Jan. 25, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Day one of the Texas A&M Mondo Challenge got underway on Friday night at Gilliam Indoor Stadium with the men's and women's distance medley relays.
The Big Orange is joining forces with meet host Texas A&M to represent the SEC; Texas Tech and TCU are competing for the Big 12 and Arizona State and USC will carry to banner for the Pac-12 at the tri-conference dual.
The Lady Vols came away with a runner-up finish in the DMR, as the quartet crossed the line in 11 minutes, 34.95 seconds. UT was just over a second behind race winner Texas A&M. The Aggie women, who are ranked fourth in the nation, posted their second-fastest time in school history with a mark of 11:33.93.
Freshman Alexis Panisse got the race started for the Lady Vols, giving the team a lead at the first exchange. Upperclassmen Martinique Octave and Kianna Ruff held the advantage through the 400 and 800-meter legs, but Texas A&M's Sophie Blake ran a great final 1,600m to pass Lady Vol Hannah Davidson and earn the 10-point win for A&M.
Tennessee, which has won four NCAA titles and eight SEC crowns in the DMR under Director of Track & Field/Cross Country J.J. Clark, posted the sixth-fastest time in the nation coming into the weekend on Friday night. UT has won six-consecutive SEC titles in the event.
The Lady Vols earned eight points for the runner-up mark, while Texas A&M added 10 for the SEC. Texas Tech finished third in the race and picked up six points for the Big 12.
Despite posting its top time in the event this season, the Vols placed third in a loaded distance medley relay race on Friday night. Texas Tech, which entered the night with the top time in the country this season, bested its nation-leading mark by nearly 10 seconds. The Red Raiders, who were anchored by 2012 NCAA Cross Country champion Kennedy Kithuka, won the event in 9:41.55.
The Aggies entered the meet with the fourth-fastest time in the nation and finished in second place with a mark of 9:58.15.
The Mondo Challenge gets into full swing tomorrow, with events starting at 1:30 p.m. ET. For complete information on the meet, including the free live video webcast, visit the meet central page here.
b - Banked Track