After a grueling two-day race schedule was only made more complicated by weather, Nathan Hite closed out his track career on a 13th-place finish in the decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas at Austin last week.
The Southeastern Conference’s top decathlon athlete hails from Bellville and attended Southwest Christian Academy before starting his Texas A&M career in 2016 by running only two outdoor meets.
For his dedication in the classroom to his mechanical engineering major over the last four years, he was awarded the SEC’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete of the Year post-graduate scholarship worth $20,000. Hite was the first male Aggie to garner that distinction.
On top of that, he was twice named to the NCAA Elite 90 for having the highest grade point average among entrants in a championship event, first at last year’s outdoor championships and then again at this year’s indoor title meet.
Not only that, but he also earned a spot on Google Cloud’s First Team Academic All-District Men’s Track and Field Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America who will announce Academic All-Americans later this month.
He never lost a step on the track despite all the knowledge stowed away in his head and that led to his second crack at the national competition of the multi-disciplinary variety although he was still bothered by an ankle injury at the time of last year’s running.
This time around, he entered as the SEC champion in the event and started off on a good foot, finishing eighth in the 100-meter dash with a 10.99 time. However, it wasn’t again until the 400-meter dash (four events later) that he cracked the top 10 again, registering ninth in 49.16.
Hite secured his best individual finish in the pole vault, earning fourth with a 4.71m (15 feet, 5.5 inches) clearance to reel in 822 points to his overall score. He closed out with an 11th-place finish in the javelin throw before grabbing 12th in the 1500-meter run to round out to 7,348 points over the two-day span, putting him in 13th overall.
Charlie Card-Childers of Rice was just ahead of Hite with 7,365 points to take 12th while Wichita State’s Ben Johnson came in 14th with 7,329 total points.