NEW YORK — Four victories on day two of the Armory Collegiate Invitational propelled No. 3 Texas A&M to a successful title defense. A 62-point performance placed the Aggies ahead of No. 6 LSU for the consecutive year and earned A&M its third men’s team title in the Armory since 2010.
Henry Lelei started off the string of event wins for the Aggies in the 3,000 meters. Texas A&M secured the win with a late rush of points at the end of the meet as Deon Lendore controlled the open 400, while Casey Strong established another school record with his win in the weight throw.
With 52 points heading into the 4×400, A&M held an edge against Clemson (48), Tennessee (46) and LSU (45.5). Among four sections of the relay, the Aggies and LSU were set to run in the final section along with Arkansas.
The leading time after the first three sections was a 3:11.75 from Illinois, followed by a 3:12.35 from Hampton. Tennessee earned a time of 3:16.54, but didn’t score in the event.
Texas A&M held off a final charge from LSU in the 4×4 for a 3:09.62 to 3:10.68 victory that secured the team title, while No. 1 Arkansas finished third in 3:11.65.
Strong helped the Aggies remain in the lead as the weight throw finished just before the 4×400 relays were set to begin. A mark of 66-9.75 (20.36) topped the field by over three feet. Jacob Freeman turned in a throw of 76-5.5 (23.30), but Strong secured the 10 points for Texas A&M.
Taking the lead in the second round, Strong beat his school record of 65-0.75 (19.83) in the final round with his winning effort.
Current world-leader Lendore sped to a 46.49 victory in the championship 400 meters.
Lelei claimed the 3,000 meter title with a time of 8:03.71, just missing his school record of 8:01.01. Lelei led the race through the mile at 4:20 and bettered a field that included Princeton’s Michael Franklin (8:04.59), Duke’s Mike Moverman (8:07.91) and Mike Murphy of Columbia (8:08.73).
Prezel Hardy Jr. ran a time of 21.23 for second place in the 200, finishing behind a 20.83 from LSU’s Aaron Ernest.
Dave Brown produced a career best in the triple jump, placing third with a mark of 50-3.5 (15.33). Jason Harper of Mississippi State won the event with a 51-11.25 (15.83).
The men’s 4×800 relay experienced an obstacle, when Cameron Thornton had the baton dislodged as it made contact with the elbow of Duke’s opening leg. Thornton had the Aggies in third place at that stage, but fell back to 11th in the 12-team field when he had to stop to retrieve the baton.
Columbia won the 4×8 in 7:30.15, with Duke finishing second with a time of 7:30.24. On the last leg, Texas A&M’s James Bonn split 1:52.1, finishing third with a time of 7:31.79.
Clearing a height of 17-0.75 (5.20) in the pole vault earned Chase Wolfle second place in the pole vault. On the Aggie all-time list Wolfle tied the ninth-ranked mark and is the first to crack the top 10 since 2004. Teammate Dustin Phillips placed fourth in the vault with a clearance of 16-4.75 (5.00).
In other distance races, Ryan Miller clocked a personal best of 14:41.43 in the 5,000 meters to place seventh. Isaac Spencer ran 8:32.77 in the 3,000 to place fourth in his section and 12th overall. Juan Blanco ran the mile in 4:16.41 to place 20th overall after finishing fifth in his section.
In the men’s 200 qualifying, Hardy registered the second fastest time of 21.37, while Jermaine Davis finished fourth in the same heat with a 22.39 that ranked 27th, overall.