COLLEGE STATION – Texas A&M junior Carlton Orange produced a school record in the 600 meters as his runner-up time of 1:16.51 makes him the No. 10 performer on the all-time indoor collegiate list.
The Aggies swept the team titles in the Texas A&M Triangular they hosted in front of 1,128 fans on Saturday inside Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. The Aggie men, who improved to 20-0 in dual scored indoor meets, totaled 120 points to better UTEP (72) and TCU (51), while the A&M women, who are 17-3, tallied 117 points in defeating TCU (68) and UTEP (52).
“These kinds of competitions are really difficult for young people,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “Because a majority of them have never had a dual meet or triangular, even through high school. So, they think a small meet is not something they can’t progress in. I saw some good things happen today, but I also saw some things in people who were not motivated enough to do the competition. We need to continue to learn.”
Aggie alum Donavan Brazier opened his season by winning the 600m race in a world and U.S. leading time of 1:15.46, which moves him to No. 5 performer with the No. 7 performance on the American all-time indoor list as well as the No. 10 performer with the No. 12 performance on the all-time world list.
Deon Lendore, the 2014 Bowerman winner for Texas A&M, placed third in the race with a 1:16.90, the second fastest time by a sprinter from Trinidad & Tobago, while current Aggie JaQwae Ellison finished fourth in 1:19.01.
“It’s always great getting to race against national champions and Olympians,” stated Orange of the field he faced in the 600. “I like how they pushed me and I was able to push them during the race. I’ve never run the open 600 competitively, but today is a good indicator of where I am with my shape and what I can do next at 800m.”
With Texas A&M having only run 600 yard races since opening Gilliam due to it being an event at the Big 12 Indoor Championships, there was no listed school record for the Aggies in the 600m. However, Brazier had a split of 1:17.88 at 600m when he won the SEC Indoor 800m title at Arkansas in 2016.
Brazier’s 200m splits in this race were 24.65, 25.65 (50.30), and 25.17 while Orange went 24.50, 26.09 (50.59) and 25.93. Lendore led the crew through 200m at 24.30, then continued with a 26.45 (50.75) and 26.16.
“They pushed me to my max,” noted Orange. “Although I felt I could have run a little faster, I really had a good effort today. I always like racing Donavan, since I know he is in great shape and will be good competition. When he went around 350 to 400m, it kind of surprised me a little bit. I didn’t expect him to go that hard. So, I tried to match it a little bit. I wasn’t quite there but we’re getting there though.”
Henry added: “Carlton is a talent. He was with us last year, but couldn’t compete since he was a transfer. He is a guy who will run a good 800 and I think he will be involved with our 4x400 as well.”
The Aggie men produced 10 victories on the day as Gabe Oladipo continued to display his proficiency in the weight throw with a winning toss of 64-8 ½ (19.72), improving his No. 3 performer status on the A&M all-time list. Teammate Josh Brown moved to No. 7 performer in the weight throw with a mark of 59-5 (18.11) that placed him third.
“The whole process has been great and I’ve been having a lot of fun with learning a new event,” said Oladipo. “That’s kind of an underrated aspect of training. You have to have fun with it and I’ve been enjoying the weight throw. Everything is coming together.
“Learning the weight throw has taught me numerous things that will help me in the shot and discus. The core strength, the coordination and footwork all play a part in any of the throwing events I compete in. Throwing the weight will help me progress in the other throws as well.”
Eight victories highlighted the women’s winning effort as the Aggies had double victories from Celine Markert and LaJarvia Brown while Syaira Richardson breezed to a 53.18 win in the 400, moving to No. 8 on the A&M all-time list.
Markert won the shot put and weight throw with marks of 45-5 ½ (13.85) and 53-3 ¾ (16.25), respectively, while Brown claimed the high jump at 5-8 ¾ (1.75) and long jump with a leap of 18-11 ¾ (5.78).
Devin Dixon powered to a 46.95 victory in the 400 over teammate Ilolo Izu’s 47.05 along with TCU’s Blake Hennesay (47.46) and UTEP’s Sean Bailey (47.61). Dixon improved his previous indoor best of 47.74.
In the mile, Jon Bishop led an A&M 1-2-3 finish with a 4:10.54 as Wes McPhail (4:13.48) and Zephyr Seagraves (4:15.53) followed.
Other wins for the men included Tyler Guillory in the 60m hurdles (8.02), Jacob Wooten in the pole vault (17-7), David Torkington in the 800 (1:56.47), CJ Stevenson in the triple jump (47-11 ¾) and Jake Lamberth in the high jump (6-8 ¾).
Additional victories for the women included Ashton Hutcherson in the mile (4:59.52) and Diamond Spaulding in the 200 (23.61).
Nikki Keys also went under five minutes in the mile as runner-up to Hutcherson with a 4:59.66. In the 200, racing in a different section than Spaulding, Tierra Robinson-Jones and Julia Madubuike placed second and third with identical times of 23.67. They were separated by 0.003 of a second with the edge going to Robinson-Jones.
In sweeping the 4x400 relays, a winning time of 3:07.33 gave the A&M men an edge over TCU (3:07.78). The Aggie foursome included Bryce Deadmon (46.37), Ilolo Izu (47.51), Kyree Johnson (47.44) and Dixon (46.01). The anchor leg by Dixon was essential in holding off the 45.74 split by TCU’s anchor Derrick Mokaleng.
The women posted a winning time of 3:38.08 while another Aggie squad finished second in 3:39.78. Racing on the winning crew were Robinson-Jones (54.18), Richardson (54.34), Fray (55.00) and Madubuike (54.56).
Kelsie Warren moved to No. 10 on the Aggie all-time list in the 3,000m with a runner-up time of 9:42.29 as Ashley Driscoll placed third in 9:43.30. TCU’s Evelyn Mandel won the race in 9:41.23.
A close finish in the 60m hurdles had Taryn Milton (8.58) and Kennedy Smith (8.59) trailing UTEP’s Kimisha Chambers (8.53).
Texas A&M travels for the first time this season with a trip to Lubbock next week for the Texas Tech Classic on January 25-26.