NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- Aggie senior sprinter Prezel Hardy, Jr. overcame feeling ill during the Texas A&M 10-Team Invitational this past weekend to record a double sprint victory in the 60 and 200 meters with personal best and collegiate leading times of 6.56 and 20.70 seconds. The impressive effort earned Hardy the Division I National Athlete of the Week honor as selected by the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association on Monday.
The 60 meter effort by Hardy broke the A&M school record of 6.59 held by Gerald Phiri, who ran that time on four different occasions from 2009 to 2011. Hardy lowered his previous best of 6.61 from 2011 in winning the race over Baylor frosh Trayvon Bromell, who ran 6.66 for second place. In the prelims Hardy clocked a 6.63 that tied the meet record set by Phiri in 2010.
Over 200 meters Hardy led an Aggie sweep of the top three places with his 20.70 that bettered the meet record of 20.78 set by Hardy in this meet last year. Hardy moves to No. 5 on the A&M all-time list and is currently second in the world for 2014 just behind a 20.68 recorded by professional sprinter Wallace Spearmon.
“It took me four years to finally beat that mark,” noted Hardy. “I’m in my senior year and in a position to lead the newbies we have. I’m trying to do the best that I can since it’s my last year. If I don’t do it now, then that’s it. I was feeling less than perfect, but it’s just one of those things you have to overcome.
“I wanted to run all week long. All fall during training I’ve been anxious for the start of the season. I didn’t anticipate on coming here and feeling like this. It crept up on me around midnight the night before. I still wanted to run, but I just didn’t necessarily have the energy at the time. I was down in the dumps a number of times. I was very sick in between races, I was in the warm-up area throwing up and going in and out of the bathroom. I was miserable the whole day.”
Texas A&M dominated the men’s nine-team field on Saturday, scoring 209.5 points to produce a large margin of victory over the 91.5 scored by Baylor as runner-up. This coming weekend the Aggies will host a triangular with LSU and Texas Tech visiting the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on Saturday.