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TAMUC – Sports

FOOTBALL

Lions punch a ticket to NCAA Division II National Championship game with 31-17 win over Harding.

COMMERCE– On the 45th anniversary of their 1972 NAIA National Championship title, the No. 8 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team defeated Harding University 31-17 on the same field to punch its ticket to the NCAA Division II Championship game. In front of a stadium-record 10,120 fans, the Lions rallied from an early deficit to score 17 consecutive points in the first half and iced the game with a 90-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.

The win brings the Lions to 13-1 on the season, and they advance to the school’s first NCAA Championship game since the school joined Division II in 1981. The Bisons fall to 11-4 on the year.

The Lions will travel to Kansas City, Kan., and Children’s Mercy Park for the Division II National Championship game on Saturday, December 16. The Lions draw fourth-seeded West Florida, who defeated No. 1 seed the Indiana University of Pennsylvania earlier in the day. The game will be played at 5 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2, the Watch ESPN app, and on the Lion Sports Network.

Tickets in A&M-Commerce sections are already available at LionAthletics.com/KCTickets. Championship Central will publish Sunday.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Luis Perez went 24-of-34 for 288 yards and a pair of touchdowns. With 3:50 left in the fourth quarter, he hit D’Arthur Cowan for a 90-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach.
– E.J. Thompson rushed for 75 yards on 13 carries. Carandal Hale added 15 yards and a touchdown run. Gabriel Rodriguez also rushed for a touchdown.
– Cowan had 101 yards receiving, including the 90-yard game clincher. Vincent Hobbs added 97 yards on seven catches with a 3-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
– Brucks Saathoff had 14 tackles and a forced fumble. Garrett Blubaugh had nine tackles, while Neema Behbahani and Peyton Searcy had eight tackles apiece against the run-heavy triple-option Harding offense.
– Yusef Sterling-Lowe had an interception and two tackles for loss.
– Kristov Martinez had a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter and made all four of his PAT attempts. He also helped hold HU to just one yard on kickoff returns with essential touchbacks and directional kickoffs.
– The Lions averaged 6.6 yards per play and were a perfect 4-of-4 in the red zone. Both teams had one turnover in the game.
– The game played in front a record 10,120 at Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium.
– It is the first Division II National Championship appearance for any A&M-Commerce sport since the school joined the NCAA in 1981.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Bisons took the opening kickoff and literally ran with it. They had three running plays on their first drive, including a 20-yard opening run and a 51-yard touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

The Lions responded on their opening drive, moving down the field for a touchdown of their own. In contrast to Harding’s rush attack, the Lions had seven passes to open the game, including a 12-yard pass to Hobbs, a 13-yard pass to Marquis Wimberly, and an 11-yard completion to Kelan Smith. After a penalty put the ball on the two, Rodriguez took the football and plowed into the end zone to tie the game at 7-all.

Harding had a 14-play drive on their next possession, but Sterling-Lowe halted that by an interception. The Lions could not capitalize on the interception, however, being forced to punt. HU punted the ball right back and, with the wind, pinned the Lions deep in their territory with an 83-yard boot.

The Lions were forced to punt into the wind, and HU had good field position for their next drive. However, the Bisons were forced to punt again as the Lion defense held firm, including a Searcy sack to stop the drive. The Bison downed the punt at the one-yard line.

It did not stop the Lions, however. After two incompletions and a run brought up fourth down, A&M-Commerce elected to try some trickery, and punter Tristan Perry took the snap and looked to throw. He found Corey Smallwood for a first down to extend the drive. The Lions then caught fire as Perez found Hobbs for an 18-yard gain on the next play and Thompson then ran for 12 yards. Three Bison penalties also aided the drive. Near the goal line, Perez found Hobbs for a three-yard touchdown pass to give the Lions a 14-7 lead, which is where the half ended.

The Lions added to their lead on the opening drive of the third quarter. Thompson had a rush of 24 yards, and Hobbs had a 31-yard reception to take the Lions into the red zone. The Lions could not punch the ball into the end zone and elected for a 32-yard field goal from Martinez, who split the uprights to give A&M-Commerce a 17-7 lead.

