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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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Fifth-year Schulman takes all hurdles in stride

Connor Schulman describes track honors as only part of the way to final goal
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Photo by Photo by CJ Smith
Texas A&M senior Connor Schulman jumps the hurdle during the Ted Nelson Invitational at Murray Fasken Indoor Track on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)

With the third-best time in the world in the 110-meter hurdles after March’s Battle on the Bayou meet, senior Connor Schulman described his college track experience as a “come up” story after joining the Texas A&M track and field team in 2020.

While there have been challenges, setbacks and injuries during his five-year journey, Schulman noted there have also been leadership opportunities and new records rolling out over the spring 2024 season.

Choosing between a Division III football offer and a Division I track and field offer from A&M, Schulman chose track and the Aggies. A&M track and field was his only Division I offer in high school, but Schulman said he would have selected A&M even without a sports offer to study business and be in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.

Only competing at home meets during his first indoor season in 2020, Schulman earned a spot on the SEC championship team to finish 16th in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking in at 8.29 seconds. When COVID-19 canceled outdoor events, Schulman said he spent the offseason improving his speed.

“I used that time like the pandemic to just wait, lift, run, train, just to get better physically,” Schulman said. “And so I had a huge jump from that, like pandemic season to the next season. So, I mean, I was grateful for it. I think it made things better.”

Schulman tied for the No. 1 spot in the 2024 indoor 60m hurdles and holds No. 10 in the outdoor 110m hurdles from 2022 on the A&M all-time Top 12 performers lists. He placed 18th in 2021 and 15th in 2022 in the NCAA Outdoor West Regionals and made the 2022 SEC Spring Honor Roll.

As a fifth-year graduate student, Schulman said he uses his experience to help guide teammates new to competition or traveling. Selected as one of the male 12th Man athletes, a leadership program for athletes chosen by coaches, Schulman said he was appointed as one of the track and field athletes’ yell leaders this season.

“They appointed me to be one of the yell leaders who leads our team to do chants and stuff like that,” Schulman said. “So it seems like every opportunity for leadership, they throw at me.”

Before stepping on the College Station campus, Schulman competed in football, basketball, tennis and track and field at Rice Consolidated High School, located west of Houston.

Because of high school injuries, including a hamstring injury as a sophomore and a sports hernia that required surgery his junior year after running in the USA meet, Schulman said he missed two months of the 2023 fall season and didn’t start training again until November.

Schulman credits his faith as the reason he has made strides over the last few years. He recalled teammate senior Caden Norris asking him how he was able to get faster. Schulman’s answer: putting his faith in God and knowing no matter what happens, everything will be okay.

When asked if he had met all his goals in his final year of Aggie track, Schulman was clear that there was still work to do.

“Honestly, no,” Schulman said. “I’ve got some big goals coming in. Definitely wanted to set that school record a lot lower indoors, like 7.50 to 7.53, something lower. And then outdoors, I mean, the season’s just getting started. I’ve only had two races, and I definitely want to break that outdoor record and get down hopefully to the 12.9 range.

“So I don’t think any goal has really been [met],” Schulman said. “We’ve been close, and like winning SECs, that was a big goal.”

After A&M’s outdoor season, Schulman said going to the U.S. Olympic trials is next. If he makes the team, all his goals will be accomplished, he said.

The SEC Outdoor Championships are scheduled for May 9-11 in Gainesville, Florida.

Youngchan Kang is a journalism sophomore and contributed this article from the course JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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