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

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

The Battalion

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The Aggie track looks for its first NCAA Indoor crown

Fifteen members of the Aggie track and field team will head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, this weekend to compete in this year’s NCAA Indoor Championships. The team is coming off a pair of third place finishes in the men and women’s divisions at the SEC Indoor Championships two weeks ago.
“We did some great things,” said head track coach Pat Henry. “I’m never completely pleased. I always feel like we have some people who could have or were prepared to do just a little bit better than what they did. But the vast majority of our team did very, very well this week. We competed like the team we are. For the men, we were third in the SEC, but we’re No. 4 nationally. So that tells you how tough this league is. We’re never pleased to be third or even second. We’re trying to win all the time.”
The Aggies have been dominant, winning a combined eight NCAA Outdoors titles over the past six years. Still, though, the program has yet to win an indoor championship.
When asked if that bothered him, Henry said, “Indoor track, philosophically, is a real preparation time for outdoor track and field, where track is really run. Still, we’re going to compete at the level that we are in the training season, and we’re trying to win. We want to be the best indoors as well.”
Two Aggies were the best in the event at last year’s indoor championships. Seniors and school record holders Deon Lendore and Brea Garrett will attempt to defend their crowns this weekend in Arkansas. But that is no small task in the cutthroat world of competitive track and field.
“Repeating is always tough to do,” said Henry. “I think the goal is probably just to do your best. There’s no question that that’s what we strive to do, get a little better each year. If you do what you do and you do it better than you did last year, then we’re going to be pleased with what you did.”
In the reverse role of potential usurper will be sophomore Shamier Little. Little captured her first individual indoor trophy two weeks ago at the SEC Championships where she won the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.37 seconds. Now, she has a chance to be the best in the nation.
“Shamier works hard and she’s just now figuring out that she can do this indoors,” said Henry. “She’s always run on our relays, but she’s starting to realize that she can be a great individual quarter miler as well. I think anyone who’s running against Shamier needs to be prepared to run their best, because she gives it her absolute best every time.”
Henry said this meet is shaping up to be an even contest across the board. A score as low as 30 or 40 points may be enough to take the NCAA title. Still, A&M will need big production from the likes of Little, Lendore and Garret if they’re going to pull that off. They’ll also need a few more of the other 12 Aggie participants to step up and steal a few of those precious points available in the lower places.
The NCAA Championships start on Friday at 6 p.m. All the action is streamed live on ESPN3 via the WatchESPN app.

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