JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - North Carolina A&T men's and women's track and field teams have a chance to accomplish some historic feats this week at the 2012 NCAA Division I East Regional Preliminary Round.
With 15 athletes entered in 11 different events, the likelihood the Aggies will have a good showing at the NCAA Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa next month, is looking more and more promising.
"We have positioned ourselves on both sides for both the men and women to advance to the national competition," said interim director of track and field programs, James Daniels. "Competition is going to bring the best out of everyone."
The Aggies hope to add to a trend that has seen the four programs - men's and women's indoor and men's and women's outdoor - combine to produce six All-Americans in seven years. If any of the individuals or relay teams advance to the nationals and finish in the top 16, they will be deemed All-Americans.
Runner and must place in the top three in their respective events in order to qualify for nationals. Jumpers must finish in the top 12, and relays teams are required to finish in the top three of their respective heat to advance.
Womack comes into the East regional seeded 19th in the men's 200 meters with a time of 20.80. Jarrell Elliott is seeded among the top 10 in the men's 400 meters with a time of 45.87.
Womack and Elliott also find themselves seeded highly in the men's 4x100 meter relay along with teammates Earl House and Darryl Williams. The quartet is 16th in the East with a time of 40.13. The men's 4x400 meter relay team, consisting of Womack, Elliott, House and D'Mitri Bouttry sit at 19th in the regional with a time of 3:08.71.
Not to be out done by the gentlemen, the women also have several athletes ranked highly. Dotrine Jacobs could find herself representing A&T in multiple events at the nationals. She is 26th in the region in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 13.49, and she ranks 11th in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 57.93. Teammate Jenea McCammon sits in ninth in the 400 meter hurdles, one-tenth of a second better than Jacobs.
The women's 4x100 meter relay team, consisting of Shakia Forbes, Ruth Hunt, McCammon and Krystin Lawson , are seeded 13th in the East. Forbes is also ranked 27th regionally in the long jump with a distance of 20-feet, 2 ¼ inches.
"We have 15 athletes in the regional championship, which is great for our program and institution," said Daniels. "We have a chance for all of them to make it to the NCAA Division I National Championships. We have just as good as chance anyone to compete well."