Indoor teams look to win second straight conference title, first in SEC
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 02:02
As his teams brace for the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships, A&M track coach Pat Henry is speculating whether the Aggies’ new conference home, the SEC, or its last, the Big 12, is stronger in track and field.
Henry said the difference may hinge on a single school: Texas A&M.
“The Big 12 was really good,” Henry said. “Some years the Big 12 is better and some years the SEC is better, but I think us moving to the SEC makes them that much better.”
After sweeping the team titles at the 2012 Big 12 Championship, the A&M men’s and women’s indoor track teams look to make a run at a second straight conference title, albeit in a different conference, in Fayetteville, Ark. during the SEC Indoor Championships from Feb. 22 -24.
The No. 3 men and the No. 9 women will travel to the Randal Tyson Track Center to compete against some of the nation’s top ranked track teams. Arkansas’ and Florida’s men’s teams are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, while the women will face No. 1 LSU, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 6 Florida and No. 7 Georgia.
“I feel good about what our people are doing,” Coach Pat Henry said. “Whether that will be good enough to win, that remains to be seen.”
The Aggies will need to have solid outings by each member on the team. For the men, A&M returns three conference champions from 2012: Deon Lendore (400-meter), Ameer Webb (200-meter) and Prezel Hardy Jr. (60-meter).
The women will return with two conference champions, Kamaria Brown (200-meter) and Ashley Collier (60-meter). However, the defending men’s and women’s SEC champions in both the 60-meter and 200-meter will also return to compete against the Aggies. These matchups may give insight into the differences between the SEC and the Big 12.The men look for a strong performance from long distance runner, senior Henry Lelei, who recently broke a school record at the Texas A&M Invitational in the 3,000 meters with a time of seven minutes and 55.8 seconds.
The women will look for an effective execution from freshman LaQue Moen-Davis, who comes off a strong performance at the Texas A&M Invitational where she earned the title of SEC Freshman of the Week by winning first in the triple jump with a jump of 43 feet and 7.25 inches, the furthest jump of the year in the SEC to date.
Henry said the Aggies would also need dominant performances from their sprint groups. The sprinters have proven to be the strongest part of both the men and women’s teams and need to demonstrate that this weekend.
“We try to have balance,” Coach Henry said. “But our sprint groups will have to do well. We have good strength in both the 60 and 200 meters along with the hurdles and the relays.”
While A&M is looking to pick up its first SEC Championship during its inaugural run in the conference, Henry will be seeking his 11th career SEC title. Before winning seven conference titles at A&M, Henry won 10 conference titles during his time as head coach at LSU.