TEXAS RE­LAYS

A&M’s Vic­tor hop­ing name will ring true

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Randy Riggs Amer­i­can-States­man Cor­re­spon­dent

Three Longhorns are among the pri­mary con­tenders chas­ing leader Lin­don Vic­tor af­ter the first day of the de­cathlon to open the 90th edi­tion of the Texas Re­lays.

But Texas A&M’s Vic­tor — an ap­pro­pri­ate last name if there ever was one — was pre­oc­cu­pied with a for­mer Univer­sity of Texas star af­ter Wed­nes­day’s first five events My­ers Sta­dium.

Vic­tor, a se­nior from Gre­nada, posted one of the most im­pres­sive first-day per­for­mances in col­le­giate his­tory. Against a field that in­cluded for­mer Longhorn Trey Hardee, a two-time world cham­pion and Olympic sil­ver medal­ist who com­peted in three events as a tuneup for fu­ture meets, Vic­tor amassed 4,516 points.

That is be­lieved to eclipse the NCAA first-day record of 4,500 points set by Ore­gon’s Ash­ton Ea­ton at the 2010 na­tion­als.

With a sim­i­lar dom­i­nat­ing show­ing Thurs­day, Vic­tor will threaten the col­le­giate record of 8,465 points es­tab­lished at the 2006 Re­lays by Hardee, whom Vic­tor de­scribed as “one of the

While Texas A&M de­cath­lete Lin­don Vic­tor was the top star, sev­eral Longhorns had strong per­for­mances on the Texas Re­lays’ open­ing day.

few idols I have in the mul­tis (events).”

Vic­tor set ca­reer bests in three events Wed­nes­day — the high jump (6-feet, 10¼ inches), long jump (24-2¼) and 400 me­ters (48.24 sec­onds). In ad­di­tion, he won the 100 (10.63) and shot put (54-2½).

“I’ve al­ways prayed for days like this,” he said.

Es­pe­cially a day when Hardee also com­peted.

“I was very ex­cited when I heard he was go­ing to be here,” said Vic­tor, the 2016 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence field ath­lete of the year. “Grow­ing up in Granada, I’m pretty sure I watched every Trey Hardee video there is. Him be­ing here and sup­port­ing me is re­ally a bless­ing.”

While Vic­tor stole the show, the Longhorns had an ex­cel­lent open­ing day

Red­shirt sopho­more Steele Wasik (4,054), se­nior Wolf Mahler (4,041) and fresh­man Ge­orge Pa­trick (3,991) rank 4-6 head­ing into Thurs­day.

The trio com­bined to record per­sonal bests in nine events. Wasik ac­counted for four of them, in the 100, long jump, shot put and high jump), in his first Re­lays af­ter trans­fer­ring from UCLA.

“It’s so cool to have a home meet, es­pe­cially for the de­cathlon,” Wasik said. “It’s a good en­vi­ron­ment.”

Rice’s Scott Filip is in sec­ond place with 4,252 points, while Brigham Young’s Kevin Nielsen is third (4,064).

In the women’s hep­tathlon, mean­while, for­mer Mis­sis­sippi State star Erica Bougard led de­fend­ing Re­lays cham­pion Taliyah Brooks af­ter the first day, but wasn’t thrilled with her out­ing.

Bougard, now com­pet­ing for Chula Vista Elite, held a 3,740 to 3,691 edge over Brooks, an Arkansas ju­nior who spent her fresh­man year of high school at Pflugerville High be­fore mov­ing to Wi­chita Falls.

“Well, I’m in the lead, and I had a bad day,” Bougard said. “So I must be do­ing some­thing right. I’m def­i­nitely not com­plain­ing.”

The source of Bougard’s dis­sat­is­fac­tion came in the shot put. Her best throw was 38 feet (11.58 me­ters), good for only 13th place in the event and 633 points.

“I’m not a big fan of that,” she said. “I feel I should be con­sis­tently throw­ing 12 (me­ters) and higher.

In her other events, Bougard won the high jump (6-0¾), was sec­ond in the 100-me­ter hur­dles (13.29 sec­onds) and third in the 200 me­ters (23.96).

The hep­tathlon con­cludes Thurs­day with the long jump, javelin and 800.

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Texas A&M de­cath­lete Lin­don Vic­tor, a se­nior from Gre­nada, set ca­reer bests in the high jump, long jump and 400 me­ters and won the 100 and shot put as he amassed 4,516 points on the open­ing day.

RI­CARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

For­mer Mis­sis­sippi State star Erica Bougard (left) com­petes in the 200 me­ters as she takes the lead in the hep­tathlon with 3,740 points. Bougard now com­petes for Chula Vista Elite.

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