Harding had a methodical drive on its next chance, rushing ten times in 12 plays. HU also completed their first pass of the game, a 13-yard catch. The Lion defense buckled down once the Bisons crossed midfield. HU chose to attempt a long field goal, but it was short of the mark, giving the Lions good field position. The Lions drove to midfield before a fumble from Thompson gave the Bisons the ball back. HU capitalized, using nine plays to go 51-yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The Lion’s lead got cut to 17-14 with 14:33 to play.

The momentum swung right back to the Lions as they scored a touchdown of their own on the next drive. Hobbs had a 19-yard reception, and Perez rushed for a 10-yard gain to move the sticks. After a Perez pass to Smith put the Lions 11 yards away, Hale did the rest, cutting through a hole into the end zone to give A&M-Commerce a 24-14 lead with under nine minutes to play.

The Bisons made it a one-score game on their next drive. After focusing on the run, it was a 37-yard pass play from HU that led them into field goal range. A 30-yard boot was there to bring the score to 24-17 with four minutes to play.

It took just one play for the Lions to seal the game. After a five-yard kickoff return pinned the Lions at the 10-yard line, Perez found Cowan on the right side, close to the line of scrimmage. Cowan followed his blocks, cut inside and saw nothing but green turf ahead of him. He eluded one final would-be tackler and got into the end zone, scoring the 90-yard touchdown to give A&M-Commerce a 31-17 lead.

The Bison were forced to air out the ball on their final drive. After allowing two first downs, the Lion defense put the pressure on HU. Kieston Carter recorded a sack on third down, and a Dominique Ramsey pass breakup gave the Lions the ball back on downs. After two kneel downs in victory formation, head coach Colby Carthel received an ice bath from the water jug as the team celebrated. The Lions punched their ticket to the Division II title game.

VOLLEYBALL

Jaslyn Wacker

Jaslyn Wacker named volleyball program’s first CoSIDA Academic All-America.

AUSTIN– Texas A&M University-Commerce junior Jaslyn Wacker has been named a Second Team Academic All-American. The teams were announced Tuesday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Wacker is the first volleyball player in school history to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American, and the 11th player in any sport at A&M-Commerce to receive the distinction.

Wacker– an accounting major from Austin– had a 4.0 GPA to go along with her stellar season on the court. She was a significant contributor to the Lions’ advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 29 years.

She was named Second Team All-Region by the D2CCA and was a First Team All-Lone Star Conference selection. She was also the first player in program history to be named LSC Academic Player of the Year. She finished fourth in the LSC in blocks and sixth in hitting percentage. She had 313 kills and 138 blocks on the season, finishing with 409.0 points.

CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America Team

 Name  School  Yr.  GPA  Major
 Kori Bullard  Ouachita Baptist  Sr.  4.0  Biology (Pre-Med)
 Anna Burton  Newman  Sr.  4.0  Nursing
 Emily Conlin  Anderson  So.  4.0  Business
 Catherine Ferragonio  Clarion  Sr.  4.0  Rehabilitative Sciences/Pre-OT
 Lauren Hochstetler  Mars Hill  Sr.  4.0  Chemistry
 Danielle Waedekin  Missouri-St. Louis  Sr.  4.0  Nursing
 Erica Whiteaker  Lincoln Memorial  Jr.  4.0  Biology (Pre-Med)

CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-America Team

 Name  School  Yr.  GPA  Major
 Lexie Bradley  North Alabama  Sr.  3.93  Elementary Education
 Natalie Cignetti  Indiana (Pa.)  Sr.  4.0  Natural Science (Pre-Med)
 Megan Gebhardt  Wayne State  Gr.  4.0  Finance
 Lauren Hackett  California Baptist  Sr.  3.79  Graphic Design
 Kylie Moyer  Limestone  Sr.  4.0  Social Work
 Allison Rohn  Palm Beach Atlantic  Jr.  3.93  Journalism
 Jaslyn Wacker  A&M-COMMERCE  Jr.  4.0  Accounting

CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-America Team

 Name  School  Yr.  GPA  Major
 Taylor Bevis  Central Oklahoma  Jr.  3.83  Nursing
 Shannon Farrell  Southern Indiana  Sr.  4.0  Accounting/Finance
 Lauren Flowers  Missouri S&T  Sr.  4.0  Biological Sciences
 Anna Claire Johnson  Alabama-Huntsville  Sr.  4.0  English
 Makenzie Morgen  Minnesota-Duluth  Jr.  4.0  Biology
 Mikala Morris  Colorado State-Pueblo  Sr.  4.0  Political Science/Mass Communications/Spanish
 Courtney Oberlande  Slippery Rock  Sr.  3.96  Exercise Science

