The Texas A&M men’s track and field team, the newly installed No. 1 team in the nation, goes into this week’s Penn Relays a confident group.
The A&M men, who now claim the No. 1 status in the weekly USTFCCCA national team rankings, will contest the 4 x 100, 4 x 200, 4 x 400, 4 x 800, and sprint medley. Title defenses from this meet for Texas A&M include the men’s 4 x 100. The A&M men have won the sprint relay the past two years at Penn and return Tran Howell, Gerald Phiri from the 2009 title along with Demetrius Pinder from the 2010 victory.
An addition to the unit this season is freshman Prezel Hardy, Jr., the current world junior leader in the 100 with a career best of 10.13 seconds.
With a 38.71 winning time from the Texas Relays, the Aggies enter the meet as the collegiate leaders and enter the Penn Relays as current world leaders in the 4 x 400, 4 x 800 and sprint medley relays. Winning times of 3:00.45, 7:19.57 and 3:15.18 at the Texas Relays have A&M in contention for just its second victory in the 4 x 400 and first-ever titles in the other two relays. The last time an Aggie squad won the 4 x 400 at Penn was in 1996.
Need to Know
• With Texas A&M taking over No. 1 for the first time this season, the two-time defending national champions had to hurdle No. 2 LSU. For LSU, it was the Tigers’ season-high post after being ranked fifth the previous week. After winning another ACC title, Florida State moved to a season-best notch at No. 3. Florida, who had been ranked No. 1 since the preseason, slipped to No. 4.
• Harvey Glance, an All-American track star at Auburn and Olympian, is retiring as Alabama’s track and field head coach at the end of the season. When his team participates in the Drake Relays this weekend, Glance will pick up an honor there when he will be inducted into the Drake Relays Hall of Fame. He will be the first inductee to be inducted as both an athlete and coach.
“I’ve always been about making history,” Glance told the University of Alabama’s student newspaper. “Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve always been very, very, highly competitive. I’ve never been one to seek publicity, I’ve always felt like that’s something you’ve got to earn…but it’s a great honor.”
• The third annual USC-UCLA Dual Meet Hall of Fame inductees have been announced in advance of Sunday’s track and field dual meet between these crosstown rivals at Loker Stadium. The third class of Dual Meet Hall of Fame inductees were Angela Williams (USC, only 4-time NCAA 100m champ, 2-time Olympian), Quincy Watts (USC, 1992 NCAA champ in the 400m, won 1992 Olympic golds in 400m and 4x400m relay), Felix Sanchez (USC, 2000 NCAA champ in 400m IH and 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 400m IH), Jack Davis (USC, 3-time NCAA champ and 2-time Olympic silver medalist in the high hurdles), Ryan Wilson (USC, 2003 NCAA 110m HH champ, 3-time NCAA scorer, ranks top 10 in the world in the 110m HH last 3 years), John Smith (UCLA, part of 1971 and 1972 NCAA championship teams, 1972 Olympian), Nicole Leach (UCLA, 2-time NCAA 400m IH champ), Karen Hecox-Candaele (UCLA, 1994 NCAA 3000m champ), Bob Day (UCLA, 1968 Olympian) and coach Jim Busch (UCLA & USC).
• The Florida State men were 19.5 points back heading into the final day, but came back to win the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships. It marks the sixth consecutive men’s championship for the Seminoles and eighth overall. FSU’s Maurice Mitchell was tabbed the men’s Most Valuable Track Performer after winning the 200-meter dash, running a leg of the victorious 4×100 relay and also taking second in the 100-meter dash. Teammate, Michael Putman was named men’s Most Valuable Field Performer after winning the discus throw and placing second in the shot put.
• Liberty won its fifth consecutive men’s team title at the 2011 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships last Saturday at VMI’s Read Memorial Track. The Flames have now won 16 men’s team crowns in the 18-year history of the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. They also completed a Big South Triple Crown, which includes the Flames’ conference cross country and indoor track & field championships earlier this year.
• Marcel Lomnicky had perhaps the best individual performance of anyone at the ACC Championships, setting a new all-time ACC mark in the hammer throw (248-10, 75.84m) and cementing his No. 1 spot in the nation. Reminiscent of the group’s indoor performance, the Hokies swept the top three spots in the hammer throw, withAlexander Ziegler (236-2, 71.99m) and Denis Mahmic (208-4, 63.51m) finishing right behind Lomnicky. Ziegler’s mark ranks right behind Lomnicky at second in the nation. Other ACC champions this weekend were Hasheem Halim in the triple jump (52-10, 16.10m), Jared Jodon in the pole vault (17-2.75, 5.25m) and Matthias Treff in the javelin (239-6, 73.01m). The men’s team placed second with 153.5 points.