Athing Mu, Texas A&M freshman mid-distance sprinter, broke both a school and a World Junior record with a time of 50.52 for a first place finish in the 400-meter dash at the Charlie Thomas Invitational on Saturday.
Mu was the No. 1 recruit of the 2020 class, and in 2019 set the American women’s 600-meter record with a time of 1:23.57, the second-fastest indoor 600-meter in world history. Mu beat a 10-year-old school record, set by former Olympic gold medalist Jessica Beard in 2011 with a time of 50.79.
“Since coming to A&M I’ve learned about [Beard's] accomplishments, and wow she’s good,” Mu said of Beard.
The women’s team finished with eight top three finishes including two first place finishes by Mu and Jania Martin. Charokee Young placed second in the 400-meter with a personal best of 51.93, giving the first two spots in the event to the Aggies.
Jania Martin won the 200 meters with a personal best of 23.44 and Immanuela Aliu placed third with a time of 23.89. Rachel Hall placed fifth with a personal best of 23.96 and Julia Madubuike placed sixth with a season best of 24.00.
“We did what we needed to do here,” head coach Pat Henry said. “Bigger days are ahead.”
Rachel Bernardo posted a season best mile time of 5:00.78 for a third place finish. Dierdre Nelsen placed sixth with a personal best of 5:08.91.
The Aggies did not compete in the women’s 4x400 relay.
“I needed to rest a couple and COVID-19 has gotten one of them,” Henry said.
The meet started to heat up when Zhane Smith recorded a personal best time of 7.36 in the 60-meter prelims and later finished with a new personal best in the finals clocking in at 7.33.
Before placing third in the 200, Immanuela Aliu placed sixth in the 60-meter finals with a time of 7.45.
There was an impressive showing in long-distance and mid-distance running on Saturday with Brooke Barrington placing third in the 800 with a personal best of 2:10.92 and Jean Jenkins placing fourth with a time of 2:14.08.
Julia Black was the only women’s 5,000 runner for the Aggies and ran a personal best of 17:02.85. The women’s 3,000 saw Carrie Fish place fifth with a time of 10:14.15 and Katelyn Buckley place seventh with a personal best of 10:36.36.
In field events, Kristen Masucci placed fourth in pole vault and Bianca Cardenas placed fifth. Parker Clay finished seventh in shot put.
The women’s team finished with eight top-three finishes and 14 top-five finishes. The Aggies set 13 personal bests, four season bests and one meet record.
“To see a 10-year record broken, that’s special,” Henry said of Mu’s 400-meter finish. The Trenton, New Jersey, native ranks No. 1 in the world, according to World Athletics.
For the men’s team, Nicklaus Brawner finished first in the mile clocking in at 8:31.55 and C.J. Stevenson won the triple jump recording a mark of 15.10m/49-6.5.
The Aggies’ next meet will be at the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 12-13 in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the Randal Tyson Track Center.