On Friday, March 11, the NCAA Indoor Championships will be taking place in College Station, Texas, and Christian Coleman aims to make history.
"I've had a lot of goals coming into this season and one of them was win both the 60 and 200," Coleman said.
Going into the NCAA Indoor Championships, Coleman is ranked No. 1 in the 60m and No. 2 in the 200m. Last season, he won the 200m National Championship.
Coleman, who was recently named the South Region Runner of the Year by the Coaches’ Association, is determined to be the first athlete since Justin Gatlin to win the 60m and the 200m. It was also done in 2001, but those are the only two times in program history that someone has managed to achieve that feat.
"That'll be a difficult task, but I feel like I'm capable of doing it," Coleman said.
Joining Coleman in participating in the NCAA Indoor Championships will be Mustaqeem Williams (60m), Daryl Sullivan (high jump) and Stamatia Scarvelis (weight throw).
Injuries have hampered the team to a degree. Chelsea Blaase qualified for the 500m but will not be completing due to an injury. This is the fourth time that she has qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Daryl Sullivan also had an injury scare as well, but he will be participating in the event.
"He had a little bit of a sore hamstring at the conference championship, but that's cleared up nicely and he's ready to go," Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan said.
Only a freshman, Daryl Sullivan has been very impressive.
He is currently ranked 14th in the high jump and placed sixth in the SEC Indoor Championship. Sullivan also set a Tennessee freshman record as he cleared 2.20m (7-2.5) in the high jump at the Tiger Paw Invitational.
"He hasn't really surprised us; he's got a really good demeanor for competition," Alford-Sullivan said. "I think he's going to go into this national championship with the sense of anything can happen, and he's in a good position to do so."
In the SEC Indoor Championship, sophomore Scarvelis set a school record in the weight throw. What makes that even more impressive is she is still learning and adapting to the weight thrower event.
She will be facing some stiff competition in her event, but Scarvelis set the school record and the Greek national record at the SEC Championship with a mark of 21.49m.
"The NCAA atmosphere will have that same challenge for her," Alford-Sullivan said. "Fortunately, again, she's competing against these SEC girls, so she's going to be comfortable in the environment."
Williams will be competing in the 60m race with Coleman. Not to be overshadowed, Williams has been very impressive in his own right. He is ranked 12th in the 60m and is also tied for seventh in school history with Dentarius Locke with a 60m time of 6.64.
With five people selected, only a small part of the team will be attending nationals. The team is currently in a rebuilding phase and lacks the depth to compete at a higher level within the conference.
"Right now, on our men’s side, we have one young man that's a fifth-year senior," Alford-Sullivan said. "It takes a special talent to crack the code, or it takes some time to get those kids in there their junior or senior year."
For Coleman, this will be his third time at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
In the 200m, he already has a national championship to his name and has put up some lofty numbers as well. He is the only collegian to run 20.50 or under more than once, doing so on different occasions.
While winning both races is a lofty goal, it is something that could be within reach for Coleman when he crosses the finish line.
"It's a feat that he's going after this weekend, and we're excited for him to be in the position he's in," Alford-Sullivan said.