After the first three events in the women’s heptathlon at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships at Myers Stadium, Texas A&M sophomore Tyra Gittens leads with 2,878 points.
Gittens totaled 22 points for the Aggies in three events at the SEC Championships and qualified for the NCAA finals in the heptathlon and the high jump. In the heptathlon at the Texas Relays, she produced a first-day score of 3,709 points but didn’t compete the second day.
Texas’ Ashtin Zamzow, a senior from Goliad, is second in the heptathlon with 2,752 points, 126 behind the leader.
Fittingly, Zamzow and Gittens went head-to-head the first day of the Texas Relays, and Zamzow won the event with a school-record 6,148 points. Zamzow’s score at the Texas Relays was the No. 25 total in U.S. history.
Area standouts: Oklahoma senior Meagan Gray finished sixth in the women’s pole vault with a personal best of 14 feet, 3¼ inches. Gray, who attended Hays High School, finished her prep career as a nine-time All-American in the pole vault and ranked as the top pole vaulter in Texas indoors and outdoors.
Former Stony Point standout Sydney Washington helped Baylor finish sixth overall and qualify for Saturday’s 400-meter relay final in a time of 3 minutes 32.69 seconds. Washington ran the second leg for the Lady Bears, who are scheduled to run in the final event of the meet at 7:51 p.m.
Razorbacks seek another title: Arkansas is making a run at its second national championship in four years. After the first day of women’s competition, Arkansas and Stanford were tied for first place at 15 points apiece, followed by Arizona State and Washington with 12 points each. Ohio State rounded out the top five with 11 points.
The Razorbacks, who won their first women’s outdoor national title in 2016, enter this year’s finals as the top-ranked team in the country. Coach Lance Harter is a firm believer that competing in the rugged SEC prepares his athletes for the NCAAs.
“Being a member of the SEC, you get tested by fire in cross-country, indoor and outdoor,” Harter said. “There’s never an opportunity to just relax and cruise through. I think that had a lot of benefit for our upperclassmen. It’s a situation where when an opportunity does happen for a program like ours, we want to seize the moment as graciously as we can and hope that each and every athlete has a great experience.”
Floréal to receive honor: Texas track coach Edrick Floréal will be inducted into the Athletics Canada Hall of Fame on July 24 in advance of the 2019 Canadian Track and Field Championships and World Trials.
Floréal, who represented Canada in the 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics, also finished finished fourth in the triple jump at the 1987 Pan American Games.