COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M track & field program is set to host its first NCAA West Regional beginning Wednesday, May 26-29 at E.B. Cushing Stadium.
Survive and Advance
Survive and advance is the name of the game as 48 student-athletes enter 20 events in each gender, while the top 12 finishers punch their tickets to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, from June 9-12.
Thirty-nine Aggies, 22 men and 17 women, and both the men's and women's 4x100m and 4x400m relays account for 48 Texas A&M entries to the prelims. Four Aggies on the women's side are entered in multiple individual events including Deborah Acquah (triple jump and long jump), Lamara Distin (triple jump and high jump), Tyra Gittens (high jump and long jump) and Zhane Smith (100m and long jump). Devon Achane is the lone Aggie on the men's side entered in multiple individual events. He is scheduled to run in the 100m and 200m, as well as a member of the 4x100m.
The Best in The West
The Maroon & White have five No. 1 rankings in the west region, including the fastest women's 4x400m at 3:26.17. The foursome of Tierra Robinson-Jones, Charokee Young, Jaevin Reed and Athing Mu are the ranked No. 1 overall in the NCAA.
Individually, Mu (400m, 49.84), Gittens (high jump, 6-4.75/1.95m) and Moitalel Mpoke (400m hurdles, 48.89) lead the west region and NCAA in their respective events they have entered for the prelims. Bryce Deadmon leads the west in the 400m at 44.50 and ranks No. 2 in the NCAA.
Other Aggies ranked in the top 10 in the west region include Brandon Miller (No. 2 800m), Acquah (No. 2 triple jump and No. 3 long jump), Distin (No. 2 high jump), Gittens (No. 2 long jump), Devon Achane (No. 3 200m), Young (No. 7 400m), Dominique Mustin (No. 9 400m hurdles) and Robinson-Jones (No. 10 400m).
The Bowerman is Watching
Gittens and Athing Mu recently were named to The Bowerman Post-Conference Watch List. The Aggie duo has been named to all six watch list updates, which debuted on February 10. After more than impressive indoor campaigns, the pair have continued to make headlines during the outdoor seasons. Most recently, Gittens scored 23 points at the Southeastern Conference Championships winning the heptathlon with a meet record score of 6,418 points, placed second in the open high jump and fourth in the long jump. Gittens mark of 6,418 points bettered the Texas A&M school record and made her the third best performer in collegiate history. Gittens also met the Olympic qualifying standard in the long jump when she recorded a mark of 22-10 (6.96m) during the heptathlon. Mu’s scored 12.5 points, winning the 400m title and anchoring the Aggies 4x400m relay to an SEC winning time of 3:26.17. The freshman won the 400m with an American under-20 record time of 49.84, making her the third fastest collegian all-time and ranks fifth on the all-time world U-20 list. Her time set an SEC meet record and Texas A&M school record.
Mu was named the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and United States Track & Field (USATF) athlete of the week for her record breaking performance.
How to Follow
Tickets can be purchased at the stadium ticket office for $20 a day or $55 for all four days. Those unable to attend can watch the live stream that begins each day at 6 p.m. on the SEC Netowrk+. Fans can follow @aggietfxc on Twitter for live updates.
The gates open Wednesday and Thursday at 12:30 p.m., as field events begin the day. Running events for the first two days start at 6 p.m. Gates open at noon on Friday and Saturday, with field events starting at 1 p.m., followed by running events at 5:30 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Texas A&M Track & Field/Cross Country, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@aggietfxc).