Harding, Dickson Win Again For Men's Indoor T&F
WINSTON-SALEM (February 3, 2018) – The men’s distance medley relay team broke the North Carolina A&T men’s indoor track and field moved to No. 1 in the MEAC with a solid performance as the men looked strong as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championship approaches in two weeks. N.C. A&T took first place in the 400 meters and the 60-meter hurdles. The Aggies also had 14 top-10 performances and 10 personal records.
N.C. A&T’s DMR team of senior Corey Aiken, freshman Alan Johnson senior Steve Stowe and sophomore Marquise McGee ran a 10:17.25 this weekend to move to No. 1 in the MEAC and 59th in the nation. Senior Dajuan Harding powered through for his second consecutive 400m title with a personal-record 47.14. Harding is No. 32 on the national list and No. 2 in the conference. He won the Liberty Kickoff last week with a time of 47.77.
“Dajuan is one of a kind,” said N.C. A&T director of track and field programs Duane Ross said. “He shows up when the bright lights come on during championship time. As a coach, there is nothing better than having athletes like him that compete at their best when needed. He wants to carry the team. He’s the Michael Jordan of our program. I wish all of my athletes were like him.”
Joining Harding in the 400m was Justin Hamilton (49.24). He placed fifth and is No. 11 in the conference. Joining Harding in the consecutive weeks with a win category was junior Michael Dickson. Dickson won his second straight 60mh title running 7.93 to follow up on his 7.81 first-place run at the Liberty Kickoff. Senior Todd Townsend took third at 8.06 and Robert Miller placed seventh at 8.26.
“Michael is one race away from national prominence,” Ross said. “He’s hurdling better than he ever has. Today, he hit a few hurdles that affected his timing. Once he catches his rhythm, he’s going to run extremely fast.”
The 800m event had a pair of Aggies notch personal records while one had a season-best performance. Aiken (1:53.34) placed fifth with his fastest time of the indoor season to move to No. 2 in the MEAC. Stowe (1:55.63) was 10th with a PR and the No. 6 time in the conference. Johnson (1:55.79) was 12th and McGee (1:56.34) boasted a personal record to place 14th with the 14th-fasterst time in the MEAC.
McGee, Aiken and Johnson all earned personal records in the mile. McGee was 15th out the bunch with the third-fastest time in the conference (4:21.56). Aiken was right behind him in 16th at 4:21.89 to sit fourth in the MEAC, while Johnson ran the mile in 4:30.00.
N.C. A&T took third and fifth in the 60m with sophomore Jaylan Mitchell running a 6.73 and senior Joel Thomas posting a 6.74. Junior Derrick Wheeler shined for the Aggies in the field events. Wheeler threw a personal-record 46-feet, 2-inches in the weight throw and in the shot put he reached 49-feet, ¾ inches to finish fifth and 11th in the events respectively. Freshman Aaron Wilkerson placed eighth in the shot put, tossing the shot put 49-feet, 5 ½ inches. His personal-record 46-feet, 2-inch mark in the weight throw earned him 16th place.
Senior Aaron Deane was ninth in the pole vault with a personal-record 11-feet, 11 ¾ inches and senior Nehemiah Lipford was 10th in the high jump at 6-feet, 4 ¾ inches. The Aggies return to JDL for the Queens University Combined Events Meet on February 5-6.