vault. A crew of Jenna Ellis, Celine Markert and Natalie Scheifele contest the women’s javelin at 6 p.m. Devin Norton races in the 5,000m at 7 p.m.

At the Bryan Clay Invitational, held at Azusa Pacific University, Aggie distance runners will compete in the 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday evening Brandt Preston placed 17th in the primary heat of the 10,000m with a time of 30:56.14.

Saturday’s action at Baylor begins at 9:30 a.m. with Brown in the men’s discus while Markert competes in the women’s discus at 11:30 a.m.

Tyra Gittens and Deborah Acqua leads an Aggie crew of five long jumpers at noon while the A&M trio of Jacob Wooten, Carl Johansson and Robin Nool are entered in the Invitational pole vault, which starts at 5 p.m. Gittens will also race in the Invitational 100m hurdles with Gabrielle McDonald and Chinyere Njoku.

An afternoon session of running events start at 1 p.m. while the evening running session begins at 5 p.m.

Robert Grant is scheduled to open in the 400m hurdles. It will be his first race in the hurdle event since the USATF Championships in June of 2017.

“It’s all been about training right now for Bobby,” said Henry. “I have been careful with his foot and just making sure that he’s strong. We haven’t run a full flight in practice, but have been over seven hurdles a couple of times.

“There is a rhythm to this race as well. Bobby is an intent guy, so he’ll run the best he can. If he runs anywhere close to 50 seconds I’m going to be really happy with him. But it’s going to take him a few races before he gets back into the swing of things. He’s been running on our 4x400 relay and looks good. But when you put 10 hurdles in front of you it’s a different race.”

Syaira Richardson, who set a career best of 51.87 in her last outing at 400m, races in the Invitational 400m along with teammates Jaevin Reed, Tierra Robinson-Jones and Jarra Owens. In the men’s 400m the Aggies will race Bryce Deadmon and Kyree Johnson.

Devin Dixon and Jazmine Fray compete in the 800m again this weekend. Carlton Orange and Carlos Rodriguez join Dixon in the men’s race while Fray races with Valarie Bradley, Emily McCollum and Nadia Pakes.

Following a windy 23.17 victory in the 200m last weekend, Danyel White is one of six Aggie women in the Invitational section. Joining White are Amber Ivy, Julia Madubuike, Jania Martin, Diamond Spaulding and Brenessa Thompson. Also competing in the Invitational 100m are Ivy, Martin and Spaulding. Jace Comick races in the 100m and 200m on the men’s side.

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