FAYETTEVILLE – Texas A&M travels to the University of Arkansas campus for the SEC Championships, which will take place Thursday through Saturday, May 9-11.
Through six seasons in the conference, the Aggie men have claimed conference team titles in 2014 and 2017, while finishing as runner-up three times. The A&M women, SEC winners in 2013, have finished as runner-up twice and third place twice.
Ten years ago John McDonnell Field served as the site of the Aggies first pair of national team championships during the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Texas A&M went on to claim three consecutive dual national championships, and remain the only school to have accomplished the feat.
Heading into the 2019 SEC Championships with the women nationally ranked No. 2 and the men No. 5, the Aggies return nine individual medalists for this year’s encounter.
Other conference schools joining the Aggies among the top 25 in the USTFCCCA national ratings index this week include No. 2 LSU, No. 4 Florida, No. 10 Alabama, No. 13 Mississippi State, No. 15 Georgia, No. 17 South Carolina and No. 20 Arkansas on the men’s side along with No. 1 Arkansas, No. 4 Kentucky, No. 7 LSU, No. 8 Alabama, No. 10 Florida, No. 19 Georgia and No. 25 South Carolina on the women’s side.
“It’s the best conference in the United States, which has dominated the national scene for years,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “That’s what makes is so much fun. SEC schools come to this meet to win, and that’s why this meet is so good.
“Each year we preach the same thing and it’s always true. We need to have a lot of people have a good day on the same day.”
Devin Dixon (800m), Tyra Gittens (heptathlon) and the men’s 4×400 relay were gold medalists a year ago. Dixon has won four consecutive SEC titles in the 800m, twice indoor and twice outdoor. Gittens produced the best first day score (3,842 points) in conference history on the way to her heptathlon victory with 6,074 points. She added a bronze medal in the high jump and finished fifth in the long jump during her freshman season.
Silver medalists returning for A&M include Infinite Tucker (400m hurdles), Raymond Gonzales (3,000m steeplechase), Jacob Wooten (pole vault), Jazmine Fray (800m) and Maddy Stulce (javelin) while Nathan Hite (decathlon) was a bronze medalist.
Fray claimed gold in the 800m in 2017 along with silver in 2016 while Robert Grant earned a silver medal in 2016 and a bronze medal in 2017 racing in the 400m hurdles.
Heading into the conference championships as SEC leaders this outdoor season are Gittens with a collegiate-leading high jump of 6-1 ½ (1.87), Fray with a 2:03.39 in the 800m, Ilolo Izu with a 49.68 in the 400m hurdles while teammate Tucker is ranked second at 49.78.
Posting second-best marks in the SEC this outdoor season are Danyel White with a windy 22.77 in the 200m, Ciynamon Stevenson with a wind-aided 45-9 ¾ (13.96) in the triple jump, Jacob Wooten at 18-8 ¾ (5.71) in the pole vault, and Hite with a score of 7,774 in the decathlon.
Aggie men with top-five marks heading into the conference meet include Dixon, 1:47.06 in the 800m; Kyree Johnson, 45.92 in the 400m; Zephyr Seagraves, 9:02.80 in the steeplechase; Robin Nool and Carl Johansson, both with a 17-5 (5.31) in the pole vault; Gabe Oladipo, 186-3 (56.77) in the discus; and Sam Hardin 239-9 (73.09) in the javelin.
A&M women with top-five marks include Brenessa Thompson, 11.22 in the 100m; Syaira Richardson, 51.87 in the 400m; Gittens, 21-1 ¼ (6.43) in the long jump; and Stulce, 174-7 (53.22) in the javelin.
The Aggie women’s 4×100 relay ranks second with a 43.46 while the men’s 4×400 relay ranks third with a 3:03.30.
SEC Championships – Broadcast Information
Thursday: streaming on SEC Network + from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Friday: streaming on SEC Network + from 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Saturday: SEC Network from 5 to 9 p.m.