EUGENE, Ore. - Despite running three races within a span of two hours, freshman female hurdler Dotrine Jacobs made North Carolina A&T track and field history at the USATF Junior Nationals.
Before entering the Championships, Jacobs pieced together what many would consider a prosperous first season. In addition to qualifying for the USATF Junior Nationals, she also qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round, and she and her 4x400 meter relay teammates finished second at the MEAC Championships in May.
Jacobs (Newburgh, N.Y.) surpassed even those feats in Eugene, Ore. She became the first N.C. A&T track and field athlete to qualify for two USATF Junior National finals. Jacobs' history-making performance was completed in a matter of hours, and the history making may not be over.
She started the championships by competing in the women's 100 meter hurdles junior preliminaries. Minutes later, she was running in the women's 400 meter hurdles junior preliminary. Approximately 60 minutes after her 400 meter hurdles race, she found herself preparing to compete in the 100 meter hurdles again after qualifying earlier. Jacobs placed fifth in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 13.70.
The next day, Jacobs returned to compete in the 400 meter hurdles final, where she finished third (1:00.18) behind Tia Gamble of Texas Faces and Angelica Weaver of California. If for any reason, Gamble and Weaver cannot run for the USA Pan American Junior National Team that will compete in Miramar, Fla., July 22-24, Jacobs would become the first Aggie to be named to a USA Track and Field National Team.
"I am really proud and happy for Dotrine," said N.C. A&T associate head coach James Daniels. "She allowed me to really challenge and be creative with her workouts to accomplish this historical moment for our women's program."
Two former Aggie student-athletes also had impressive showings at the USATF Championships. Three-time MEAC men's 100 meter champion Calesio Newman finished ninth in the men's 200 meter dash senior semifinals event with a career-best time of 20.53. He will also compete in Europe this summer. Former Lady Aggie standout and All-American Loreal Smith placed seventh in the women's 100 meter hurdles senior finals event with a time of 12.98.