COLLEGE STATION – The Aggies swept both team titles in the Texas A&M Quadrangular they hosted in front of 1,441 fans on Saturday inside Gilliam Indoor Stadium.
Scoring 177.5 points the A&M men remain undefeated in dual meets they have hosted at Gilliam as they improved their record to 11-0 since 2009. The Aggies, ranked No. 2 in dual meet rankings and No. 4 in national team rankings this season, bettered Texas Tech (136 points), Oklahoma (121.5) and Arizona State (70).
The A&M men won seven of the nine running events, claiming the 60, 200, 400, 800, mile, 3,000 and 4×400 relay.
With 166.5 points the A&M women, ranked No. 1 in dual meet rankings and No. 2 in the national team rankings, improved to 8-3 in dual meets they have hosted indoors. Texas Tech finished second with 129.5 points followed by Oklahoma (118) and Arizona State (91).
“This was a great meet with some good teams in here this weekend,” said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “It went really quick today with a two hour and 45 minute meet. The things we accomplished today, for the most part, are what we set out to do.
“Winning at home is important to our team. I’m really pleased with a lot of people’s efforts today. There were some performances here today that are as good as they’re going to be at any time this indoor season.”
Bralon Taplin posted a world-leading time of 45.78 seconds in claiming the 400m victory and just missed the best-ever-mark for the event held in an indoor dual scoring meet. Teammate Deon Lendore holds the top mark of 45.74 from last year’s Texas A&M Triangular.
The swift time moves Taplin to No. 3 on the Aggie all-time list, where he is only behind Lendore’s school record of 45.03 and a 45.33 from Demetrius Pinder. Taplin won his race by a full second with Joseph Richards of Texas Tech runner-up in 46.80.
“I wanted to go a little faster, in the 45.5 or 45.6 range, but a 45.7 isn’t too bad,” stated Taplin. “Deon ran 45.7 to open up last year as well. I think I could have gone out a little faster in the first 200 and I’ll need to in order to compete with guys like Deon Lendon and Arman Hall.”
On the women’s side in the 400 meters, Kamaria Brown produced the second fastest time in the world for the 2015 indoor season with a winning mark of 52.96 seconds. Runner-up to Brown was a 53.51 from Oklahoma’s Daye Shon Roberson and 53.55 by Arizona State’s Brianna Tate.
“I’m very happy that what I’m doing in practice is paying off on race day,” said Brown. “I still have some work to do, but to see that progression in my first open 400 of the season makes me very happy.”
Henry noted: “Those are two big runs this early by Bralon and Kamaria. Bralon’s run was big time. Any time you run 45.7 in here, in the second meet of the season, is really good.”
Brown and Taplin were also part of winning 4×400 relay efforts by the Aggies. The women ran 3:37.02 with Shamier Little (53.8), Brown (52.9), Ebony Crear (56.0) and Olivia Ekponé (54.3) to defeat Arizona State’s 3:42.35 and a 3:42.66 from Texas Tech.
A closer men’s race in the 4×400 had A&M posting a world-leading 3:07.28 to defeat Texas Tech’s 3:08.53 while a second Aggie squad placed third in 3:11.70. The winning relay consisted of Greg Coleman (47.2), Deon Lendore (46.2), Carlyle Roudette (47.8) and Taplin (46.1). The other A&M crew included Deon Hickey (47.9), Hector Hernandez (47.3), Josh Hernandez (48.1) and Gaines Kinsey (48.4).
It was the first race of the indoor season for Bowerman Award winner Lendore. For Taplin the 400m was his second race of the year after posting a 20.80 in the 200m last weekend.
“It’s always good to get the first race out of the way,” noted Lendore. “I could have done better today, but it’s all about getting back on the track and do the best I could. I need to get back my indoor rhythm since I was too comfortable in the first 200. I need to get out faster.”
Three recent NCAA cross country All-Americans raced in the women’s 3,000 meters as Shelby Houlihan of Arizona State won the race in 9:03.71 to record the fastest time ever, indoors or outdoors, in a dual, triangular or quadrangular meet. A&M’s tandem of Hillary Montgomery and Grace Fletcher placed second and third as they posted the same exact time of 9:31.32, separated by 0.003 of a second. Aggie Karis Jochen finished in sixth place with a 9:46.15.
