This past weekend, some of the most impressive members of the student athlete community at TCU took their talents to Arkansas, where they competed in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. Six students made up a team that would compete in four events across the two day meet.
Among the TCU contingent was Cameron Echols-Luper, the sophomore long jumper who also stars on the football field. CEL, who is known by fans mostly for his speed, is a multi-faceted athlete, and his Big 12 Long Jump Championship paved the way for success at the national level. Echols-Luper would kick of the festivities on night one with a personal best in his first attempt, clearing 25-6.75, which he would better on his second attempt by half an inch, placing him in the finals. Cameron would add four inches to his total in the finals, finishing with a career best 25-11.25, which would place him fifth overall, put his name in the TCU record books with the second best mark all time, and earn him First Team All-America honors, the latest accolade for the highly decorated multi-sport athlete.
Competing in the sprints fields were two TCU speedsters - juniors Ronnie Baker and Sam Watts. Baker, who qualified in the 60 meters with a time of 6.57 Friday, would take the third position in the finals, and win the event Saturday with a personal best and school record time of 6.52. It was the fifth time that he has run a sub 6.60 race this season. Watts would pace himself through his race, the 200 meters, Friday, qualifying in eighth with a time of 20.77, just off his personal best. He would finish eighth in the finals as well, falling off his Saturday time with a finish of 21.01. Both Baker and Watts would join Echols-Luper as First Team All-Americans.
The last event for the TCU squad would be the 4x400 meter relay - a team that featured another Horned Frog football player known for his wheels, sophomore receiver Kolby Listenbee. Freshman Kevin McClanahan, sophomore Raymond Bozmans, and Baker would join Listenbee in the race, and the group would take home fifth place with a time of 3:07.03 - good for First Team All-American status for all four.
The six athletes competed in four events, scoring 19 points for TCU, and securing a seventh place finish in the national standings. All six were named First Team All-Americans!
The success stint at Nationals followed an equally impressive Big 12 run, where Echols-Luper took home the championship in the long jump, as previously mentioned, and Baker would be a photo finish and 0.003 seconds away from doing the same in the 60m. The team will now move outside, as they prepare for their third season of Big 12 Track and Field competition. They will open their season on the 19th, hosting the annual TCU Invitational in Fort Worth.