The first day of the 2019 SEC Outdoor Championships kicked off on Thursday, as several Aggies shined amidst gloomy conditions.
Texas A&M men and women each come into the week nationally ranked No. 5 and No. 2 by USTFCCA.
The star of the day for A&M's women's team was Tyra Gittens, who came out of day one with the lead in heptathlon with 3,599 points.
In last year's SEC Championship, Gittens was able to set the record for most points scored on the first day with 3,842.
Although it was rainy with temperatures in the low 50s, Gittens was determined to come out on top.
“I was really happy with my day today,” Gittens told 12thman.com. “I felt like the person with the strongest mentality would be on top and I felt like today showed that.”
Shortly after Gittens, Carlton Orange competed in the first heat of the 800 meter preliminary and finished in second place for the men's team. His time of 1:49.78 automatically advanced him to the final.
Devin Dixon ran the second preliminary heat of the 800 meter, and earned a win behind his 1:48.64 run to automatically advance him to the final.
For the women’s team, Jazmine Fray produced the top time of the day in the 800 meter preliminaries with a time of 2:05.54 to automatically qualify for the final. Brittany Parker finished fourth in the race after a 2:06.94 run.
Danyel White (22.90w, 3.6 wind) and Brenessa Thompson (22.94w) ran in the second preliminaries of the 200 meter and finished 1-2. Both Aggies qualified for the final.
A&M men had a big day in the 400 meter hurdles, as four produce top-eight overall times to advance to the final leg of the event.
Robert Grant, who missed last year’s SEC Championships with an injury, had a record breaking showing, as he became the U.S. and collegiate leader in the event with a time of 49.56. Grant passed fellow teammate Ilolo Izu’s previous best of 49.68.
Izu also had a strong outing in day one as he produced the third overall time in the event with a 50.46. Infinite Tucker was right behind him finishing fourth after a run of 50.85. The last Aggie to qualify for the finals was DeWitt Thomas, whose time of 51.05 was good for eighth best.
“I’m back,” Grant said after his record breaking performance. "...It’s my senior year, and I didn’t come back for my senior year to lose.”
Day two of the SEC Championships will begin on Friday at 1:45 p.m. 12