Saturday, December 09, 2017

Sammy Watson breaks Texas A&M 1,000m school record in debut race

Photo by Errol Anderson
Used with Permission
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS (December 9, 2017)) In her debut race for the Aggies, freshman Sammy Watson broke the Texas A&M school record in the 1,000 meters and defeated the previous record holder in the process during the Reveille Invitational at Gilliam Indoor.

“It was a great performance by Sammy,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “She looked good and was pushed for part of the race, but has a lot more in the tank.

“This track meet used to be a good workout to wrap up fall training. That’s what we had it for, just to get the cobwebs out. All of a sudden it has turned into a pretty serious track meet. This meet allows us to find out what our fall training has done for us. That’s the value of having this meet.”

The highlight on the men’s side was a performance by Donavan Brazier, a former NCAA 800m for the Aggies, as he won the mile in 3:59.30 to become the 493rd American to produce a sub-four-minute mile. An hour and a half later, Brazier supplied an unattached 4x400 relay with a 46.00 split on the third leg.

“Donavan is just a big time athlete,” said Henry. “After his mile, he comes back on a 4x400 relay and splits 46 flat. He lined up and did a really great job today.”

Watson’s time of 2:42.12 ranks No. 7 on the collegiate indoor all-time list. Her personal best in the event, a 2:40.72 from March of last year as a senior in high school, is better than the current collegiate record of 2:40.79 set by Oklahoma State’s Kaela Edwards in 2017.

“I’m very happy, but not complacent where I’m at right now,” stated Watson. “We’ve been training hard all fall, so I know the hard work is paying off from my results today. Knowing that I didn’t get down to this time until last March, and it’s only December, it shows that I’m a lot stronger than I was last year and I’m capable of so much more this season. It’s exciting and I know big things are coming this season.”

Splits for Watson included 30.33, 32.51 (1:02.83), 33.72 (1:36.54), 33.12 (2:09.66), 32.46. Her split at 800m, a 2:09.66, places her No. 7 performer on the Aggie all-time list. Watson moved into the lead at 600m and cruised to the finish.

Aggie junior Jazmine Fray, who set the school record of 2:43.15 a year ago in this meet along with facility and meet records, finished second to Watson in 2:45.81, which is the No. 3 performance on the Aggie all-time list. Fray split 1:36.67 at 600m and 2:09.93 at 800m, just a stride behind Watson.

Placing third and fourth in the race were Aggies Brittany Parker (2:51.22) and Jean Jenkins (2:54.24), who became the No. 4 and No. 9 performers on the Texas A&M all-time list.

Finishing behind Brazier in the men’s mile was 2012 Olympic 1,500m silver medalist Leo Manzano (4:03.49) and Aggie Alex Riba (4:04.15). The performance by Riba, who has an indoor best of 4:03.29, ranks as the No. 7 performance on the school’s all-time list.

Another Texas A&M freshman with an impressive debut was Tyra Gittens, who claimed the high jump at 5-10 ¾ (1.79) and also won the 60m hurdles in 8.51. Her high jump effort ranks No. 10 on the school’s all-time list.

In the men’s 4x400, the Aggie men clocked 3:07.03 with the foursome of Ilolo Izu (46.99), Robert Grant (46.65), Mylik Kerley (46.20), and Richard Rose (47.19). They bettered an unattached crew that posted a 3:07.80 with a line-up of Jackson Davis, Bralon Taplin (45.00), Brazier (46.00), and Carlton Orange (47.52).

In the women’s 4x400 relay, the Texas A&M crew of Jaevin Reed (53.38), Glorilisha Carter (55.20), Watson (55.41), and Brenessa Thompson (55.71) won in 3:39.70 over a second Aggie squad that ran 3:39.97 with a foursome of Amber Ivy (55.22), Fray (55.59), Danyel White (53.68) and Jarra Owens (55.48).

An unattached relay squad of Kanika Beckles (55.38), Phyllis Francis (53.18), Kamaria Brown (58.96 [dropped baton]), and Shamier Little (55.00) clocked 3:42.52 for third place.

Winning performances for Texas A&M included Garrett Cragin (6-11 ½ | 2.12) in the men’s high jump, Valerie Bradley (5:03.79) in the women’s mile, Austin Cook (64-7 ¾ | 19.70) in the weight throw, Celine Markert (47-1 ½ | 14.36) in the shot put, Amber Ivy (23.98) in the women’s 200m, as well as Jacob Wooten (17-6 ½ | 5.35) and Sara Kathryn Stevens (12-8 ½ | 3.87) in their respective pole vault competitions.

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