A&M’s Victor hoping name will ring true
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.
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.
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.