Sunday, January 29, 2017

Aggie 4x400 collegiate record 2017
Track and Field | |

Aggies break collegiate record in 4x400, run fourth fastest time ever in world

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  • Players Mentioned
    • Jeff Bartlett Bio
      Jeff Bartlett
    • Briyahna Desrosiers Bio
      Briyahna Desrosiers
    • Jazmine Fray Bio
      Jazmine Fray
      Middle Dist.
    • Robert Grant Bio
      Robert Grant
    • Fred Kerley Bio
      Fred Kerley
    • Jeffrey Prothro Bio
      Jeffrey Prothro
    • Arin Rice Bio
      Arin Rice
    • Richard Rose Bio
      Richard Rose
      Middle Dist.
    • Lindon Victor Bio
      Lindon Victor
    • Cameron Villarreal Bio
      Cameron Villarreal
FAYETTEVILLE – A collegiate record of 3 minutes, 2.52 seconds in the men's 4x400 along with a pair of school records in the women's 800m and men's heptathlon highlighted the second day of action for Texas A&M in front of 1,857 fans at the Razorback Invitational.

The Aggie men finished second in team scoring while the women placed fourth amid a field that included a dozen SEC schools.

"Our group came up here knowing most of the SEC was going to be here this weekend," said Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. "This competition is one that we aimed at, and one that I felt was important for us. It was a wonderful performance by this group over the weekend.

"There were a lot of schools within a few points of each other. That shows you the strength of the Southeastern Conference, our league is tough. If you can get in the top three to five schools, then you have a great track team."

With 85 points the Texas A&M men finish second in team scoring behind the 99.5 for host Arkansas. Behind the Aggies were Florida (72), Georgia (67), LSU (48.5), Mississippi (47), USC (41), and Tennessee (38). The Texas A&M women scored 72.33 points in placing fourth behind LSU (84.33), USC (80), and Arkansas (75). Finishing behind the Aggies were Georgia (59), Florida (46), Mississippi (45), and Auburn (34.33).

Texas A&M sophomore Jazmine Fray broke her second school record of this indoor season as she won the 800m in 2:04.76 seconds at the Razorback Invitational on Saturday. Teammate Katie Willard, who held the previous Aggie record of 2:05.79 from 2016, also bettered the standard as the senior finished third in 2:05.04.

Lindon Victor improved his school record with a score of 5,805 points that placed him second in the heptathlon, just 76 points behind the winning tally of 5,881 points by Georgia's Devon Williams.

In posting a time of 3:02.52 seconds, the Texas A&M quartet of Fred Kerley (44.96), Richard Rose (46.01), Devin Dixon (46.25) and Mylik Kerley (45.30) bettered the previous collegiate record of 3:02.86 an Aggie foursome set in 2015. Members of the previous collegiate record included Gregory Coleman, Bralon Taplin, Shavez Hart and Deon Lendore.

It's also the fourth fastest time on the all-time world list and the fastest ever in the month of January. The recognized world and American record is 3:02.13 set in 2014 by the USA National team, while an unratified world best of 3:01.96 was established by an USA All-Star squad in 2006.

The previous fastest time ever run in the month of January was 3:03.23 set by Texas A&M in 2015 inside Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Complex.

Kerley's lead off leg of 44.96 is the fastest ever recorded indoors, topping a 45.5 run by Reggie Witherspoon of Florida in 2004 as well as a 45.71 by Tyree Washington (USA) in 2006. On the all-time 400m world indoor list, only four individuals have ever run faster than Kerley's split.

"I give all the credit to my teammates and my coaches," stated Kerley, who ran 20.58 in the 200m on Friday evening. "The plan was to open up the race from the start and give every inch of an advantage to my teammates as possible. My momentum is really strong right now and I'm happy with the performances I've had so far this season."

Finishing behind the Aggies in the 4x400 relay were Tennessee (3:06.30 from another section), LSU (3:07.02), Florida (3:07.11), Mississippi State (3:08.06), Arkansas (3:09.28) and Georgia (3:10.71).

"Fred has been running really great over 200m right now, and that's the plan," noted Henry. "We haven't run him over a quarter indoors except on the relay. In running 200m we are working on speed and some things that will help him the rest of the season. He is going to be a great quarter-miler as a result of running these 200s indoors."

