JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-The North Carolina A&T men's and women's track and field teams had five individuals advance in the 2012 NCAA Division I East Regional Track and Field East Preliminary Round at the University of North Florida's Hodges Stadium.
The day started with the first round of the women's 400 meter hurdles. Sophomore Dotrine Jacobs and junior Jenea McCammon ran under a minute and qualified to the semifinals. Jacobs finished 16th overall with a time of 59.30 and placed second in her heat. McCammon's time of 59.96 placed her 25th overall and third in her heat. Both ladies will compete in quarterfinals Friday evening at 7:45.
The only field competitor of the day was Shakia Forbes in the women's long jump. After the first two flights, Forbes sat comfortably in fourth. However, she placed 18th overall with a distance of 19-feet, 11 ¾ inches. Unfortunately, Forbes needed to finish in the top 16 to advance to the NCAA Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa June 6-9.
"I am disappointed that Shakia didn't make it, she only missed it by two spots," said interim director of N.C. A&T track and field programs, James Daniels. "She has worked hard throughout her career and we wished it worked out better for her. But she is in the 4x100 meter relay, so she still has another opportunity to make it to nationals."
The Aggie men had a strong showing in the first day of competition. Earl House finished 21st overall with a time of 10:53 in the men's 100 meters, advancing him to the quarterfinals scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m. Fellow Aggie Torrance Womack did not advance in the 100.
Jarrell Elliott had an impressive performance in the 400 meters, as he placed second in his heat and 10th overall after round one. His time of 46.58 will advance to tomorrow's quarterfinals scheduled for 6 p.m., Friday.
The last event of the day was Paris Simmons' 800 meter run. Like Elliott, Simmons finished second in his heat, advancing him to the quarterfinals, Friday at 7 p.m. Simmons earned eighth overall in the first round with a time of 1:49.62.
"Overall I think we competed well," said Daniels. "There weren't really any surprises in how we finished compared to how we were ranked going into competition. We had several people make it to the next round and I think we are right on pace to have double digits make it to Des Moines."