Track and field teams finish sixth at A&M invitational

Sports Reporter

The Texas State men and women’s track teams both finished sixth with matching 42-point days in College Station Saturday when they competed in the Texas A&M 10-Team Invitational.

The Bobcats looked to gain momentum and record top times within the Sun Belt Conference in College Station following their performance at Houston last weekend. Junior thrower Darian Brown was honored as the Sun Belt Conference Athlete of the Week following a record-setting weight throw distance at Houston.

This week, Brown led the Bobcats to two second place finishes in the men’s shot put and weight throw. In the shot put competition, Brown tied the first place finisher with a distance of 17.48 meters, and in the weight throw competition he reached a distance of 19.42 meters. Both distances marked the second-farthest thrown in the Sun Belt this year.

“A lot of good things happened this week,” said Coach Dana Boone. “It was a solid follow-up (from last week) that had a lot of good individual performances.”

Top performers include freshman runner Marika Brown and junior runner Briana Sharp. Marika Brown posted a time of 24.33 in the 200 meter, finishing eighth in the final race. She now holds the second-fastest time in the Sun Belt for this event. Sharp put up the second-fastest time for an event in the Sun Belt this year with a time of 2:11.90 in the 800 meter. Sharp’s time was enough to give her a third-place finish in the meet.

The women’s 4x400 meter relay team, which included Brown and Sharp as well as sophomore Amber Gilmore and senior Tina Valenzuela, ran a time of 3:48.94. The team now holds the fastest time in the Sun Belt this season despite finishing fifth at the invitational.
The men’s 4x400 meter team consisted of senior Reggie Reed and sophomores Larron Black, James Hilliard and Anthony Johnson. The men’s team posted a time of 3:14.17, placing them .20 seconds behind the current fastest time held by Western Kentucky.
Individually, Reed and senior sprinter Raymond Hatton posted record-setting times in the 200 meter. Hatton clocked in at 21.93, and Reed posted a mark of 21.96. These times are the two fastest in the Sun Belt this season.

Finishing out the Bobcats’ record-setting day was junior jumper Allie Saunders, who put up a distance of 12.30 meters in the triple jump. The distance was good enough for third place at the meet and gives her the greatest distance in the Sun Belt for the triple jump.

“Some (improved), and some didn’t,” Boone said. “There’s always room to get better. When you don’t get the experience from your performance, you always learn from that and get better.”

Texas State will continue the season Jan. 31 through Feb. 1 at the Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston.