GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T track and field teams will travel a short distance to Raleigh to compete in the 2014 Raleigh Relays, a two-day meet hosted by N.C. State.
The meet is scheduled to begin Friday at 8:45 a.m., with the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The name of the event is apropos because the Aggies will be running in numerous
“There are not going to be many open events,” said Duane Ross, director of track and field programs.
The Aggies will take enter their younger runners in the 100 meters, the hurdles, the 1500, the steeplechase. “This weekend is going to be a little bit of an overload for our kids because they will be doing multiple events,” Ross added.
As the Aggies head into an event predicated on relays, their first weekend of outdoor track and field action looked pretty good on the relay wise. The men’s 4x100-meter relay, which consisted of Lawrence, Williams, Noble, and Peoples is ranked first in the MEAC and seventh in the nation at 40.21. The 4x400-meter relay team of freshman Barry Harris, junior Leonard Robbins, Townsend and freshman Josiah Elliott is also ranked first at 3:10.79, while holding a national ranking of eighth.
A&T also looked stellar in sprinting events. There are four Aggies ranked in the Top-10 in the 100 meters. Junior Marquis Noble and freshman Caleb Gabriel are tied for fourth place with a time of 10.76. Junior Jeffery Lewis is seventh (10.80) and freshman Joshua Peoples is 10th (10.87).
The men are also deep in the 200-meter dash with five Aggies in the Top-10. Senior Desmond Lawrence leads the way with a No. 2 ranking (21.67). Peoples is sixth (21.93), Lewis is seventh (21.96), senior Darryl Williams is tied for eighth (22.01) and Gabriel is 10th (22.02).
A&T also has a few impressive times in distance as well. Freshman Darren White is ranked first in the men’s 5,000-meter run after posting a 15:20.04 to break the school record. Junior Saeed Jones is also atop the MEAC with his 10:08.09 time in the steeplechase.
Noble leads the charge in male field events as he posted a jump of 24-feet, 1 ¾ inches in the long jump to come away with a No. 20 ranking nationally. Sophomore Cliff Obodo is tied for seventh in the MEAC in the high jump at 6-feet, 2 ¾ inches. Senior Kendrick Smith is sixth at 22-feet, 1 ½ inches, and freshman Frank Quarles is seventh at 21-feet, 8 ¼ inches. Smith is also seventh in the triple jump at 46-feet, 9 ½ inches.
Townsend is sixth in the men’s javelin throw with a throw of 147-feet, 1-inch. Junior Omozokpia Olumese is tied for third in the pole vault at a jump of 13-feet, 7 ¼ inches.
Ahead of the Raleigh Relays, the women’s 4x400-meter relay team of seniors Roshel Bygraves and Jessica Farr and freshmen Daniqua Dye and Imani Harris-Quillen is ranked first in the MEAC and 14th nationally at 3:41.30.
Owens is also atop the MEAC after tossing the hammer 134-feet, 7-inches last week. Senior Jessica Farr is also among the leaders for the ladies. She is ranked fifth in the 200-meter dash with a time of 24.40. Junior Tatianna is second in the triple jump at 38-feet, 4 ¾ inches and sixth in the long jump at 17-feet, 8 ¾ inches. Senior Sherri Owens is fifth in the discus at 132-feet, 2 inches.
Senior Jasmine Baskerville is sixth in the women’s javelin throw (113-feet, 1 inch) with Owens in seventh (106-feet, 5 inches).
“We’re going to keep the momentum going,” says Ross. “We’re obviously in the part of the season where we are still training through some competitions, we’re still building on our kids improving and getting better.”