Texas A&M University-Commerce CoSIDA Academic All-Americans by Year

 Year  Player  Sport  Team
 1972  Will Cureton  Football  2nd
 1977  Mike Hall  Football  1st
 1994  Tammy Scott  Track & Field  2nd
 1994  Andrea Hines  Women’s Basketball  2nd
 2002  Summer Sparnon  Women’s Basketball  1st
 2011  Taylor Fore  Football  1st
 2012  Desmond King  Men’s Basketball  1st
 2012  Andrew Davis  Men’s Basketball  3rd
 2013  Andrew Davis  Men’s Basketball  1st
 2016  Kylene Hatton  Softball  3rd
 2017  Jaslyn Wacker  Volleyball  2nd

 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Artaejah Gay

A strong start and steady finish lead the Lions to a big 81-40 win over Western New Mexico.

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team cruised to an 81-40 win over Western New Mexico on Saturday. The Lions took control of the game early and never let up.

The win brings the Lions to 6-4 on the season and 3-1 in the Lone Star Conference. The Mustangs fall to 0-9 and 0-4 in conference play.

The Lions will next take the court on Dec. 16 with an exhibition game against Stephen F. Austin. The game will take place at 8 p.m. at the William R. Johnson Coliseum in Nacogdoches.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Artaejah Gay led the Lions with 19 points to go along with six rebounds.
– Princess Davis had 14 points and added five rebounds and four assists.
– Courtney Fields had 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
– Brianna Wise had nine points, six rebounds, and three steals. Melanie Ransom and Jenna Price each added six points.
– The Lion defense clamped down in the second half, holding WNMU to just 21 percent shooting in the final two quarters.
– The Lions got to the free throw line 27 times in the game.

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions got off to a hot start, scoring the first eight points of the game. Gay had two early jumpers in the rally. The Lions brought their lead to 10 before WNMU went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead in half.

The Lions then scored the final 10 points of the quarter. Fields and Gay each had a three and Price and Agang Tac both added layups as the Lions held a 24-7 lead after one quarter.

The Lions continued to roll to start the second quarter, extending their run to 15-unanswered, taking a 22-point lead. Gay scored the first two buckets as she continued to shoot well. She also had a three-point play as the teams began to trade baskets for the next several minutes. The Lions then went on an 8-0 run to take a 25-point lead. Wise had a three and two free throws as the Lions pushed their lead to 25.

WNMU cut the lead back down to below 20 before the Lions finished the half on the run. Davis hit a three-point play and Fields hit a three just before the final buzzer, sending the Lions into halftime with a 51-25 lead.

Princess Davis had six early points in the second half as the Lions built a 30-point lead. After the four-minute mark, both teams had a scoring slump, with one-point going to each side. The Lions led 62-30 after three quarters.

Gay had two early buckets in the fourth quarter, and Ransom had four points as the Lions took a 40-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. The Lions had a 10-0 run in the fourth to build their lead to as many as 46 points. The game ended with the final score of 81-40.

 

Texas A&M Commerce Women’s Basketball – Texas A&M-Commerce vs. Western New Mexico – December 9, 2017
The Field House Commerce, Texas
Final Score: Western New Mexico 40 at A&M-Commerce 81

Final stats can be downloaded in PDF, HTML and XML formats using the URLs below:

PDF – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182874.pdf
HTML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182874.html
XML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182874.xml
If you have any additional needs or questions, please direct them to Texas A&M Commerce.

 

BOY’S BASKETBALL

Men’s Basketball nationally ranked for first-time this season, 22nd by NABC, 23rd by D2SIDA.

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team is nationally ranked for the first time this season. The Lions are ranked 22nd by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and 23rd by the Division II Sports Information Directors of America (D2SIDA). Both polls were released Tuesday.

The No. 22 Lions are 9-0 on the season, their best start to a season since 1947-48 and the best under a first-year head coach. The team is coming off two home wins against Eastern and Western New Mexico, and are currently atop the Lone Star Conference standings at 4-0. The Lions are one of only 15 teams left in all of Division II without a loss.

