After four years with the Sam Houston track and field team, Tyler Adams has become one of the best athletes in program history. Now he will get to showcase his talents on a national stage.
Friday, Adams will compete on Day 1 of the NCAA Indoor Championships in the heptathlon, where he will enter as the No. 3 ranked athlete and a contender to claim the first national medal in school history. The two-day event is being held at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M.
“He has as good of a chance as anybody else in the field,” said head coach Dave Self. “He is healthy and feels good. He is a gamer and a guy who can go on the big stage and show up. We want to be in the top three and him winning it is not crazy talk.”
Last week, Adams dominated the Southland Indoor Championship in Birmingham, Ala., winning the Heptathlon, long jump and high jump. He scored a conference record 34 points, six better than the next best mark in league history.
Adams was recognized for his performance this year earlier this week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as the South Central Regional Men’s Field Athlete of the Year.
In addition to the Heptathlon, Adams will also compete in the high jump on Saturday. The top 16 competitors in the country are invited to the finals, and Adams secured the final spot.
“He’s going to give it a go in the high jump as well, and I think that just goes to show what type of competitor he is,” Self said. “He is not going to back down from any challenge. Even after completing the grueling hep, he is going to jump against the other 15 best high jumpers in the nation.”
Adams will also have the benefit of being familiar with his surroundings. Every year the Bearkats open their Indoor season at Texas A&M, and it is a building he has competed in on numerous occasions.
“With a big meet like this, it is a little bit more controlled than what he has done before,” Self said. “But he has been there before, and it is a familiar environment. He will be able to do all the same things he’s always done.”
The competition will begin at noon on Friday with the first of four events of the heptathlon, the 60-meter dash. That will be followed by the long jump at 12:40 and shot put at 1:50. Day 1 will conclude with the high jump, scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
Saturday, the final three events of the Heptathlon will begin at noon with the 60-meter hurdles, followed by pole vault at 12:40. The final event will be the 1,000-meter run at 4 p.m. The top 8 overall finishers in the event will be recognized as first team All-Americans.