Track Finishes Weekend In Three Different Places
ATHENS, Ga./LYNCHBURG, Va./CHARLOTTE (April 8, 2017) – The Spec Towns Invitational (University of Georgia), the Liberty Collegiate Invitational (Liberty University), and the Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Invitational were competed simultaneously by the North Carolina A&T men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams over the weekend. The Aggies in Georgia took the spotlight.
Sophomore Kayla White and senior Christopher Belcher, specifically, gave some rather explosive performances on Saturday which are sure to catapult them on the 2017 East qualifying list for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round (east regional).
White, who had a personal record of 11.52 in the women’s 100-meters before this weekend, managed a school-record run of 11.39 in the event on Saturday. While crossing third, White lowered the record from 11.42, a time set by teammate Reneazia Collins in 2015. More impressively, White also assisted the women’s 4x100 meter relay team in breaking a school record which was set nearly a decade ago. In 2008, the A&T record was set to 44.72, but on Saturday White, along with teammates sophomore Yakira Love, junior India Brown, and freshman Tori Ray completed the 4x1 in 44.51. They took second behind the University of South Carolina (44.48).
For the men, senior Chris Belcher also finished third in the 100m event. Belcher finished behind two unattached athletes in 10.24, a time that at publication time ranks in the top-10 in the east. Belcher’s mark of 20.70 in the 200m also falls among the current top-10 in the east. Belcher finished second in the men’s 200m behind Kendal William (20.56) from the University of Georgia.
“We saw some good performances in Georgia,” said the director of track and field programs Duane Ross. “We accomplished quite a bit even though we don’t have every on the same page yet. The ones who ran well are the ones we always expect to run well. What we need now is a total team effort, a complete team effort, not just a sprinter and hurdler effort”
But in addition to the noteworthy performances in Georgia, Ross also gave praise to a few distance runners at the JCSU invite who found top-five rankings. For the women’s team this included freshman Camille Martin who won the women’s 3000m steeplechase in 11:53.39 and junior Miranda Green who placed second in the 5000m run in 19:43.70.
On the men’s side, freshman Marquise McGhee gave a good-looking debut in the men’s 800m as he finished first in 1:56.88, ahead of teammate Steve Stowe who was fourth in 1:58.22. The other victor of the day was senior Darren White, winning the 5000m run in 15:21.79. White was followed across the line by teammate Hakeem Mustafaa (15:54.88) who placed second. Senior Perry Cabean, who ran the men’s 1500m in 4:06.34, finished third.
The Liberty Collegiate Invitational saw the least number of Aggies athletes, with only four completing events. Sophomore Derrick Wheeler launched a PR discus throw which stretched 114-feet, 6-inches for 11th. Throwing for the women, junior Imani Abraham was 12th in the women’s discus throw (114-feet, 11-inches) and 13th in the hammer throw (136-feet, 9-inches). Junior Imani McGhee and freshman Jade Smith were the last to finish on the day as they each tackled the women’s heptathlon. McGhee took eighth with 3,904 points and Smith placed 13th with 3,608 points.
Next week marks the first of three home meets for the Aggies as they prepare to host the Aggie Invitational April 14-15.
“We’re looking forward to this home meet because we’ve been on the road literally every weekend,” said Ross. “This week we get a full week to train. We always do well at home, so I’m excited about next week.”