It is the first time NABC ranked the Lions nationally since Jan. 27, 2015. The Lions were ranked twice last season in the D2SIDA poll.

The Lions return to the court on Friday in the first day of a two-day tournament hosted by Arkansas-Fort Smith, who is ranked No. 11 by the NABC and No. 5 by D2SIDA. The Lions face Rogers State (7-2) on Friday and the No. 11 UAFS Lions on Saturday. A&M-Commerce will then face Texas A&M International on Dec. 19 in Laredo for their final game of the 2017 calendar year.

NABC Coaches’ Poll #4 (Dec. 12, 2017)

NABC Coaches’ Poll #4 (Dec. 12, 2017)

 Rk.   Team  1st   Record   Pts   Prev. 
 1  Northwest Missouri State  15  10-0  399  1
 2  Queens (N.C.)  1  8-0  377  2
 3  Bellarmine (Ky.)    9-0  367  3
 4  Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.)    8-0  351  4
 5  Ferris State (Mich.)    12-0  339  5
 6  Colorado School of Mines    10-0  323  6
 7  West Liberty (W.Va.)    9-0  307  7
 8  Christian Brothers (Tenn.)    9-0  270  10
 9  Barry (Fla.)    7-1  255  11
 10  UT-Permian Basin (Texas)    8-1  243  13
 11  UA Fort Smith (Ark.)    10-0  226  14
 12  West Texas A&M    9-1  206  8
 13  Northern State (S.D.)    10-1  190  16
 14  Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.)    8-1  172  9
 15  Fort Lewis (Colo.)    7-1  167  15
 16  Western Oregon    8-1  150  19
 17  Virginia State    6-0  128  21
 18  Lake Superior State (Mich.)    9-1  87  24
 19  Valdosta State (Ga.)    7-1  82  22
 20  Le Moyne (N.Y.)    9-2  71  12
 21  West Florida    9-0  68  25
 22  A&M-Commerce    9-0  65  RV
 23  Texas A&M-Kingsville    9-1  59  23
 24  Dallas Baptist (Texas)    8-1  51  17
 25  Southern New Hampshire    9-1  46  18

D2SIDA Media Poll (Dec. 12, 2017)

 Rk.  Team  1st   Record   Pts   Prev. 
 1  Northwest Missouri State  15  10-0  375  1
 2  Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.)    8-0  352  2
 3  Ferris State (Mich.)    12-0  337  3
 4  Bellarmine (Ky.)    9-0  330  4
 5  UA Fort Smith (Ark.)    10-0  288  7
 6  Christian Brothers (Tenn.)    9-0  286  8
 7  Queens (N.C.)    8-0  285  5
 8  Colorado School of Mines    10-0  266  10
 9  West Liberty (W.Va.)    9-0  265  13
 10  Barry (Fla.)    7-1  234  12
 11  Virginia State    6-0  228  11
 12  Northern State (S.D.)    10-1  194  15
 13  West Florida    9-0  169  16
 14  Cal Poly Pomona    6-1  167  17
 T15  Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.)    8-1  117  6
 T15  West Texas A&M    9-1  117  9
 17  Lake Superior State (Mich.)    9-1  115  19
 18  Western Oregon    8-1  102  25
 19  Bridgeport (Conn.)    8-1  92  RV
 20  West Chester (Pa.)    8-0  90  RV
 T21  UNC Pembroke    5-1  85  20
 T21  Chico State (Calif.)    6-2  85  RV
 23  A&M-Commerce    9-0  82  RV
 24  UT-Permian Basin (Texas)    8-1  51  RV
 25  St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.)    9-3  36  NR

 

Reggie Reid

Lions knock off Western New Mexico 75-58, off to the best start for a season since 1947-48.

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team defeated Western New Mexico 75-58 on Saturday. The Lions built a lead early and slowly built upon it throughout the game.

The win brings the Lions to 9-0 on the season and 4-0 in the Lone Star Conference. It is the best start to the season for the Lions since 1947-48 when the team started the season with ten consecutive wins. The Mustangs fall to 2-8 and 0-4 in conference play.

