COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M senior Sam Hardin supplied the Aggies with their first points of the NCAA Championships by placing sixth in the javelin to earn three team points on the initial day of action at Mike A. Myers Stadium.
The Aggies also produced five finalists from semifinal races as Devin Dixon and Carlton Orange advanced in the 800m, Bryce Deadmon moved on in the 400m and Robert Grant secured a spot in the 400m hurdles. Then Texas A&M’s 4x400 relay posted the top time in the semifinal with a 3:01.26 from a foursome of Deadmon, Grant, DeWitt Thomas (45.87) and Dixon (44.40).
“It’s incredible and kind of funny to place sixth in my sixth year with the program,” stated Hardin, who injured his knee in early April of 2018 and missed the remainder of the outdoor season as he underwent surgery. “So it took me a long time to achieve some goals, but this is what I wanted to do my entire career. I was finally able to do it in my last meet of my senior year.”
Throwing in the first flight, Hardin led the field with a mark of 232-6 (70.86). He was in seventh place after the second flight finished as the top nine earned another set of three throws. In the fourth round Hardin improved to 239-8 (73.05) and moved into sixth place. Teammate William Petersson placed 11th with a mark of 227-0 (69.20).
“It was difficult to throw in the first flight and then wait to see if I would get three more throws in the final,” noted Hardin. “I just had to mentally stay in it.”
Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry added: “To get sixth in the javelin for Sam is great performance and close to his best ever (240-10). He had an operation and came back from that, and his knee is still hurting him. He’s probably glad that last throw is over with for now.”
Dixon posted a time of 1:45.67 as runner-up in the first semifinal heat of 800m, the No. 5 performance on the A&M all-time list, while teammate Carlton Orange finished third with a career best of 1:46.87, the No. 5 performer on the Aggie all-time list. Dixon earned an automatic place in Friday’s final while Orange advanced as the top time qualifier.
Running in lane 2 of the 400m, Bryce Deadmon produced a career best of 45.53 to advance to the final on time as he placed third in the second of three heats. Deadmon’s time is the No. 14 performer on the A&M all-time list.
Grant clocked a 49.39 in as runner-up to a 49.28 by Michigan’s Taylor McLaughlin in the 400m hurdles to auto advance to the final. Infinite Tucker clipped the next to last hurdle and placed sixth in another heat with a time of 50.54 to finish 13th overall.
In the 100m, Jace Comick equaled his career best of 10.30 seconds in placing seventh in his heat and 21st overall.
The other final involving Texas A&M on the first day was the pole vault, where Jacob Wooten tied for 15th and Carl Johansson tied for 19th place. Wooten cleared 17-6 ½ (5.35) to finish in a three way tie for 15th. Johansson cleared 17-0 ¾ (5.20) to tie another vaulter for 19th.
Nathan Hite is currently in 15th place in the decathlon with a score of 3,856. He started with a 10.99 (863 points) in the 100m, long jumped 21-10 ¼ (734), had a 44-5 ¼ (700) shot put, high jumped 6-2 ¼ (705) and finished with a 49.16 (854) in the 400m.
The second day of the decathlon will conclude tomorrow while the first day of women’s action gets underway.