Defending Champs Open Season Successfully
WINSTON-SALEM (December 2, 2017) – The defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions in men’s and women’s indoor track and field, North Carolina A&T, opened their defense of the titles with victories in the women’s 60-meter hurdles and the 200 meters at the JDL College Kick-off Classic at JDL Fast Track. The Aggies totaled 31 top-10 performances in their season opener with 17 coming from the women and 14 from the men. Eight different Aggies set new personal records in their respective events.
Sophomore Madeleine Akobundu won the women’s 60mh setting a new PR time of 8.35 and took second in the women’s long jump leaping 18-feet, 7-inches. Sophomore Tori Ray placed second in the 200m at 25.06 while freshman Payton Russell began her Aggie career placing sixth in the 200m clocking in 25.65.
Sophomore Kristoni Barnes was third in the 800m at 2:17.61 pacing four top-10 finishers for N.C. A&T with senior Imani Coleman placing fifth (2:19.43), sophomore Khadija Reid placing eight with a personal-best time (2:22.29) and sophomore G’Jasmyne Butler placing 10th (2:23.01). The 4x400 meter relay team of Tori Ray, Payton Russell, junior Kayla White and senior India Brown placed second in 3:49.66, three-tenths of a second behind St. Augustine’s.
Following Akobundu in the 60mh was freshman TeJyrica Robinson. Robinson finished third in both the finals and prelims, but her best time (8.84) in the prelims. The Aggies had three top-10 finishers in the long jump led by Akobundu. Freshman Royce Johnson was fifth at 17-feet, 8-inches and junior Anisa Toppin placed eighth at 17-feet, 5-inches.
Sophomore Camille Martin ran a personal-best time in the mile (5:26.51) to place fourth while senior Miranda Green was seventh with a time of 5:35.27. Both runners competed in the 3000m with Martin finishing sixth (10:54.54) and Green placing 15th (11:32.87). Sophomore Taliyah Townsend ran a 7.71 in the 60m prelims before placing eighth in the final at 7.73. Ray placed 11th in the 60m prelims with a time of 7.78.
Senior Imani Abraham set a new PR in the weight throw measuring in at 49-feet seven inches for ninth place.
The two Aggie winners in their season opener was sophomore Jaylen Mitchell in the 60m with a time of 6.65 and junior Justin Hamilton in the 200m at 21.73. Joining Mitchell in the 60m was senior Joel Thomas finishing third at 6.78. Freshman Trevor Stewart and senior Dajuan Harding also competed in the 200m placing third and fourth with times of 22.24 and 22.33.
The 4x400 relay team of Hamilton, Stewart, senior Corey Aiken and Harding just missed out on victory, finishing two-tenths of a second behind first-place N.C. State in 3:14.97. In the 800m, Aiken was second in 1:55.27 followed by senior Steve Stowe placing third at 1:56.62. Sophomore Marquise McGee was third in the mile setting a new PR at 4:21.73, while freshman Alan Johnson placed eighth with a time of 4:33.52.
Junior Derrick Wheeler had a personal best outing in the weight throw with a toss of 55-feet 2-inches ranking third overall. In his first collegiate meet, freshman Aaron Wilkerson placed seventh in the shot put at 49-feet, 3-inches while Wheeler was 19th at 42-feet, 2-inches. Senior Nehemiah Lipford competed in the high jump and placed seventh, measuring in at 6-feet, 4-inches.
The Aggies head to the Clemson Winter Invite on Saturday, Dec. 9 in Clemson, S.C.