LANDOVER, Md. - North Carolina A&T interim director of track and field programs says his men's and women's teams are in position to do some good things.
That is all he can ask for as the Aggies enter the final day of the 2012 MEAC Indoor Championships at Prince George S&L Complex. The Aggies already have one title with Jared Baldwin winning the long jump on Thursday. Baldwin became the first Aggie to win a jump event in three seasons.
As they head into Saturday, A&T has at least one person in every final event. "We have a chance to finish in the top four of all those events," Daniels sad.
It would be an impressive considering the Aggies came into the championships with some adversity. The Aggies, who came into Landover, Md., with some nice showings in prestigious events, did not have some of their top athletes at their disposal.
Krystin Lawson is out for the women because of dental issues, while key women's distance runner Ariana Betts is out with strep throat. Another Aggies distance runner, Samira Johnson, has a foot injury and has not competed the entire indoor season.
Despite the injuries on the women's side, senior Shakia Forbes did take second place in the long jump on Thursday. Also, on Friday, the Aggies had Sherice Walker compete in the pentathlon, where she finished seventh. Walker won the 60 meter hurdles portion of the pentathlon with a time of 8.83.
Sydni Cobb scored for the Aggies in the women's weight throw with a toss of 47-feet, 10- ½ inches. Walker and Dotrine Jacobs will go for the women's 60 meter hurdle title on Saturday. Jenea McCammon goes after the 400 meter dash title on Saturday as well, while Ruth Hunt competes for the 60 meter title.
On the men's side, the Aggies distance medley relay team (Christian Harrison, D'Mitri Bouttry, Paris Simmons and Steven Liggins) finished second with a time of 10:11.57.
"Without a doubt, this has not been a situation you would like to be facing," said Daniels. "But we have been able to focus on developing some other people and moving some people around to make an attempt at challenging in all events necessary to help us get prepared and to become better."
Preparation will be important for the Aggies heading into Saturday as they chase MEAC gold. The men are in fourth place with 23 points, while the women are in fifth with 17. Star men's runners Torrance Womack and Jarrell Elliott should give the Aggies a big scoring boost in the 200 meters. Both men are ranked among the top sprinters in the country in the event.
Three Aggies will go for the gold in the 60 meters as Womack, Earl House and Darryl Williams all qualified for the final.
"I appreciate our student-athletes demeanor and the conversations we have had thus far," said Daniels. Everyone wants to step up a notch in order to accomplish our overall objectives, which is to win a MEAC championship this outdoor season."