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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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Photo by Provided By Texas A&M Athletics
Men’s Track wins 2017 NCAA Indoor title

The Texas A&M Track and Field Men’s team were crowned the NCAA Indoor Champions in College Station, Saturday night. The Aggies edged out Florida by half a point to claim their first ever indoor national title.

“This was a great one,” Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry said. “I think because of the crowd and because of the volume in this building, this was a pretty amazing win. I think we have the best indoor facility in the country, it’s great to win this one here. We’re going to have a track environment here that is second to none.”

It all came down to the 4×400 relay at the end of the night, at which point Texas A&M was trailing by two points in the overall standings. The Aggies were behind heading into the final lap of the race, however junior Mylik Kerley managed to fight back on the final straight and clinch the first place finish for his teammates. Senior Fred Kerley (45.08), junior Robert Grant (46.49), freshman Devin Dixon (45.84) and Kerley (45.39) clocked a total time of 3:02.80, a new NCAA meet record.

“It’s just amazing,” Fred said of his younger brother’s performance. “He finished strong and that’s what it came down to, the home stretch of the 4×400.”

The Kerley brothers also competed in the 400-meter dash earlier in the day. Mylik finished in third place with a time of 45.75, tying his personal record. His brother, Fred, outpaced the rest of the field with a time of 44.85. Fred lowered his world leading time for 2017 while breaking his own school record he set earlier this season at the SEC Championship meet.

Mylik spoke after the race about what it is like to compete with his brother at the highest level.

“It has been the same goal every time we step on the track,”Mylik said. “It’s just to go out and do our best regardless of what the situation is, no matter the platform we’re on. We’re always just set in the occasion and try to do our best, and we do, we come through every time.”

There were important points scored for Texas A&M on day one of competition. In the pole vault competition, junior Audie Wyatt managed to clear 18-2 1/2 (5.55), topping his indoor record that he set in 2016 and landing him his second place. Competing in the long jump event, junior Will Williams also notched a second place finish, jumping 25-10 3/4 (7.89), a career best.

Following the win, Williams said his performance was a testament to anyone who didn’t believe in his ability to race.

“A lot of people had their doubts about me, they had me not scoring,” Williams said. “I gave them a wake-up call today, so it puts me in a good position going towards outdoors”.

The last time Texas A&M hosted the NCAA Indoor Championships, the maroon and white saw future SEC rival Florida take the crown. In 2011, the Gators defeated the Aggies by 12 points in front of the A&M faithful. However, A&M was able to pull off the victory this time around, which according to Wyatt was a key piece of the puzzle that allowed the Aggies to win.

“It’s amazing being at home,” Wyatt said. “Sleeping in my own bed and having this crowd, my whole family is here just supporting me. It’s really, really helped me. Just having all of my support, like my coaches, my family, God, like everyone, it’s just been great.”

Senior Lindon Victor had an impressive showing this weekend, finishing fifth out of sixteen in the heptathlon. He set personal records in four out of the seven events and set an NCAA meet record in shot put with a distance of 54-3 3/4  (16.55). By the end of the competition, Victor had broken his own indoor heptathlon record with a final score of 5976.

“I’m really happy,” Victor said. “I’ve never won a team title in my life. I’ve always won individual titles and this feels really good, this feels better than any individual title that I’ve ever won.”

It was one of the all-time school performance for the Texas A&M men this weekend, however the Aggies do not have much time to celebrate as the outdoor season begins on March 17 in Tempe, Arizona at the Baldy Castillo Invitational.

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    Photo by Provided By Texas A&M Athletics
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