GREENSBORO (January 12, 2018) – The North Carolina A&T indoor track and field teams head to the Blazer Invitational and Vulcan Invitational this weekend at the Birmingham Crossplex.
N.C. A&T’s opens competition at the Blazer Invitational at 10 a.m. on Friday with the men’s high jump while the 5,000-meter run starts off the running events. Saturday’s action opens at 8 a.m., with the 5,000m followed by the women’s weight throw and men’s shot put events at 9 a.m.
The women have the best marks in the conference in the 60m, 200m, 60-meter hurdles, 4x400 relay and long jump events. Junior Kayla White ran a personal record and top time in the MEAC (7.40) in the 60m at the Clemson Orange & Purple Invitational to rank 13th in the nation. Also in the 60m, senior India Brown (7.47) ranks second in the conference and 22nd in the country while sophomore Taliyah Townsend (7.51) sits third in the MEAC and 25th nationally.
Sophomore Tori Ray leads the MEAC in the 200m and is 21st in the nation running 24.68 in the season opener at the JDL College Kick-off Classic. Sophomore Madeleine Akobundu is the MEAC leader in both the 60mh and long jump. She ranks 13th in the nation in the long jump at 19-feet, 8 ¼ inches and fifth on the national list in the 60mh with a time of 8.26.
Senior Morgan Knight (8.49) is ranked second behind Akobundu in the 60mh while freshman TeJyrica Robinson (8.66) is fourth. Freshman Payton Russell (56.64) is second in the 400m, sophomore Kristoni Barnes (2:16.24) is second in the 800m and freshman Nazah Reddick (5-feet, 5-inches) ranks third in the MEAC in the high jump.
The Aggie men have nine individuals ranked amongst the nation’s top-25 in their respective events. N.C. A&T has MEAC leaders in three separate men events (60m, 400m and 800m).
Sophomore Jaylan Mitchell is the nation’s leader in the 60m (6.60). Joining Mitchell in the 60m rankings is senior Joel Thomas with a time of 6.72 which is 11th nationally and second in the conference.
Freshman Trevor Stewart won the 400m last weekend clocking in 47.05 breaking a school record formerly held by Jarrell Elliot back in 2012. He is second in the nation in the 400m while freshman Chase Bonham is sixth in the MEAC with a time of 50.22.
Seniors Corey Aiken and Steve Stowe are ranked first and second in the MEAC 800m. Aiken is 15th in the nation and tops in the conference opening the season with 1:53.65 at the JDL College Kick-off Classic. Stowe is right behind ranked second in the conference at 1:54.98.
Four Aggies are ranked in the MEAC top-10 in the 200m. Junior Justin Hamilton opened the indoor season with the seventh-fastest indoor time at 23.35 and ranks second in the conference. Thomas (21.79) and Stewart (21.85) are close behind in fifth and sixth amongst the 200m group. Senior Dajuan Harding (21.94) is eighth in the MEAC.
Sophomore Marquise McGee leads a trio of top-10 conference runners in the the mile. McGee is second with a time of 4:18.44, while Aiken (4:23.40) is fourth and freshman Alan Johnson (4:30.08) is ninth. In the 3000m, McGee is seventh in the MEAC at 9:01.42. Sophomore Daquan Maddox (9:10.20) and junior Hakeem Mustafaa (9:15.85) are ninth and tenth, respectively in the 3000m.
Senior Todd Townsend (7.97) is 12th nationally and junior Michael Dickson (8.08) is 21st competing in the men’s 60m hurdles. Last weekend the duo rose to second and third in the conference rankings.
Three Aggie men will look for continued success in the jumps after good marks in their last competition at Clemson. Junior Lasheon Strozier recorded the top collegiate finish in the triple jump at the Clemson Orange & Purple Invitational. Strozier ranks third nationally in the triple jump at 50-feet, 7 1/2 inches (15.43m) and freshman Semaj Anderson is sixth on the list at 50-feet, 1 ¾ inches. Anderson and senior Nehemiah Lipford are both tied for fourth in the MEAC in the high jump at 6 feet, 6 ¾ inches.
The throws are anchored by freshman Aaron Wilkerson’s mark of 56-feet, 4 ½ inches (17.18m) in the weight throw which is the MEAC leader. Wilkerson also leads the Aggies in the shot put at 52-feet, six-inches at the Orange & Purple Classic for second in the conference while junior Derrick Wheeler is sixth at 46-feet, six inches.