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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

As track teams enter championships, coach Henry says ‘it’s all about depth’

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Cody Franklin — THE BATTALION

Senior Isaac Spencer en route to winning in men’s 3000 meter run

The Texas A&M track and field team has enjoyed a level of success this season that has become synonymous with the program in recent years, but head coach Pat Henry knows that everything up to this point is relatively meaningless in comparison to this weekend’s SEC Indoor Championships in Lexington, Kentucky.
“The mental aspect is the most important aspect of our sport,” Henry said. “You have got to be a person who is mentally capable of getting everything out of yourself at that time. We don’t keep a cumulative record. It’s all about that one performance. If you do well enough, then you get to move on. All the meets we’ve done to this point are rehearsal. Now you have to use everything you have on this, the first of the season’s major championships. Our goal is to have as many people do as well as they’re capable of doing on the same day. That’s it.”
The Aggies (men No. 4, women No. 7) would be favorites in just about every other conference in the nation, but the SEC is a different beast. Five of the nation’s top eight teams in either gender call the SEC their home.
“This conference championship lines up like most of the conference championships in our sport,” Henry said. “You’ve got 10 of the top 16 schools in the United States are SEC right now on both genders. It doesn’t get any better than that in any sport. The conference meet is a meet that’s all about depth. You have to have high end performances, but you also have to have people who are getting those 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th place finishes too. One point can become a huge factor in a meet like this.”
The Texas A&M track team is no stranger to the grand stage. The Aggies are top heavy with experience and talent, but the battle for mid-level, single-point finishes could easily decide how they finish in Lexington. Henry said depth is crucial for success in running the conference gauntlet and that’s a bit of a question mark for this team going into the weekend.
“This team is coming off of one of the most dominating performances we’ve ever seen at last year’s SEC Outdoors, specifically the men’s team,” Henry said. “I’ve been in this league a long time and I’ve never seen a school win the 100, 200, 400, short hurdles, long hurdles and both relays. That’s never, ever happened. This group has been there before and they understand the quality of competition. We have a good number of those who are returning this year, but I’m a little concerned about our depth, and I’m a little concerned about our younger ones.”
The SEC Championships start at 3 p.m. Friday and will be streamed live on SEC Network Plus.

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