Texas A&M senior Nathan Hite earned first-team honors on the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-America Division I Cross Country/Track & Field team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Hite, a Mechanical Engineering major with a 3.97 GPA, was among 15 male athletes selected to the Academic All-America first team. The honor adds to the collection of academic awards earned by Hite this season, which included the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Texas A&M's Bill Erwin Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the NCAA Elite 90 during the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"What a fitting conclusion to a wonderful career," said Chris Barttelbort, Texas A&M Assistant Athletic Director in Academic Services. "Nate has first-class character to match his first-class academic and athletic performances. He represents the best of the best in our student-athletes and Texas A&M as an institution, and we are thrilled to add his name to our Academic All-American wall of honor."
Hite, the 2019 SEC decathlon champion, will compete in his fourth decathlon of the season when he represents the United States at the 2019 Pan American Games held in Lima, Peru, from August 6-10. The decathlon will be contested between August 6 and 7.
This season, Hite produced a career best of 7,774 points to win the Texas Relays decathlon while a score of 7,468 points claimed the SEC title. Competing in the NCAA Championships, Hite finished 13th with 7,348 points.
The Bellville native explained in an interview with The Sealy News that he was originally drawn to the event as a way to get his foot in the door on the team and they never told the walk-on to not come back.
“I love challenges, I love challenging myself and I want to see growth in myself and the decathlon specifically is very easy to see growth,” Hite said in mid-June. “With the decathlon, you’ve got 10 events so no matter what, you’re improving in one of them where you’re seeing your weight room numbers go up or you’re throwing the shot farther or running faster or vaulting higher.”
He added that he started training with little expectations but his focus has now shifted to squeezing every ounce of this experience out while he’s got it in front of him.
“I started out wanting to see the maximum amount of athletic ability I had left because I know after this stage of life you don’t get a chance to see what that is again,” Hite said. “Sometimes I tend to forget how hard I have worked in the past and so getting an award like (the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year) helps me look back on all of (it).”
Looking forward, his sights are set on one more athletic goal while the pursuit of a master’s degree in mechanical engineering will begin in the fall.
“I’d like to train for one more year because next year is an Olympic year and right now, I don’t think I would make it with my best score but I can keep training and keep improving because I haven’t really seen my improvement stop,” Hite finished.