Track and Field continues to run on all cylinders


Ryan Scott, Sports Editor

After a stellar indoor season, the Texas A&M University – Commerce Lion Men’s Track and Field team is continuing their dominating performance for the start of their outdoor campaign.

After four outdoor meets, the Lion men find themselves in unfamiliar territory, for as of this writing, they are currently ranked as the No. 3 program in NCAA Division II by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, a position that the Lions have never attained before in the history of the program.

The Lion men, after winning their first ever Lone Star Conference Indoor Championship, as well as finishing 12th in the NCAA Championships, have not slowed their pace since shifting to outdoors. In just four outdoor meets, the Lion men have already secured eighth NCAA qualifying mark.

Their most recent outing saw the team make a trip to Austin for the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. During the event, which consisted of a slew of Division I opponents, the Lions showed their strength in grand fashion. Possibly the biggest highlight of the meet was from sophomore Hendrik Nungess, who turned plenty of heads in the javelin throw, with a toss of 73.24m. This toss not only won the event by more than six meters, but now stands as the fifth best javelin throw in NCAA Division II history. Nungess was named as the Division II National Athlete of the Week (for March 30).

After being named the USTFCCCA Division II Men’s Athlete of the Week (for March 23), Masoud Moghaddam, who has dazzled all year in the weight throw, went up against 24 Division I opponents, and secured a fifth place finish. Outstanding freshman DeVontae Steele earned a provisional qualifying mark in the triple jump, with a sixth place jump of 14.99m, the second best jump in Division II.

Another qualifying mark was snagged by the 4x400m relay team consisting of  DJ Richardson, John David Rollins, Ravi Dubose and Soren Gnoss. The team finished 23rd out of 46 teams with a time of 3:13.56.

Not to be outdone, the Lion women have had a very respectable season as well. The women are currently sitting at No. 64 in the latest USTFCCCA poll. The latest success for the women came in the Texas Relays, as a quarter-century-old school record fell on day one of the competition.

Sophomore Ashley Bassett competed in a tough field in the 400m hurdles. In a field packed with Division I talent, Bassett was able to secure a time of 1:01.95. This time not only broke a 25-year-old record set by Jackie Alford, but is also gave the Lion women their first qualifier of the season, as well as being the fastest time in DII this season.

Both the Lion men and women will now look towards their next meet, the ASU David Noble Relays at LeGrand Stadium, taking place in San Angelo. The meet is being hosted by powerhouse program Angelo State. The Rams and Rambelles have both had strong seasons, with the Rams being ranked No. 6 in the latest poll, and the Rambelles ranked at No. 2.

The Lions track and field team will compete in the ASU David Noble Relays at LeGrand Stadium in San Angelo beginning on Thursday, April 2.