JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Senior Desmond Lawrence succeeded in both of his events at the 2014 NCAA Division I East Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary Round at the University of North Florida. Lawrence will be going to Eugene, Ore., for the 100 meter dash and looks to add the 200 meters.
Lawrence ran a personal-best 10.22 in the regionals ranking him fifth going to the next round. He also qualified for the 200 semifinals running a personal-best 20.98.
“I’m very proud of Desmond,” said Duane Ross, director of track and field programs. “He had a big personal best and just put himself in position to do something big at the NCAA Championships. Today he put his race together and showed the country that he should be in that conversation of who might be fastest man in the country this season. His 200 tomorrow will be just as exciting.”
As a result of qualifying for nationals, Lawrence is not in the conversation for becoming the next All-American from A&T. If Lawrence finishes top-8 nationally he will join Brandon Via (triple jump), Evertett Bruce (triple jump), Timothy Walls (4x1), Sean White (4x1), Titus Haywood (4x1), Gerald Wright (4x1), Theo Wilds (100), Loreal Smith (hurdles), Alexandria Spruill (400 meters) and Shakia Forbes (long jump) as A&T All-Americans. Forbes was a second-team selection.
Senior Darryl Williams placed 16th in the 100 running a personal-best 10.37. “I am very proud of Darryl as well. He ran another personal best and just missing the big dance. I very well expect him to be there though as a part of the 4x100 meter relay,” said Ross.
Junior Keenan Smith also missed the next round by one spot. Smith placed 13th in the triple jump with a jump of 50-feet, 11 ½ inches. “Keenan competed like a true champion today and just fell short of qualifying,” said Ross.
Freshman Joshua Peoples placed 39th in the preliminaries running 21.67.
“My freshmen, Todd and Josh, gained a lot of experience this week. Both competed hard against some of the best athletes in the country. They have a lot to look forward to,” said Ross.