Former Sam Houston State runner Michael Courtney added a national championship to his already impressive list of accomplishments on Sunday, taking the 400 meter title at the 2011 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The first Sam Houston State University athlete ever to earn All-America honors at an NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, Courtney utilized a disciplined game plan in winning his first USA Indoor title in the Men's 400.
Mississippi State standout Tavaris Tate, who finished fourth last year at the USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, got off to a tremendous lead from the start, and held a five-meter margin over the rest of the field as the bell rang signifying the final lap.
With 100 meters to go Courtney began to reel him in. Courtney, who ran a consistent pace throughout, gained on Tate as he began to fade on the final straightaway. Courtney finally passed him with about 15 meters to go, winning the race in 46.11 seconds. Tate held on to finish second in 46.53, with James Howell third in 46.57 and Jordan Boase fourth in 46.79.
Courtney won the 2010 Southland Conference indoor 400 with a mark of 48.00. He was a 10-time Southland Conference champion, winning the outdoor 400 meters three times, the indoor twice and running on five Southland first place relays.