After Kerley opened up a gap on the field, the remaining legs maintained the advantage to the finish.

"When I saw Fred's opening leg I said it's over," Rose recalled. "After I heard he split 44.9, I knew I had to keep up the lead and carry this through to the anchor leg. It was a dream come true to see us break the collegiate record."

Dixon, a freshman, added: "It's just crazy, I didn't expect to have much energy left after running an 800 earlier. After seeing Fred run a 44 I knew I had to give it my all, everything I have. I couldn't let him down."

Anchor leg Mylik, young brother of Fred, cruised to the finish with the record in sight. "It's amazing to break that record, but we know on Monday we just get back to work. We'll enjoy this for a while, but then we get back home and get back to work. Now there is a target on our backs. Coach Henry tells us all the time we need to learn how to handle success."

Fray previously bettered the 1,000m record at Texas A&M during her first meet of the season in December. This also marked her fourth victory this year in four different race distances. Following the 1,000m record race, Fray won the mile (4:44.87) two weeks ago and then claimed the 400m (53.91) last weekend.

Splits for Fray in her record 800m race included 30.54, 32.01 (1:02.55), 31.68 (1:34.23), and 30.53. Her splits at 400m were 1:02.55 and 1:02.21. Fray led throughout the race and was challenged by LSU freshman Ruby Stauber, who finished as runner-up in 2:05.00, while Willard moved into third place with 100m left in the race.

"I was really excited to run the 800, even though I get nervous when I race it," said Fray. "What calms me down, though, is having Katie in the race with me. We balance each other out a lot. I wanted to get into the lead and control the race. It was a great feeling to break the record, but I was so proud of the race Katie had as well."

In posting a time of 2:05.04 the splits for Willard included 30.82, 32.32 (1:03.14), 32.08 (1:35.22), and 29.82. Her splits at 400m were 1:03.14 and 1:01.90.

"Anytime that Jazmine and I are in the same race I kind of look at it like a practice," noted Willard. "We are always together in practice. It was nice to have her in the comfort of the race. It was cool to have us both break the previous school record. I think there is a lot left in both of us and the record should go down some more."

The second day of the multi started with the 60m hurdles as Williams clocked 7.93 for 999 points while Victor ran 8.32 (903). The overall lead then switched hands with Williams holding a 20-point edge. Both cleared 15-7 (4.75) in the pole vault for 834 points. The height was a career best for Victor, who improved his Grenada national record from the 15-0 he cleared earlier this season.

In the final event of 1,000m Williams finished in 2:52.35 (741 points) while Victor ran 2:57.90 (685). The previous school record of 5,776 was set by Victor in the SEC Championships last season.

"It was a great competition," said Victor. "I knew coming into this event the heptathlon is not my best, since most of my strong events are outdoors in the decathlon. I was really happy with how most of the events went this weekend after taking a long break from the Olympics. I really don't like getting second, but I'm happy."

Invitational races included Mylik Kerley in the open 400, clocking 46.09 to win his section and place third overall. His time ranks No. 6 on the Texas A&M all-time list.

Section winners for the Aggies in earlier races included Robert Grant in the 400m (47.31, placed eighth overall), Arin Rice in the mile (4:50.75, No. 5 on Aggie all-time list), and Devin Dixon in the 800m (1:49.66, places sixth overall, No. 8 on Aggie all-time list).

Cameron Villarreal placed second in his section of the mile with a 4:05.94 and finished seventh overall. Brittany Parker ran 2:10.89 for second place in her section of the 800, which placed her No. 8 on the Texas A&M all-time list. An 8:23.12 for Austin Wells placed him ninth in the Invitational 3,000m.

Jeffrey Prothro was third in the triple jump with a leap of 51-0. Celine Market placed fifth in the women's shot put at 51-0 while Jeff Bartlett finished seventh in the men's shot put with a 56-0 toss.

Jaevin Reed ran 54.08 in the women's 400m as she placed third in her section and seventh overall. Reed later ran the first leg (55.06) of the Texas A&M 4x400 that finished fourth in its section and fifth overall with a time of 3:34.95.

Joining Reed on the relay were Briyahna Desrosiers (53.39), Fray (52.89) and Kadecia Baird (53.61). USC won the 4x400 in 3:30.66 ahead of South Carolina (3:32.77) and LSU (3:33.25).

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