NAMPA, ID -- Texas A&M middle distance senior Will Barry was honored on the eve of the NCAA Indoor Championships with the Elite 89 award, which is presented to the individual who has achieved the highest academic standard among his or her peers at this championship event.
Barry, a native of Texarkana, Texas (Pleasant Grove HS), is a member of the Aggie distance medley relay competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend. Barry ran the first leg (1,200 meters) of the relay when A&M claimed a meet record victory at the Big 12 Championships.
Academically, Barry holds a 4.0 grade point average in Civil Engineering through 143 semester hours. Recently, Barry has been accepted to graduate school in Civil Engineering at Stanford, Texas A&M and Texas.
“It’s great to get an award like this,” Barry said. “It’s not something you do over night. So, it’s great to get an award for four years of hard work in the classroom as well as on the track. I’m excited to see where I’m going to end up next year for graduate school. The work I’ve done as an undergrad pays off with being able to go to grad school.”
This season Barry improved his career best in the mile to 4:03.10 in winning the Texas A&M Invitational. That time is the second fastest in school history, trailing only the school record of 4:01.49 set this season by teammate Henry Lelei. The previous school record, which had stood since 2000, was a 4:04.16 set by Mike Hummel.
A time of 2:27.62 in the 1,000 also ranks Barry 11th on the A&M all-time indoor list. The distance medley relay Barry ran on during the Big 12 meet clocked 9:40.75, the fourth fastest time on the Aggie all-time list.
“Will Barry has kind of popped out of the woodwork for us,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “He’s had some good athletic performances for Texas A&M. At conference he ran the first leg of a distance medley relay for us and ran one of the best lead off legs we’ve had in a while.
“Will has a huge heart, and besides an athletic heart, this award goes to show his academic success is just tremendous. It’s great to have that kind of person here at Texas A&M.”
The Elite 89 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships. All GPAs are based on a straight grading scale to ensure consistency among institutions, and all ties are broken through the number of credits completed. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school.
NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS ON WEB
ESPN3 will offer coverage of the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend online. NCAA.com and broncosports.com will stream events not shown on ESPN3.com on Friday (11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.).
Friday’s ESPN3 coverage will begin at 5:30 p.m. via the link: http://es.pn/ncaa-tfchamp-day1
Saturday’s ESPN3 coverage will begin at 7 p.m. via the link: http://es.pn/ncaa-tfchamp-day2
A tape delay of the championships will air Sunday, March 18 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
IAAF WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
A contingent of athletes with ties to Texas A&M are competing at the IAAF World Indoor Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey, this weekend. Action begins on Friday and continues through Sunday.
Four Texas A&M athletes are representing four different countries at the international meet while Aries Merritt, who trains in College Station, is competing for the United States in the 60 hurdles.
The Aggie athletes involved in the championships include Tabarie Henry (400m) for the U.S. Virgin Islands, Gerald Phiri (60m) for Zambia, Demetrius Pinder (400m) for the Bahamas, and Natasha Ruddock (60m hurdles) for Jamaica.
Henry and Pinder drew the same heat of the 400 in the opening round. The first two finishers in each heat of six and the next six fastest times advance to the semifinal, which are held later on the first day. Henry is in lane three while Pinder is stationed in lane six.
In the 60 hurdles, Ruddock drew lane two of the first heat. The first three finishers in each heat of four plus the next four fastest times advance to the semifinal. Ruddock is in the same heat as Sally Pearson of Australia, the defending World Outdoor Champion in the 100 hurdles.
Also drawing lane two of the first heat of eight in the men’s 60 meters was Phiri. The top two finishers in each heat plus the next eight fastest times advance to the semifinal. With a season best of 6.59, Phiri has the top time in his heat with Nigeria’s Peter Emelieze sporting a 6.60.
The men’s 60 hurdles begin on Saturday and the lane draw for the event will be posted on Friday.