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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies on top again

 
 

It didn’t take long for Texas A&M track and field coach Pat Henry to return to the championship podium after a one-year layoff.
Henry helped lead the A&M men’s team to a co-championship at the NCAA outdoor track and field title in Eugene, Ore., after a dropped baton in the 4×400 meter relay cost them an outright win. The Aggie women finished as NCAA runner-up to Kansas.
The A&M men scored 53 points to share the title with Florida, making the teams the first co-champions since 1978.
“You look at what we did today, across the board with men and women, with the events we won and how competitive we were I can’t be anything but pleased with our team today,” Henry said.
The win gives the A&M track and field program a seventh national championship in five years and is the 34th championship for Henry.
The men led in team scoring over Florida at 52 to 43 with only the 4×400 relay remaining. The Aggies dropped a baton early in the race, but recovered to finish and earn a point. Florida won the race to earn 10 points and a tie for the title.
“We’re elated for our team,” Henry said. “Our team was on a roll and doing some things really well. It’s just tough that we don’t look the baton in and something happens on the first exchange of the 4×400. That’s the way it is with track and field. You have to do everything right and it certainly has to be right when it comes to that relay.”
A&M was once again led by senior Sam Humphreys in the javelin, who won with a 255-9 throw. With his win Humphreys became the first A&M thrower to score four consecutive years in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
Humphreys’ journey included a fifth-place finish as a freshman, third place as a sophomore and runner-up as a junior.
“This is definitely my number one moment,” Humphreys said. “I’ve been working for this for four years. It means a lot to be an NCAA champion. You know you need to go out there and focus on what needs to be done to win. I don’t focus on the score or what’s on the board because anything can happen in any race. You just keep your head clear and do what you need to do.”
Other A&M victories included the women’s 4×100 relay, a men’s 110 hurdles win by junior Wayne Davis II and a 200 win by senior Ameer Webb.
“This is our fourth title in the past five years and we’ve won it by one or two points each time,” Henry said. “It always seems to come down the end and you have to be perfect all the way through. We weren’t perfect today, but we had some perfect things happen to get us to here.”
The A&M men led in the standings for much of the afternoon. Their gaff in the 4×400 added excitement to the more than 11,000 fans in attendance, but Ricky Babineaux, who runs the second leg of the relay, said he tried his best to remain calm.
“I didn’t even think twice about it, I just went over to pick it up so we could still run,” Babineaux said. “It was nerve-racking and emotionally I still don’t how to feel. Ending in a tie for the championship is a blessing.”
It was also a big day for Webb who added to his trophy case. In addition to the outdoor championship Saturday, Webb also has two NCAA indoor titles.
“I’m a two-time indoor and one-time outdoor track champion, so I’m on top of the world, in my own world, right now,” Webb said.

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