AUSTIN, TEXAS – University at Buffalo middle-distance runner Leon Atkins was awarded Second-Team All-American honors on Wednesday night after the junior placed 16th in a very competitive field of 24 runners from top programs all around the country.
Atkins finished sixth in his heat, as the Auburn, N.Y. native made his National TV debut, crossing the line in a time of 1:49.64. The mark ranks as Atkins second-best time this season.
Atkins, who holds the third fastest 800m time in UB School History, blazed history for the Bulls this year, as the junior became the first male student-athlete from Buffalo to compete in a track event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Additionally, Atkins was the first student-athlete to represent Buffalo at the NCAA Championships since former National Champion Jon Jones in 2015.
Yesterday's race capped off what has been a record-setting year for Atkins, who earlier this year dropped three seconds off of his previous personal-best in the 800m as he claimed the MAC Indoor tittle this past February. More recently, Atkins earned the silver medal with a second place finish last month at the MAC Outdoor Championships, crossing the line with a time of 1:49.91.
Atkins, who has another year of eligibility, will return to competition first with the cross country program in August, before making his return to the track for next year's indoor season.