It didn’t take the Texas A&M track team long to become a force on the Southeastern Conference track scene, and a couple of former Ellison Eagles could boast being a part of history.
Senior Prezel Hardy Jr. and sophomore Hector Hernandez won a total of four medals to help Texas A&M win its first SEC outdoor track and field team championship at the Kentucky Track and Field Complex in Lexington, Ky., over the weekend.
The Aggies moved from the Big 12 to the SEC before the 2012-13 athletic season and accumulated a total of 155 points to win the outdoor championship. Texas A&M finished 38.5 points ahead of the Arkansas Razorbacks during the three-day long meet.
Hardy took first place in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes and was a part of the Aggies 400 relay team that won that event. Hernandez took the bronze in the men’s 800.
Hardy teamed with Shavez Hart, Aldrich Bailey Jr. and Deon Lendore to win the 400 relay with a time of 38.50 seconds. LSU (38.676) took the silver, and Florida (38.68) took the bronze.
Hardy, Hart, Bailey and Lendore posted a meet-record time, besting the previous record set by the Gators in 2011 by 0.03 seconds. Texas A&M also became the first team to sweep both the men’s and women’s 400 relays at the SEC Outdoor Championships since LSU in 1998.
Hardy is the first SEC athlete since 2008 to claim both the
100 (10.31) and 200 (20.16) in the same year. The former Eagle beat Hart by 0.04 seconds in the 100 and by 0.19 seconds in the 200.
Hardy placed sixth last year at the conference meet in the 200 (20.96) and was an NCAA semifinalist in the 100 (10.11).
As a sophomore, Hardy was named the Big 12 Outdoor Performer of the Year by the conference’s coaches after winning the 100 and 200 conference titles and also ran the anchor leg to help the Aggies win the 400 relay.
During his time at Ellison, he teamed with current Aggie teammate Michael Bryan to win the Class 5A 800 relay state title in 2009. The Eagles finished second in the team standings at the state meet that year.
Hernandez posted a time of 1:47.84, 0.25 seconds behind Mississippi State’s Brandon McBride. Florida’s Ryan Schnulle (1:48.08) rounded out the top three.
Hernandez finished fourth at the conference meet last year and was the 2012 Class 5A 800 champion. Bryan also represented Texas A&M at the conference meet. Bryan ran in the 100 (10.51) and 200 (21.46) dash preliminaries.
The Aggies will compete in the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in Fayetteville, Ark., beginning May 29.