MOMENT #2: PAIR OF LIONS QUALIFY FOR DIVISION II NATIONAL MEET
The 2011-12 A&M-Commerce athletic season was filled with a number of impressive performance and memorable highlights achieved by the Lion student-athletes. To close out the athletic season, LionAthletics.com is looking back at the top-15 moments of the year, voted on by athletic administrators, media members and Lion fans. The moments will be revealed on Mondays and Thursdays, leading into the start of the 2012-13 A&M-Commerce athletic season.
COMMERCE, Texas - The countdown of the top moments of the 2011-12 A&M-Commerce season is nearly complete as for moment number two we take one final trip out to the track at Memorial Stadium. For the second-straight season, A&M-Commerce had a pair of women athletes qualify for the NCAA Division II national meet as Whitney Hargraves qualified in the long jump with teammate Aysha Moultrie qualifying in the heptathlon.
Both had incredibly strong showings at the Lone Star Conference Track and Field Championships held in Commerce as Hargraves earned All-Lone Star Conference honors by finishing second in both the long and triple jumps. She posted a career-best mark of 5.94 meters in the long jump, exceeding the provisional qualifying mark while also provisionally qualifying in the triple with a jump of 12.13 meters.
Moultrie's success came in the most difficult event a woman can compete in – the heptathlon. Seven events spread out over two days, Moultrie made everyone take notice when she ran a school and LSC heptathlon record in the 200 meter dash portion, posting a time of 24.77. That showing propelled her to a third-place finish with 4,558 points, besting her previous personal-best of 4,844 points.
When the nation's best Division II track and field athletes descended on Pueblo, Colo. for the national meet, Moultrie ultimately opted to withdraw, but Hargraves made the trip to represent the Lions. Ultimately it wasn't the performance she wanted to have, placing ninth with a leap of 5.77 meters, falling just shy of finishing in the top-eight, which is needed to achieve All-America status. But it did little to diminish the successes of the season as she came within a whisker of breaking a pair of school marks in both leaps.
It closed out what will be remembered as a great year for the A&M-Commerce women's team, which finished 2012 with 85 top-five showings on the year, including 17 first place finishes. Hargraves and sophomore teammate Abigail Leaupepe-Tele achieved All-Lone Star Conference honors while the Lions shattered three school records in the 4x100 relay, the 4x400 relay and the 200 meter dash.
With the bulk of the team returning in 2013, it has given head coach Sara Davis a great starting point as A&M-Commerce looks to make that next step in becoming one of the top programs in the conference.
"We're definitely already looking forward to what this team is capable of in the future," Davis said. "The most exciting thing is that we only had two seniors on this year's team, so the rest of them will come back next year with that added drive to build on this year's success and take it to the next level. I'm excited about where this team can go."
A&M-Commerce Top-15 Moments Countdown Schedule
Moment #1 - Thursday, August 2
Moment #2 - Pair of Lion Women Qualify for NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships
Moment #3 - Brad Hambrick Cements His Legacy Among Lion All-Time Greats
Moment #4 - A&M-Commerce Takes Down Angelo State on Penalty Kicks in LSC Quarterfinals
Moment #5 - Pair of Lions Named Lone Star Conference Academic Players of the Year
Moment #6 - Marcus Graham Bursts into Lion Record Books on Senior Night
Moment #7 - Facing Match Point, Volleyball Rallies to Take Down Incarnate Word 3-2
Moment #8 - Chantry McMahan Finishes Second at LSC Golf Championships
Moment #9 - Men's Cross Country Ties Best Finish in Program History at LSC Championships
Moment #10 - Track and Field Notches A Pair of LSC Individual Champions
Moment #11 - Men's Basketball Wins Final Three Games to Qualify for LSC Tournament
Moment #12 - Football Takes to the Turf at Cowboys Stadium
Moment #13 - Pair of Men's Golfers Capture Individual Tournament Titles
Moment #14 - Women's Track and Field Sets Three School Records
Moment #15 - Women's Basketball Upsets Angelo State 64-61 in Season Finale