CHICAGO (CBS) — “It’s not every day you have a chance to witness or be a part of something so spectacular.”

That’s what former Chicago Bears defensive tackle and Chicago State Athletic Director Chris Zorich said about his 4×100 relay team that was sent off in style Monday to Austin, Texas.

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The Cougars are making the program’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship event.

The quartet of Matt Brown, Olesson Cesalien, Ricordo McKenzie and Carlton Sims broke their own school record at the West Regional meet last week to qualify.

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“(It’s) big for us to get in the regionals. Once you were there, we saw the heat that we were in and we knew the time that we were running,” said McKenzie. “We got one shot. Let’s make it count.”

“A lot of schools was asking us ‘we don’t know who you all are but congratulations’ and stuff like that,” said Carlton Sims. “I really appreciate it because it shows that we’re actually doing something in front of big schools and they’re actually noticing.”

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“We’re not intimidated by any program out there,” said head coach Craig Collins. “We believe that if we run the right race, do the best we can, we’re capable of doing anything. It’s very exciting for the university, for Chicago, for a small institution like ours to make it this far is really good.”