Texas A&M sweeps track titles
EUGENE, Ore. — Before last year, Texas A&M had never won an NCAA team title. Now, the Aggies can boast back-to-back championships for both their men and women.
The men wrapped up the NCAA outdoor track and field championships Saturday with a crucial victory in the 1,600-meter relay and held off Florida to repeat, while the women were boosted by a 1-2 finish in the 200 meters.
“This is big for our program,” coach Pat Henry said. “It shows consistency in what we’re doing and that’s the most important thing. If we had been second today or third today, I’d still have been pleased because it shows a level of consistency.”
Texas A&M had never won a team title before last year’s championships in Fayetteville, Ark. They were the first school since 1990 to win both outdoor championships.
“It definitely means a lot,” said senior sprinter Porscha Lucas, who won the 200-meter dash. “I’m so proud of my girls.”
The Aggie men finished with 55 points, followed by Florida with 54 and the host Oregon Ducks with 45. The Gators came close to unseating the defending champions in the meet’s final field event, the long jump, but Christian Taylor fell to fourth and the Gators came up short on points.
Texas A&M’s all-junior team of Tran Howell, Bryan Miller, Demetrius Pinder and Tabarie Henry bested runner-up Mississippi State and third-place Florida in the 1,600 with a time of 3 minutes, 0.89 seconds. Again the Gators fell just short.
The women finished with 72 total points, followed by Oregon with 57 and Florida with 40.
Washington State’s Marissa Tschida, the national leader entering the competition, finished fourth in the javelin Saturday. She threw 169 feet, 11 inches on her second attempt and couldn’t improve on it. Teammate Courtney Kirkwood finshed 11th (158-3).
Tschida, Kirkwood and Anna Layman (800 meters) were named All-Americans. Jeshua Anderson (hurdles) earned his fourth All-America certificate Friday.
Idaho’s Eugenio Mannucci finished 21st in the shot put with a toss of 56-91/2.
Washington’s Katie Follett finished 10th in the 1,500 meters (4:20.19) after leading for the first 21/2 laps, and Mel Lawrence finished eighth I the steeplechase (10:10.60). Both women earned All-America honors.
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