NEW ORLEANS – Following spectacular world-leading performances during the SEC Indoor Championships that Texas A&M hosted over the weekend, Aggie sprinters Kamaria Brown and Deon Lendore earned National Athlete of the Week honors from the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association on Monday.
Sharing the national honors with the A&M pair were Oklahoma State’s Kirubel Erassa, who won three events at the Big 12 meet to enable the Cowboys to win a first-ever indoor team title by four points over Texas, and Sami Spenner of Nebraska-Omaha, who scored 60 points as her team placed third in the Summit League.
Brown became the first sprinter, male or female, in SEC history to capture titles in the 200 and 400 meters in the same conference meet while Lendore claimed his fifth consecutive conference title in the 400, becoming the first to successfully defend a SEC Indoor 400m title since 1998, and anchored the A&M 4x400 relay to a collegiate record.
Achieving her feat in grand fashion Brown established a world-leading time of 22.50 in the 200 and the second fastest time in the world with a 50.94 in the 400. It’s the best indoor one-day double in history.
Lendore, meanwhile, defended his SEC Indoor 400m title with a world leading 45.03 that improved his school record at Texas A&M as well as his Trinidad & Tobago national record of 45.15 set in the prelims of the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships.
To cap off the SEC meet Lendore anchored Texas A&M’s 4x400 relay to a collegiate record of 3:03.20 with a relay split of 44.63. It’s the third time over the past two seasons Lendore has provided a sub-45 second split, the most anyone has achieved ever indoors. His other pair of splits has been 44.50 and 44.57.
In the 200 Brown sped to a world leading mark of 22.51 in the prelims and then ran 22.50 in the final. She broke the Aggie school record of 22.70 set by teammate Ashton Purvis in the 2013 SEC meet. Brown is now equal No. 14 on the all-time World list, No. 5 on the all-time US list, with the No. 6 and No. 7 performances, in addition to No. 5 on the all-time collegiate list, with the No. 6 performance and equal to the No. 7 performance.
Brown topped a SEC field in the 200 that included two more sub 23-second sprinters in Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky (22.75), who won the 60 in 7.16, and Florida’s Kyra Jefferson (22.87) as they produced the top three times in the world for the 2014 season.
In the 400, Brown is now No. 8 on the all-time US list and collegiate list as well as No. 5 among US collegians. Her 50.94 broke the meet record of 51.13 set by Hazel-Ann Regis of LSU in 2004. The only time faster than Brown this season is an altitude mark of 50.85 run by Francena McCorory to win the USATF Indoor title in Albuquerque, which will serve as the host of the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14-15.
Brown defeated an SEC field in the 400 that included Robin Reynolds of Florida (51.77) as well as A&M teammates Shamier Little (51.86) and Janeil Bellille (52.58), who all set career best times.
Lendore topped a field in the 400 that included five sub 46 sprinters – Arman Hall, Florida, 45.28; Vernon Norwood, LSU, 45.39; Hugh Graham, Jr., Florida, 45.94; and Najee Glass, Florida, 45.95.
In winning a fifth consecutive conference title at 400m, Lendore is undefeated indoors and outdoors in conference races. He claimed a pair of Big 12 titles in 2012 as a freshman and repeated the feat in the SEC as a sophomore in 2013.
Lendore also became the first SEC sprinter to defend an indoor title since Florida’s Jimmy Hackley in 1997-1998. Georgia’s Torrin Lawrence won a pair of SEC indoor 400 races in 2010 and 2012. Lendore has also run on victorious 4x400 relays in each of his five conference appearances.
Equal to No. 6 on the all-time world list in the 400 with his 45.03, Lendore matched the time run by Lawrence of Georgia, moving up from No. 10 with his 45.15 from 2013. Lendore is also equal No. 4 on the all-time collegiate list, again matching Lawrence at 45.03, with the trio of Kerron Clement (44.57), Kirani James (44.80) and LaShawn Merritt (44.93) ahead of Lendore.
The collegiate record relay time also places A&M equal No. 4 on the all-time world list and No. 5 performance list with Great Britain’s mark from 1999. The three faster world times include United States (3:01.96 - 2006), Poland (3:03.01 - 1999) and Germany (3:03.05 - 1991).
The Aggies broke the collegiate record of 3:03.50 set by Arkansas in 2013 in defeating a stellar field that consisted of Florida, who equaled the old collegiate record of 3:03.50, LSU (3:04.04) and Arkansas (3:04.94). The top three teams ran faster than the SEC meet record of 3:04.18 established by Texas A&M in 2013.
Members of the Texas A&M 4x400 relay also included Shavez Hart, Aldrich Bailey, Jr., and Carlyle Roudette.