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Texas A&M Track & Field

Track & Field Report: Henry highlights Lamara Distin's third-straight SEC title

February 28, 2024

Jumping two meters and breaking the women’s NCAA indoor high jump record, Lamara Distin won her third consecutive conference title. Head coach Pat Henry joined TexAgs Radio to discuss his star athlete and the Aggies' showing at the SEC Indoor Championships. 

Key notes from Pat Henry interview

  • Our team performed very well, female and male. You can quantify it in my sport, my sport is different. Every time you do something you're either measured by a clock or a measuring tape. There is no subjectivity ever.
  • We know when we have great performances. If we have those performances, and we have a whole lot of them on the same day, then we have the chance to be good, and that is what we did on Saturday.
  • I don't want to be third and fourth in the league. Third and fourth in our league is big time, but we're trying to win it every time. The disparities show up at the conference level. The way some institutions work their aid is different from others. The playing field is not level, but that's the way it is, and you compete that way.
  • We base our team on putting together an outdoor championship. There is not a 4x100-meter relay indoors, and we try to be good at that.
  • The intermediate hurdles are a big event for us. We throw the javelin well outside. We have the discus. We’ve done well at outside competitions. If you add events like that it changes the whole makeup of your team. 
  • It is what you think. All these young people, it's about growing between your ears. We’re going to get better physically, we're going to train differently for you, and we know what to do to get you to be better.
  • You can’t replace that experience. Practice is practice. You can do things in practice. We are going to get better at skill development and get into better shape. We’re going to do a lot of things in practice.
  • Competition day brings out who you are. I coached our quarter milers, and we don't ever run the 400-meter for time in practice. Never. We are developing, and we do different stuff. I have my stopwatch at every practice, but I don't put a clock on someone and say we're going to run 400 meters that Saturday. We have a lot of rehearsals. 
  • Lamara Distin is jumping 6-foot-6 and a half. See how many men are out there jumping 6-foot-6. She’s a phenomenal athlete. They have been running track for a long time in the U.S. and to say she has jumped higher than any women’s track athlete in history is pretty significant. She's doing very well. She is really humble. 
  • Running for time is different from racing. When you race and have a group of 15 guys in a race, tactics become a big part of it. Tactics is what a championship meet is about.
  • You can say Usain Bolt won the 100 meters at the Olympic Games, but they won't always tell you the time. They’ll tell you that he won. That is what our sport is about. Our sport is blessed with the ability to evaluate because of the stopwatch and the tape. 
  • Sam Whitmarsh had a great season. He will miss out on maybe two one-thousandths of a second, of qualifying for the National Championships. He had a great indoor season.
  • They’ll take 16 men there right now, and I'd like Whitmarsh up against all 16, and he’d win. It’s just where it was in the season and competition to qualify, and he kind of ran away from the competition and was a couple of one-thousandths of a second from making the meet. That's the difference. He’ll be ready for outdoor competition. 
  • We’re going to Boston, and we’ve never been back East for an indoor meet. This will be new and interesting. Lots of indoor tracks back east just because of the cold weather, but I'm looking forward to it. We’ll see what happens.
  • Most of the Indoor National Championships have been at Texas A&M or Arkansas because we have such good tracks. There are a lot of good tracks all over. We are a little more centrally located so it makes it easier to come from both coasts. When you have to go to one coast constantly, it's tough, but the NCAA is the NCAA.
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Track & Field Report: Henry highlights Lamara Distin's third-straight SEC title

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BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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