Trinidad & Tobago multi-event specialist Tyra Gittens continues her strong first season in her collegiate career, breaking the national junior record in the heptathlon at the 91st Texas Relays heptathlon yesterday.
The Texas A&M University freshman finished 2nd behind Taliyah Brooks (5946 points) totaling a new personal best 5700 pts.
The total erased the previous record of 5,490 she set in Ottawa, Canada last summer. She remains No. 2 on Trinidad & Tobago’s senior all-time list behind Marsha Mark-Baird’s national record of 5,962 pts set in 2004.
The mark ranks the 19 year old as the 4th best performer on the Aggie all-time list with the 10th best performance.
The Trinidad native set lifetime best in four events – 110m hurdles (13.78), 200m (24.28), long jump (6.19m) and the 800m (2:30.89), the latter of which she is most proud of overall.
“It’s amazing, and I’m really satisfied with my 800 performance. Everybody knows the 800 is the worst, especially for me. Normally I drop places after the 800, so to remain in second place was so satisfying,” said a very elated Gittens at the conclusion of the event.
In what was her season opener, Gittens generated the 3rd best collegiate score this season behind Brooks and Nina Schultz (6018 pts) and is the top score for a freshman so far in 2018.
“That gives me so much confidence in myself, because I really didn’t do my best in the high jump yesterday or in the javelin today. Knowing I had that score while not getting 100 percent in each of my events I’m so excited for the next heptathlon. It’s a great way to start the outdoor season. I’m so happy,” she added.
Prior to the Texas Relays, Gittens claimed the women’s long jump at the Roadrunner Invitational with 6.18m, which ranks No. 11 on the Aggie all-time list.
She was also the top collegian a week earlier at the Castillo Invitational finishing 2nd overall with a final round 6.11m.
The Nashville, Tennessee resident is continuing her momentum off an impressive debut indoor season that saw her break the Trinidad and Tobago national senior record with a lifetime best 4197 pts at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
At her first NCAA Championships, she finished 8th, setting big personal bests in the 60m hurdles (8.35) and shot put (12.84m).
She also finished 5th (4121 pts) at the SEC Indoor Championships two weeks prior.