The men’s 3,000 had A&M’s Isaac Spencer breaking the meet record with an 8:10.80 that places him No. 9 on the Aggie all-time list. He bettered the meet record of 8:20.67 established by teammate Ryan Miller last year. Finishing behind Spencer was Jacob Burcham of Oklahoma in 8:14.13 while Arizona State’s tandem of CJ Albertson (8:15.04) and Ryan Herson (8:15.82) were third and fourth.
Double individual winners for Texas A&M included Brea Garrett in the weight throw and shot put along with Jennifer Madu in the 60 meters and long jump.
Garrett broke her meet record in the weight throw with a toss of 69-7.5 (21.22) as she topped the field by seven-plus feet. Aggies in the event included Alison Ondrusek (57-0.25) and Shelbi Vaughan (55-11.75) in sixth and seventh place.
A heave of 52-1 (15.87) earned Garrett the shot put victory as she just missed her indoor best of 52-2.75 (15.92). Finishing behind Garrett with a pair of 51-foot marks were OU’s Jessica Woodard (51-8.25) and Arizona State’s Alex Hartig (51-0.75).
“It feels good to come back from a recent slump in the shot,” said Garrett. “I’m happy that some of the things I’ve been practicing are paying off. Breaking my meet record in the weight throw is good since it’s consistent with what I was doing last year. Hopefully I’ll keep progressing.”
Madu claimed the long jump with a leap of 19-0 (5.79) and then sped to 7.35 win in the 60 meters ahead of teammate Aaliyah Brown’s 7.37. The women’s 200 saw Texas Tech’s Cierra White win in 23.16 as the Aggies finished 2-3-4 with Ashton Purvis (23.36), A. Brown (23.51) and Ekponé (23.78).
In the men’s 60 the Aggies went 1-2 with Shavez Hart (6.69) and Devin Jenkins (6.71) while an A&M 1-2-3 followed in the 200 with Jenkins (20.89), Hart (20.90) and Coleman (21.44).
A tight finish in the men’s 800 had Josh Hernandez taking over the lead in the final stages to earn a 1:49.71 victory over teammate Hector Hernandez, who was second in 1:49.91, while Gaines Kinsey placed fourth in 1:51.76. The women’s 800 produced a 1-3 finish for A&M as Katie Willard won the race in 2:12.51 and Karina Buerk placed third in 2:14.47.
After winning the 800 a week ago, Cameron Villarreal posted a win in the mile with a 4:07.41 to defeat Nick Rivera of Texas Tech (4:10.61) along with Oklahoma’s duo of Dylan Blankenbaker (4:11.52) and Abbabiya Sinbassa (4:11.78). Aggie Alex Riba finished fifth in 4:11.86.
Chase Wolfle (17-0.75) won the pole vault as he led an A&M 1-2-3 with Carl Johnson (16-2) and Audie Wyatt (16-2). Jeffrey Prothro produced an indoor career best of 49-11.25 (15.22) to win the triple jump after placing second in the long jump (22-8.5). Kara Erickson (5-7.25) won the high jump with Annie Kunz adding team points in fourth place.
A runner-up finish for Austin Cook at 64-7.75 (19.70) had him challenging Texas Tech’s Kole Weldon, who won the weight (66-5.25 | 20.25) and shot put (61-4 | 18.69) titles. Ben Skrla was fourth for the Aggies in the weight throw (58-4.75) and Jeff Bartlett finished fifth in the shot put (55-3.5).
Sam McSwain tied for third place in the high jump at 6-9 while Texas Tech’s Jacorian Duffield defended his win from a year ago as he equaled the collegiate leading mark for 2015 with a clearance of 7-5.75 (2.28). That bettered the meet record he tied at 7-1.75 (2.18) last season.
Sara Kathryn Stevens tied for second place in the women’s pole vault at 12-3.5 (3.75) as Texas Tech’s Reece Timmons won the event with a 12-7.5 (3.85) clearance. A&M’s Emily Gunderson (12-3.5) cleared the same height as Stevens and placed fourth based on misses while Brittany Wooten (11-11.75) finished sixth.