The Lions will next take the court on Friday in a tournament hosted by Arkansas-Fort Smith. The Lions will face Rogers State on Friday at 6 p.m. and the host, Arkansas-Fort Smith, on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Both games will be at the Stubblefield Center in Fort Smith, Ark.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Reggie Reid led the Lions with 15 points and also had a team-high five assists.
– Willie Rooks had 14 points, burying four three-pointers. He had two assists and two steals.
– Srdan Budimir had nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. Dorian Armstrong and Aaron Horne also had nine points apiece.
– The Lions shot 42 percent in the game. The Lions held WNMU to a 23 percent shooting clip in the first half.
– The Lions had 17 second-chance points in the game.

HOW IT HAPPENED
After WNMU scored the first bucket, the Lions scored 14 unanswered as it was their only deficit of the game. Budimir had a three-pointer, and a jumper as the Lions led 14-2 with 12:58 remaining in half.

The Mustangs chipped away at the lead, bringing it down to eight points before the Lions went on a late run in the final four minutes. They finished the half on a 7-0 run, including a buzzer-beating three from Rooks. The Lions took a 33-18 lead into halftime.

Armstrong led the team with seven points in the first half. Reid had six points and four assists.

The Lions built their lead to 18 points early in the second half. Horne and Rooks each hit a three as A&M-Commerce led 44-26. WNMU cut the Lion lead back down to 12 with a 6-0 run, but their momentum halted.

The Lions built their lead to the largest of the contest, a 59-35 lead, midway through the second half.

The Mustangs cut back into the lead, going on an 11-2 run to cut the Lion lead to 14 points with five minutes remaining. That was as close as the Mustangs would come, as the Lions held firm and left with the win.

 

Texas A&M Commerce Mens Basketball – Texas A&M-Commerce vs. Western New Mexico – December 9, 2017
The Field House Commerce, Texas
Final Score: Western New Mexico 58 at A&M-Commerce 75

Final stats can be downloaded in PDF, HTML and XML formats using the URLs below:

PDF – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182886.pdf
HTML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182886.html
XML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182886.xml
If you have any additional needs or questions, please direct them to Texas A&M Commerce.

 

Indoor Track & Field


Lions set nine school records, nine qualifying marks in the first meet of the Indoor-Season.

PITTSBURG, Kan.– The Texas A&M University-Commerce, indoor track and field teams, competed in their first meet of the season on Friday and Saturday. The Lions set nine school records and posted nine NCAA Division II automatic and provisional qualifying marks at the Boo Rogers Combined Events and Crimson & Gold Invitational hosted by Pittsburg State.

The Lions will return to action on Jan. 26-27 in Lubbock. The teams will compete in the Texas Tech Combined Events and the Red & Black Open, both hosted by Texas Tech. The meets will take place at the Sports Performance Center in Lubbock.

SCHOOL RECORDS SET
– Florian Obst set a new school record in the men’s heptathlon, scoring 5,494 points. It broke a record set by Matt Rich in 2015. With the score, Obst is automatically qualified to compete in the NCAA Division II National Championship meet in March.
– Hailey Wanoreck finished in first place in the weight throw and set a school record with a mark of 17.22 meters. The score was also an NCAA DII provisional mark.
– Dedrian Windham set a school record and provisional time of 47.74 seconds in the 400-meter dash. He finished in first place in the event.
– Gabriel Peterson set a school record in the 600-yard run, finishing in first place with a time of 1:11.60.
– Jude Christine set a new school record in the 300-meter dash with a time of 34.19, breaking the time of 35.10 set by Malcolm Woods in 2016. D’Lance Sharp also broke the previous school record, finishing in third place just behind Christine with a time of 34.69.
– Minna Sveard finished in second place in the 600-yard run with a school record time of 1:24:87.
– Brandi Stalder set a school record in the mile run with a time of 5:21.09. It broke a record set in February by fellow teammate Jasmine Amo.
– Laura Alicke set a school record in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10:47.52, breaking the old mark set last season by more than 20 seconds.
– The men’s 4x400m relay team placed an automatic qualifying time of 3:11.87, which was also a school record.

