Center Of Attention
GREENSBORO - North Carolina A&T will once again be a major player in the world of track and field this spring. The Aggies will host nine track meets at Irwin Belk Track, including two sponsored by the school. .
The hosting begins on April 12 when the Aggies begin the two-day Aggie Invitational, which will officially be the Aggies first home meet of the 2013 outdoor season. The MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships return to A&T May 2-4. It will be the Aggies fifth straight year hosting the conference championships and the seventh time in nine years. The Aggies also have had a long tradition of hosting the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships. The 1A/3A championships will be held May 10-11, while the 2A/4A titles will be decided May 17-18.
Sandwiched in between those two dates will be the Aggies final home meet of the season, the May 12 Last Chance Meet.
The NCAA Division East Preliminary Round makes his return to Irwin Belk Track after a two-year layoff. It will run from May 23-25. It will mark the fourth time the Aggies have hosted the event, which features top athletes from track and field powers such as South Carolina, Clemson, Miami and Florida State. A&T is still the only Division HBCU to ever host an East Preliminary Round.
"Having the NCAA East meet here gives our student athletes a chance to compete against some of the best in the world in front of their peers, families, professors and staff here, and I know that means a lot to them," said Duane Ross, A&T's director of track and field programs.
In June, the best high school athletes from across the country head to A&T. The partnership between the New Balance Outdoor National Championships and A&T will enter its ninth consecutive year when the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation returns the event to Irwin Belk Track on June 14-16. The North Carolina USATF Junior Olympic Championships come to A&T June 19-23, two months prior to one of the biggest track and field events in the United States, the USATF Junior Olympic National Championships. The six-day event starts July 22 and concludes on July 28.
"Our responsibility lies beyond just creating a national caliber track and field program," said Ross. "By hosting major, competitive meets here at A&T, we continue to help our youth in North Carolina and across the country fulfill their dreams of competing in track and field. These competitors are also extremely important to our community and our economy. Our competitions will bring business to our local merchants, hotels and restaurants that keep people in our community employed.
April 12-13 Aggie Invitational
May 2-4 MEAC Track and Field Championships
May 10-11 NCHSAA 1A/3A State Championships
May 12 Aggie Last Chance Meet
May 17-18 NCHSAA 2A/4A State Championships
May 23-25 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round
June 14-16 New Balance High School National Championships
June 19-23 N.C. USATF Junior Olympic Championships
July 22-28 USATF Junior Olympic National Championships