PHILADELPHIA -- A pair of victories highlighted Texas A&M's second day at the Penn Relays in front of 38,135 fans at Franklin Field. The Aggie women won the 400-meter relay while LaQue Moen-Davis captured the triple jump.
For the sixth consecutive year the Texas A&M women won the 400-meter Championship of America at the Penn Relays. The crew of Jennifer Madu, Ashton Purvis, Kamaria Brown and Olivia Ekponé clocked a 43.11 collegiate leading time for 2014 that also currently ranks second fastest in the world.
“The ladies looked exceptional today running 43.11 and that’s what we felt like they were capable of doing right now,” Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry said. “Maybe on a good day we are going to run a little faster. They just need a little more time to jell together. But they are starting to do some things indicating they are going to run faster.”
The Aggies defeated a talented field that included Oregon (43.33), UTech (43.66), Texas (43.95), LSU (44.41), Auburn (44.69), East Carolina (45.29) and Hampton (46.36). Texas A&M set a record last year as the first team in Penn Relays history to claim five consecutive titles and they added another victory to that streak.
“I’m very excited, the atmosphere is amazing,” noted Ekponé. “I was just looking forward to coming out here and running with these ladies. I’m so excited to be part of the sixth title. We ran a really great time for the environment and weather.”
Brown added: “It’s a great feeling to come back to the Penn Relays and win the 4x1 once again. Today we made sure everyone ran through their zones, got the exchange and everything came out perfect. It’s coming together at a great time.”
With a time of 43.11 the Aggies posted the ninth fastest time at the Penn Relays. Among the top 12 times ever at Penn, A&M now has the No. 2 (42.69 - 2008), No. 6 (43.05 - 2013), No. 7 (43.09 - 2010), No. 8 (43.10 – 2009), No. 9 (43.11 – 2014), No. 10 (43.13 – 2010 prelims), and No. 11 (43.24 – 2011) marks. On the Aggie all-time list the 43.11 ranks No. 13.
“It feels great to lead off a great group of ladies,” said Madu. “I’m so excited we were able to come out here and get it done. I was nervous, especially after they called us up first, but once the gun went off I just tried to execute and take care of business.”
Purvis added: “It’s great to come out with a win. We are more confident with this line-up now, and we were able to run a fast time today.”
LaQue Moen-Davis became the first Aggie to win the women’s triple jump at the Penn Relays as her mark of 44-1.5 (13.45) is the ninth best performance at the historic meet. Moen-Davis, who won the long jump as a freshman at Penn a year ago, improved on her runner-up performance from 2013 in the triple jump with a solid series of jumps.
“The series went pretty well, it was off to a slow start then I got in sync with the board and my rhythm,” stated Moen-Davis. “I liked the weather, especially if it’s a little cool. It’s fun to come back here and win a different event. I love the environment at the Penn Relays. There are good athletes to compete against and there’s also a big audience to compete in front of. So I definitely like the stage here at Penn Relays.”