NCAA QUALIFYING MARKS
Florian Obst, Heptathlon, 5,494 points, automatic, school record
Men’s 4x400m relay (D’Lance Sharp, Jude Christine, Josiah Dennis, Dedrian Windham), 3:11.87, automatic, school record
Women’s 4x400m relay (Kamryn McKee, Maiya Collins, Ro’Nisha Simpson, Minna Sveard), 3:50.12, provisional
Hailey Wanoreck, Weight Throw, 17.22m, provisional, school record
Dedrian Windham, 400-meter dash, 47.74 seconds, provisional, school record
Anitial’a Robins, Weight Throw, 16.84m, provisional
Joseph Brown, Weight Throw, 18.23m, provisional
Jasmine Roberts, Triple Jump, 11.82m, provisional
Mackenzie Clark, 60-meter dash, 7.68 seconds, provisional

HOW IT HAPPENED
Obst finished in first place in the men’s heptathlon with an NCAA automatic qualifying score and a school record score of 5,494. Obst finished in first place in the long jump and shot put and in second place in the 60-meter dash, the 60-meter hurdles, and the pole vault. Robert Wood also competed in the heptathlon and finished in second place in the high jump with a leap of 1.92 meters.

Julia Seigerroth finished one point away from tying a school record in the women’s pentathlon. She finished in fifth place with 3,278 points. She was third in both the 60-meter hurdles and the high jump. Jessica Clay also competed in the pentathlon and finished second in the shot put with a mark of 11.26 meters.

Wanoreck finished in first place in the weight throw and set a new school record. On her final attempt, she hurled the weight 17.22 meters, also setting an NCAA provisional mark. Anitial’a Robins finished in third place with a mark of 16.84 meters, also setting a provisional mark on her first throw. In the men’s weight throw, Joseph Brown set a provisional mark of 18.23 meters on his final throw, finishing in fourth place.

Roberts set a provisional mark in the triple jump, finishing in third place with a score of 11.82 meters on her first attempt. Clark set a provisional mark in the 60-meter dash, finishing in third place with a time of 7.68.

Christine set a new school record in the 300-meter dash with a time of 34.19, breaking the time of 35.10 established in 2016. Sharp also broke the previous school record, finishing in third place just behind Christine with a time of 34.69. Kamryn McKee finished in third place in the 300-meter dash with a time of 40.55. Ro’Nisha Simpson finished in fifth place with a time of 41.48.

Windham set a school record and provisional time of 47.74 seconds in the 400-meter dash. He finished in first place in the event. Gabriel Peterson also set a school record in the 600-yard run with a time of 1:11.60. Sveard finished in second place in the 600-yard race with a school record time of 1:24:87, while Maiya Collins finished in third place.

Stalder set a new school record in the mile run with a time of 5:21.09. Alicke also set a school record, this one in the 3,000-meters, with a 10:47.52, breaking the old mark set by Stalder by more than 20 seconds.

The men’s 4x400m relay team set an automatic qualifying time of 3:11.87, also setting a new school record. The group consisted of Sharp, Christine, Dennis and Windham. The women’s 4x400m relay team set a provisional time of 3:50.12. McKee, Collins, Simpson, and Sveard comprised the team.

Head Coach George Pincock after the meet
His overall thoughts on the first event of the season:
“I am thrilled with how the team went out and competed. The last few weeks we have talked about being committed to the process and working hard towards the goals we have set as a team. This past weekend was the first step in that direction.”

On Florian Obst setting a new heptathlon record and setting an automatic qualifying mark:
“Florian is a tremendous athlete and competitor. Any time he steps on the track, our staff is confident that he is going to take care of business. His mark this week from the heptathlon was a personal best, a school record and puts him significantly ahead of where he was at this time last year. Florian and Coach [Joe] Davis have worked diligently to fine-tune some of the technical events, and I am looking forward to seeing the result of that.”

On the team setting nine school records and nine provisional marks
“As a coach, I have mixed feelings about the early season (December) meets. I think they are a great opportunity to get out and “get the rust off.” On the other hand, they are difficult because often some of the more technical events– like a shot put and weight throw– the athletes just haven’t had enough repetitions to find a rhythm. The school records, automatic and provisional mark are a testament to the student-athletes’ hard work and commitment.”

On how the early marks reflect his teams’ potential moving forward
“It would be a lie to say that I am not excited. I was very impressed with some of our marks over the weekend. They are some of the best early season marks that I have seen. However, I need to bridge some of that excitement as there is still lots of work to be done. The staff and I feel like both the men and women’s teams have the potential to do something special. I am confident that as we head into winter break, our athletes will use this past weekend performance as motivation.”