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Lions roll to women’s and men’s team titles at East Texas Invitational; Men’s 4x100m relay sets nation’s best time


COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s and women’s track and field teams each claimed the team championship at the 2017 East Texas Invitational at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

The Lion women won with 298.5 points, with Tarleton State coming in second place with 125 points. The Lion men won with 275 points, followed by Texas A&M-Kingsville in second with 120 points.

The highlight of the meet was the men’s 4×100 meter relay, where the A&M-Commerce team of Isaiah McFail, Reggie Kincade, Malcolm Woods, and Devon Sanders established the new best time in Division II this season, winning the race with a time of 40.36 seconds. This mark is 1/100th of a second faster than the previous best time this season in the division.

The women’s 4×100 meter relay team of Mackenzie Clark, Joy Spann, Ashlynn Giles, and Courtlyn Gant also recorded a NCAA provisional qualifying time, winning the event in 46.74 seconds.

Gage Bowles won both the men’s triple jump (15.45m) and long jump (7.40m). His triple jump mark is a new season best, tied with teammate DeVontae Steele for sixth nationally. Kellon Alexis won the men’s discus throw at 55.28m, while Joseph Brown improved his NCAA provisional qualifying mark at 52.39m, which ranks in the top 10 nationally. Chase Graham won the men’s hammer throw at 57.71m.

Turner Pool won the men’s 5,000 meters in a time of 14:57.62. Edwin Aparicio was the top placer in the men’s 10,000 meters in 33:44.90 to close out the night. Devon Sanders won the men’s 200 meters with a time of 21.50 seconds. Austin Yaeger was the top placer in the men’s 800 meters with a time of 1:53.11, and Steven Martinez won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:23.70.

Anitial’a Robins won the women’s discus and improved her NCAA provisional qualifying mark with a heave of 46.51m. Jasmine Roberts took the championship in the women’s triple jump at 12.19m. Markie Abbott won the women’s high jump at 1.67m. Alexandra VanSickle won the women’s shot put with a toss of 14.07m. Kati Culpepper won the women’s javelin throw with a throw of 34.15m. Brandi Stalder won the women’s 10,000 meters in 38:45.97.

Mackenzie Clark won the women’s 100 meters, improving her NCAA provisional qualifying mark to 11.89 seconds, while Ashlynn Giles earned a provisional mark as the runner-up at 11.98 seconds. Verlencia Shaw won the women’s 200 meters with a time of 24.76 seconds. Ashley Bassett won the women’s 400-meter hurdles with a season-best and improved NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 1:00.35. Jessica Clay won the women’s 100-meter hurdles at 14.45 seconds, as the Lions took the top seven places in that event.

UT-Tyler’s Whitney Simmons bested her facility record in the women’s hammer throw with a distance of 62.56 meters. The Northwestern State women’s 4×400 meter relay team of Natashia Jackson, Daeshon Gordon, Madison Morton, and Tamara Style set a new Memorial Stadium record at 3:42.83.

The Lions are next in action on April 21-22 in San Marcos at the Texas State Bobcat Twilight.


1 A&M-COMMERCE 298.5
2 Tarleton State 125
3 Texas A&M-Kingsville 84.5
4 Wiley 69
5 UT Tyler 53
6 Jarvis Christian 22
7 Dallas Baptist 18
8 Austin College 10
9 Ranger 7


2 Texas A&M-Kingsville 120
3 Tarleton State 114
4 Dallas Baptist 53
5 Wiley 49
6 Jarvis Christian 42
7 UT Tyler 21
8 Ranger 19



Lions double up Western New Mexico again to complete four-game sweep

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team picked up two over Western New Mexico University on Friday. The Lions won the first game 10-1 in five innings and won the second game 5-0.

The wins bring the Lions to 30-15 on the season and 14-10 in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs fall to 1-41 and 0-24 in conference action.

The Lions will next hit the road to take on the conference leaders of Angelo State University. The Lions will play a single game on Friday starting at 6 p.m. The teams will then square off in a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. All games will be played at Mayer Field in San Angelo.

– Vanessa Avina hit the 10th grand slam in program history in game one of the day. She came into pinch hit and sent the pitch over the left field fence. She went 2-for-4 over the two games with two runs scored, four RBIs and a stolen base.
– Kinsie Hebler went 3-for-6 on the day with two RBIs, a run scored and she also drew a walk. She was also the starter in game two, picking up her 10th win in the circle this season. She pitched three strikeouts and held batters to a .250 average.
– Precious Thompson went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and a RBI. Mariah Jameyson also went 3-for-6 and scored a run and hit a run across.
– Baylea Higgs had two hits, two steals and scored two runs. Ciera Nunez also had two steals while Tyler Oppenheim stole three times. The Lions were a perfect 10-for-10 stealing on the day.
– Cherie Jackson and Chealsea Slider both scored twice. Oppenheim, Katie Dean and Jordyn Sharp each scored once. Sharp also had two hits and stole a base. Johnna Sturm had a RBI walk.
– Courtnee Jones pitched a complete game in the first game, tallying a strikeout and holding batters to a .222 average. Dean came in for the save in game two and didn’t give up a hit in 1.2 innings pitched.

As was the story in game one of Thursday’s doubleheader, the Lions jumped out to a commanding lead in the first inning. Three of the first four batters walked, with the other hitting single. The third walk brought across a run. After a fielder’s choice got the first out of the inning, another walk brought in the second run. Thompson then singled to bring in another run. Avina then came to the plate as a pinch hitter and smashed a pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam. With the bases loaded again, Hebler hit a single to bring in the eighth run of the inning. The Lions led 8-0 after one.

The Lions scored again in the bottom of the second. After Jackson reached on an error, Thompson and Higgs each singled to load the bases. Sturm then came to the plate and drew a walk to bring in another run. Through three innings, the Lions led 9-0 and Jones had yet to give up a hit.

That hitless streak ended in the fourth inning as WNMU got its lone run across the board. After two singles put runners on, a third single brought a run across. Jones faced the bases loaded but did not give up another run and the Lions led 9-1 going into the bottom of the fourth.

The Lions scored again in the bottom of the fourth. Oppenheim drew a walk and, after stealing second base, she was driven home on a triple from Sharp.

Three quick outs in the top of the fifth ended the game due to the run-ahead rule.

After a quick top half of the inning, the Lions struck in the bottom of the first. Avina led off with a single and then stole second. After a walk by Higgs, Hebler hit an infield single and Avina came around to score. Another run came across when Slider hit into a fielder’s choice. The Lions led 2-0 after one inning.

After a quiet second inning, the Lions scored two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Jameyson led off with a single. Slider then reached on a fielder’s choice. Thompson went to bunt and got a single. A throwing error allowed Slider to score and let Thompson go to third base. Oppenheim then came to the plate and hit a single to left field to bring in another run. The Lions led 4-0 after three innings.

The teams were quiet through the next two innings as defense ruled the day. The Mustangs threatened with bases loaded in the fifth inning but Hebler was able to pitch out of the jam and escape unscathed.

The Lions brought home another run in the sixth inning. Dean and Higgs drew walks to lead off. Dean then scored with some astute baserunning on a fielder’s choice. Dean then went out and got the final three outs to give the Lions the shutout win and to record the save.