Texas A&M’s Athing Mu brought a near-capacity crowd to its feet while winning the Southeastern Conference 400m title with an American U-20 record time of 49.84, Saturday night at E.B. Cushing Stadium.
After claiming two titles on Friday, Texas A&M won five events on the final day of the SEC Outdoor Championships. Deborah Acquah (long jump), Tyra Gittens (heptathlon), Moitalel Mpoke (400m Hurdles), Brandon Miller (800m), Athing Mu (400m, 4x400m), Tierra Robinson-Jones (4x400m), Charokee Young (4x400m) and Jaevin Reed (4x400m) each ended the weekend with an SEC event title.
Mu torched the 400m field of runners with a time of 49.84, 1.07 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. While breaking the American U-20 record, she also set an SEC meet record, facility record and Texas A&M school record. Her time made her the third-fastest collegian all-time and ranked fifth on the all-time world U-20 list.
“She’s just a terrific athlete,” Head Coach Pat Henry said. “She’s just a very unique, special athlete. She’s born with great talent, but she works her butt off. That’s why she’s successful.”
It is her second American U-20 record set this outdoor season after breaking the 800m (1:57.73) in April at the Michael Johnson Invitational.
Fellow freshman Brandon Miller won the men’s 800m title with a personal best and time of 1:45.95. Miller became the fourth-fastest American on the U-20 all-time list. He completed the 2021 SEC 800m title sweep after claiming the indoor championship back in February.
The track continued to stay hot for the Maroon & White as Mpoke won the 400m hurdles with a collegiate-leading time of 48.89. Mpoke became the first Aggie in history to run a sub-49 in the 400m hurdles breaking a 34-year-old school record of 49.05, which Craig Calk previously held.
Mpoke met the Olympic qualifying standard by .01 seconds.
The women’s 4x400m of Robinson-Jones, Young, Reed and Mu capped the night with a collegiate-leading time of 3:26.17. The quartet currently owns the fastest time globally and became the third-fastest relay in Aggie history.
Bryce Deadmon (400m, 4x400m), Acquah (triple jump), Gittens (high jump), Lamara Distin (high jump), Emmanuel Yeboah (4x100m), Devon Achane (4x100m), Lance Broome (4x100m), Ryan Martin (4x100m), Mpoke (4x400m), Dixon (4x400m) and Omajuwa Etiwe each finished in the top three to earn All-SEC honours in their respective events.
Deadmon clocked a personal best time of 44.50, which ranks him as the third-best performer in school history and the ninth-best performance. He also ran a 43.82 anchor split to give the Aggies a photo line finish chance as the quartet of Deadmon, Dixon, Mpoke, and Etiwe finished second at 3:01.73. Their time ranks No. 5 in the NCAA this season.
Twenty-four hours after claiming SEC titles, Acquah and Gittens were back at it, scoring more points for the Aggies. Acquah placed second triple jump at 46-4.25 (14.13m), while Gittens placed second in the high jump at 6-2.25 (1.93m). Distin finished third in the high jump with a 6-2.25 (1.93m) clearance, but due to failed first two attempts at the height, dropped to third overall, earning her first career top-three finish in an SEC competition.
Yeboah, Achane, Broome and Martin each earned their first career All-SEC honour finishing third overall in the 4x100m with a time of 39.08.
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