BIRMINGHAM, AL South Carolina State University senior Tyrell Richard is the new NCAA indoor track and field champion in the 400 meters. The Georgetown, SC native nabbed the gold medal at the NCAA Indoor Championship at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala. Saturday with a clocking of 44.82, the fastest time in the nation this season.

Richard, running in lane six (6), took control at the break point and ran away from the field, including favorite Kahmari Montgomery of Houston, who had the top time in the prelims, 45.32 to Richard’s 45.65. Montgomery finished second with a clocking of 45.03.

The mark by Richard smashed his previous school record of 45.39 and also erased the MEAC record of 46.62 he established at the MEAC Indoor Championship just two weeks ago.

“Tyrell’s performance is a major milestone for SC State, our track program and the MEAC,” said Bulldog head track Coach Tim Langford. “He ran an awesome race. The goal was for him to get to the break point first and make everyone else march to his rhythm and he executed it perfectly.”

Richard is the second Bulldog sprinter in as many seasons to medal at the prestigious NCAA Indoor Track Championships. Last season, Demek Kemp earned a bronze medal with a third-place finish in the 60 meters.