EUGENE – Texas A&M scored one point and advanced four individuals and one relay to the finals of the NCAA Championships on the first day of action Wednesday in front of 9,001 fans at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
The lone final involving a scorer for the Aggies was the women’s long jump, where LaQue Moen-Davis made the final by tying for the eighth and final position with a mark of 20-7.75 (6.29). When Meon-Davis matched her best mark in the final round it broke the tie and enabled the Aggie frosh to secure eighth place and one point for A&M’s team score.
Moving on to finals this weekend for the Aggies were Jennifer Madu (100), Ameer Webb (100), Deon Lendore (400), Henry Lelei (Steeplechase) and the women’s 4x100 relay. Just missing in the ninth spot of time qualifying for the finals were Prezel Hardy, Jr. in the 100 and Gregory Coleman in the 400 hurdles.
The women’s 4x100 won the opening semifinal with a 42.84 clocking as they ran the foursome of LaKeidra Stewart, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Ashley Collier. Finishing second to the Aggies in the first of three semis was Clemson at 43.70 with USC in third at 44.57. The time by the Aggies is the No. 10 performance on the A&M all-time list.
Oregon won the second semi in 43.73 over Kansas (44.32) and Texas (44.54). The third semi had UCF passing LSU in the final 30 meters for a 43.15 to 43.44 win.
In the men’s 400 Deon Lendore cruised into the final with a winning time of 45.36 as Florida’s Hugh Graham, Jr. challenged from lane one and ran 45.56 to place second. George Mason’s David Verburg posted the fastest time at 45.19 with Lendore the second fastest qualifier. A&M’s Ricky Babineaux ran 46.91 for seventh in the final semi.
Henry Lelei ran in front of the field by a 30 to 40 meters in his semifinal of the 3,000-meter steeplechase, clocking a winning time of 8:40.18. The other semifinal was won by UTEP’s Anthony Rotich in 8:32.50 while Arkansas’ Stanley Kebenei finished second in 8:36.54. A&M’s Isaac Spencer ran 9:03.43 for ninth in the same semifinal with Lelei.
Texas A&M advanced one sprinter each in the 100 meters. Jennifer Madu was a time qualifier in the women’s 100 while Ameer Webb placed second in his semi to earn an automatic advancement to the final.
Madu placed third with a windy 11.18 (2.6 wind) in the first semifinal behind an 11.00w for UCF’s Aurieyall Scott and an 11.14w for Oregon’s Jenna Prandini. A&M’s Ashton Purvis finished sixth with an 11.28.
The second semifinal had the Aggie tandem of Olivia Ekpone and Ashley Collier placing third and fourth with times of 11.30 and 11.33 (2.8 wind). Octavious Freeman (10.99w) of UCF and Oregon’s English Gardner (11.00w) went 1-2.
While LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan claimed the third semi in 11.02w (2.3), the next automatic qualifier position was taken in 11.34w by Morolake Akinosun, a slower time than Purvis, Ekpone and Collier recorded in time qualifier positions.
Webb posted a time of 10.07w (2.7 wind) as runner-up in the second semi behind a 10.00 for Isiah Young of Mississippi. Prezel Hardy, Jr. recorded a 10.11w (3.0) for fourth place in the third semi, and was the fastest non-qualifier for the final. TCU’s Charles Silmon won the heat in 9.92w with Alabama’s Diondre Batson second at 10.05 while Clemson’s Reggie Lewis advanced on time with a 10.07w. The final time qualifier went to LSU’s Aaron Ernest with a 10.08w in the second semifinal.
Michael Bryan placed eighth in the first semifinal with a 10.35 (1.9). Florida State’s Dentarius Locke won that heat in 9.97w with USC’s Aaron Brown second at 10.05w.
Gregory Coleman finished ninth overall in the 400 hurdles, placing fourth in his heat with a time of 50.56. That left him behind the final time qualifier of 50.51 by Texas Tech’s Isaiah Gill, who placed third ahead of Coleman in the first semifinal.
Hector Hernandez (1:51.37) and Josh Hernandez (1:53.78) placed fifth and seventh in their respective semifinal heats of the 800. Of the four Arkansas entries one made the final as Leoman Momoh was the fastest qualifier at 1:47.44. Among the field of 24, Hector finished 18th while Josh was 21st. Kendall Munoz’s best mark in the javelin was 137-6 (41.92) to place 23rd.