COLLEGE STATION – Justin Oliver, one of the top recruits in the nation to sign with Texas A&M men’s track and field when Pat Henry became head coach, will be inducted into the Texas A&M Athletics Hall of Fame at the 42nd annual Burgess Banquet on Friday, September 13, at the Ford Hall of Champions in Kyle Field.
Oliver was a nine-time All-American for the Aggies and a member of the first national championship team in program history during his senior season in 2009. Oliver, who lettered four years with Texas A&M from 2006 to 2009, anchored three Aggie school record performances in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relays.
“Justin was one of my first really great signees here at Texas A&M,” noted Henry. “He was one of, if not the best, 400m athlete in the country that year. So, for us to get him really helped change our program. Justin was a team guy, he was all about the team all of the time.
“He is quite unassuming, but a great track athlete. Justin is the kind of individual that a father with a young son hopes his son will become.”
Running on three NCAA silver medal 4x400 relays in 2007, 2008 and 2009, Oliver anchored Texas A&M’s runner-up effort in 2009 with a 44.85 split as the Aggies equaled the school record of 3:00.91 previously set in 1989 and secured the points needed to win the team championship by two points over a three-way tie for second place, which included Florida, Florida State and Oregon.
“That season Baylor had beat us in the 4x400 every time we lined up,” recalled Henry. “In the last event of the 2009 NCAA Championships, Florida State led the race while A&M was second and Baylor third. We knew going into the race we had to be second to win the national championship.
“Baylor had a great anchor leg and he had always caught Justin, but wasn’t able to on this day. I remember him saying to me before the race, not today. Justin finished behind Florida State and ahead of Baylor to win the team title. He was a great team guy.”
Oliver also ran on a school record in the 4x100 relay as the Aggie foursome posted a time of 38.51 during the NCAA semifinals in 2009 to break a 20-year-old A&M record of 38.53. In 2008, Oliver was a member of the silver medal 4x100 at the NCAA Championships when Texas A&M challenged the school record with a time of 38.58.
In winning the Penn Relays 4x200 title in 2009, Oliver anchored the Aggies to a 1:20.32 performance that bettered the previous A&M record of 1:21.28 from 1990.
Racing at 400m, Oliver earned three silver medals and one bronze at the Big 12 Championships. He was runner-up in the 400m at the Big 12 Outdoor meet in 2006 and 2009, while finishing third in 2008. Oliver also finished second in the 2008 Big 12 Indoor meet. In the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships he placed seventh in the 400m.
International competition included a gold medal on the United States 4x400 relay at the 2006 World Junior Championships, where he was also a silver medalist in the 400m.
Joining Oliver in the Class of 2019 are Alia Atkinson '10 from women's swimming and diving, Morenike Atunrase '08 from women's basketball, Patrick Bates '92 from football, Kyle Hawthorne '79 from baseball, Joseph Jones '08 and Ty Warren '03 from football.
The event is open to the general public. A reception begins at 6 p.m. with dinner beginning at 7 p.m. Event sponsorship opportunities and individual tickets are still available by calling the Letterman's Association (979-846-3024).