BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – On the eve of the NCAA Indoor Championships, Texas A&M senior Nathan Hite was awarded the Elite 90 award during the banquet held Thursday evening for participants and teams competing in the national meet this weekend.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average competing at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 90 championships.
“It’s a tribute to Nate,” noted Texas A&M head coach Pat Henry. “It’s not like he just has a high GPA, he’s in engineering. To be an engineering student at Texas A&M and have that high of a GPA it just shows you a lot about the young man. He has really worked himself into being a good decathlete.”
This marks the second time Hite has received this prestigious honor, who earned the Elite 90 award during the NCAA Outdoor Championships last June.
“Nate represents the very best of what intercollegiate athletics is at its core,” said Chris Barttelbort, Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Services. “There are so many high achieving track and field student-athletes at this level across the nation, and to stand out above that crowd not once but twice is a remarkable accomplishment by a remarkable person.”
Hite, from Bellville, Texas, is a senior at Texas A&M majoring in Mechanical Engineering where he has a grade point average of 3.974. He has earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors during the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In the spring of 2018, Hite was honored with the Bill Erwin male Scholar-Athlete of Year among all sports at Texas A&M
This indoor season Hite scored a career best of 5,680 points in the heptathlon to claim the bronze medal at the SEC Indoor Championships. He was also a bronze medalist in 2018 with his previous best heptathlon score of 5,592.
The improved score of 5,680 ranks Hite as the No. 2 performer with the No. 5 performance on the Aggie all-time list behind four performances by school record holder Lindon Victor. Hite also placed third in the decathlon during the SEC Outdoor Championships last May.
Hite even supplied a relay leg for Texas A&M during this indoor season, running a split of 47.65 on the 400m portion of the Aggies distance medley relay victory at the Ted Nelson Invitational.
Hite will be the first Aggie in action at the NCAA Indoor Championships as the heptathlon 60 meters is the first event at noon on Friday. Hite’s first day in the heptathlon will also include the long jump, shot put and high jump while second day events include the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters.