BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - North Carolina A&T junior Torrance Womack is headed to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and he is taking with him a full itinerary.
Expectations were high that he and his 4x100 teammates could reach championships. They met those expectations. Womack, Jonathan Hancock, Jarrell Elliott and Earl House earned entrance into Nationals by finishing in the top three (40.04) of their heat at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary Round at Indiana University's Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex.
But Womack did one better by also qualifying for Nationals in the men's 200 meters. The NCAA Championships will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, June 8-11.
"It's impressive because we are arguably in the toughest region," said James Daniels, N.C. A&T's associate head coach. "We're competing against the SEC, the ACC and the Big East. (Torrance) is a young man who proves if you stay dedicated to your workout regiments even through adversity, eventually great things will happen."
The East Preliminary Round consists of the top 48 athletes and the top 24 relay teams East of the Mississippi who are pursuing the opportunity to finish in the top 12 of their particular individual or relay event in the NCAA Championship Meet.
Womack (Chesapeake, Va.) now has an opportunity to become an All-American in multiple events, a feat no other Aggie has ever accomplished. Womack qualified for the semifinals of the 200 meters on Friday with a time of 21.37. He lowered his time in the semifinals by finishing third in his heat with a time of 21.16. In Iowa, Womack will also have to compete against the top 12 qualifiers from the West.
If he finishes in the top eight in the 200 meters and or the 4x100, he will be deemed an All-American, joining Brandon Via, Everett Bruce, Timothy Walls, Sean White, Titus Haywood, Gerald Wright, Theo Wilds, Loreal Smith and Alexandria Spruiel on the Aggies' All-American list.
The Aggies had some close calls at the preliminary round. The 4x100 women's relay team of Crystal Carrington, Krystin Lawson, Jenea McCammon and Ruth Hunt finished fifth in their heat with a time of 45.13. Ole Miss took the final spot with a time of 44.79. Out of the 24 4x100 relay teams there, the Aggies had the 16th fastest time.
Elliott (Winston-Salem, N.C.) missed an opportunity to compete in Iowa in the men's 200 meters by eight/tenths of a second as he finished with a personal record of 21.45. Freshman Dotrine Jacobs (Newburgh, N.Y.) and sophomore Jenea McCammon (Greenbelt, Md.) have the women's track program excited about the future. Jacobs qualified for the preliminary round in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles. She is also a Junior Nationals qualifier. McCammon's exploits include advancing to the semifinals of the 400 meter hurdles at the East Preliminary Round.
"I am very proud of what we have accomplished this season," said Daniels. "We set a couple of school records, we had more than 90 percent of the team improve their performances and we were outstanding in the classroom. As a program we want to thank our families, administration, alumni and friends for all of their support this season. It really blessed and inspired us to have a great season that is still in progress."