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The Battalion

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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A&M travels to Austin to compete in NCAA West preliminary rounds

Deon+Lendore+winning+his+third+SEC+400m+title+with+a+collegiate+leading+time+of+44.41+seconds.
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Deon Lendore winning his third SEC 400m title with a collegiate leading time of 44.41 seconds.

Texas A&M will travel to Austin on Thursday to compete in the NCAA West preliminary rounds. Forty-nine Aggies will be representing A&M in what will be the next step to once again hoisting an NCAA Championship.

For the women’s squad, a win would bring them that much closer to becoming back-to-back NCAA Outdoor team champions, adding to the four championships they have already achieved. The men are looking to regain the title which they last held in 2013. Both the men’s and women’s teams are coming in fresh off of second place finishes at the SEC Tournament.

Twenty-two female athletes have qualified to compete in the meet with 29 entries in 15 separate events. The men have qualified 27 athletes who have 33 entries in 18 events. In order to advance to the NCAA Championship weekend in Eugene, Oregon, athletes competing in individual events must finish in the top 12 in a field of 48 athletes. Relay teams will be competing in a field of 24 that will be cut to just 12 qualifiers.

There is always strength in numbers, and in this case it is especially vital to have as many athletes competing as possible. Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry commented on the advantage the Aggies gain from the abundance of qualifying athletes.

“It’s good to have numbers and we have a lot qualified for this round,” said Henry. “The challenge now is getting out of this round. You have to look at it like it’s a final. You get to compete on the track or in the ring with somebody. This is a final round, so you have to be prepared do your absolute best and then you’ll advance to the next round if you do that.”

The Aggies will not be entering the preliminary round empty handed, they come armed with four defending individual champions; Deon Lendore (400m), Shamier Little (400 hurdles), Kamaria Brown (200m) and Shelbi Vaughan (discus). In addition to the individual champions, A&M houses the defending women’s 4×100 meter and men’s 4×400 meter relay champions.

The leader for the Aggies is none other than Deon Lendore. A&M’s leading sprinter is currently ranked third in the world in the 400 meter dash with his time of 44.41 seconds. That time of course also places him atop the collegiate rankings and has led him to gaining his third SEC Outdoor title. The Aggie star spoke about how he felt about his record breaking 400 meter time.

“After having a not so wonderful start to my season, all I was thinking about was having a healthy race during the SEC final,” Lendore said. “I thought I would run around 44.6, but to win with a 44.41 I’m happy that I was able to run that well.”

Lendore will compete in three of the 20 events in Austin, the 400 meter dash as well as running as the anchor leg in both the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Out of the 20 total events being contested in the men’s division this weekend, 18 of them will include Aggies.

Myers Stadium in Austin will open its gates at 10:30 a.m. Thursday to get things started. Action will continue through Saturday and by the weekend’s end the qualifiers for the NCAA Championships will be announced.

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  • Aaliyah Brown in the women’s 4×100 relay. The relay posted a collegiate leading time of 42.61 seconds

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