Auburn University interim president Dr. Ed Richardson congratulates track and field coach Ralph Spry (left) on the national championship prior to Wednesday evening's ceremony. Auburn's title is its first national track and field championship. On the stage in a navy shirt is assistant coach Jerry Clayton.
Mel Rosen, AU's track coach emeritus, enjoyed the ceremony. Earlier this year Auburn's new track and field complex was named in his honor.
Bill Ham, mayor of the city of Auburn, congratulated the champions and read a proclamation honor the AU women's track team.
AU president Ed Richardson is shown speaking to the crowd. He told the group that Auburn has actually won five national titles this year--men's swimming, women's swimming, equestrian and women's track and field plus the national mascot title for Aubie.
Markita James was selected to speak on behalf of the team. On Saturday in Sacramento, Calif., she won the 400-meter hurdles championship in a personal and school record time in helping the Tigers to a 57-38.5 margin over runnerup Southern Cal. The senior from Smiths Station told the crowd that her team succeeded through hard work, excellent coaching and great team chemistry.
After the ceremony, the Tigers posed for a group shot with the national championship trophy.