GREENSBORO – The word rebuilding is not a word senior student-athletes like to hear. It usually means their final year of college athletics will not be an enjoyable one. Yet, the lady seniors from the North Carolina A&T track and field team took on that label with a positive attitude, and from the looks of it, they made the best of it.
The Aggie women finished seventh at the 2014 MEAC Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Irwin Belk Track Saturday with 51 points. Hampton won the women’s championship with 154.5 points. It was the Pirates’ third straight title.
Seniors Britannie Morris, Jessica Farr, Roshel Bygraves and Jasmine Baskerville took on much of the load for the ladies. Morris scored in the 100 meters and the 400-meter hurdles with seventh place finishes in both. Farr found herself in five events over the weekend – the 100 meters, 200, 400, 400 meter relay and 1,600 meter relay.
Bygraves competed in the 200, 400, 400 meter relay and 1,600 meter relay, while Baskerville scored in the women’s javelin by finishing eighth (111-feet, 8-inches).
“We’re going to miss Roshel, Jasmine, Brittanie and Jessica,” said Duane Ross, the Aggies director of track and field programs. “They knew what was at stake this year. They knew coming in they were outgunned and outmanned. They knew they were going to have to fight for every single point they got. But they didn’t have any complaints.”
Farr ran the 400 in a personal-best time of 54.39 for fourth place. She ran her 200 in 23.81, which would have been a career-best but it was aided by the wind. Bygraves and Farr helped the Aggies to a third-place finish in the 1,600 meters at 3:42.07. The duo also helped the 400 meter relay team finish fourth in 46.05.
Two of the women from the third-team All-MEAC 1,600 meter relay were freshmen in Daniqua Dye and Imani Harris-Quillen.
“Next year our women are going to be where our men are right now,” said Ross after watching his men finish second over the weekend. “We have a lot of excellent recruits coming in. I wanted to build the men first and the women second instead of trying to rebuild programs simultaneously. We have a ton of quality women in next year who are going to be hungry from day one.”
A&T’s All-MEAC Performers
Nakita Gray, North Carolina A&T (HJ).
Roshel Bygraves, North Carolina A&T (4x400); Daniqua Dye, North Carolina A&T (4x400); Imani Harris-Quillen, North Carolina A&T (4x400); Jessica Farr, North Carolina A&T (4x400)