White, Aggie Throwers Thrive On Day 1
GREENSBORO (April 14, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams did their school proud on Day 1 of their home debut, setting the bar high for the athletes performing on Day 2 of the Aggie Invitational. Saturday’s events will start with the women’s triple jump at 9:00 a.m. Running events are set to begin at 10:00 a.m., with the decathlon 110m hurdles.
Just like last week sophomore Kayla White stole the show on the track, this time in the 100-meter hurdles. The women’s event was heavily contested as former Olympians took most of the top seeds going into the finals, but White qualified with a time of 14.00 before finishing fourth in the final with a personal-record 13.16 behind former Olympians Shermaine Williams (13.04), Tiffany Porter (13.07) and Cindy Ofili (13.09). Coming off her 100-meter performance last week that earned her women’s track athlete of the week from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, White’s 100mh time from Friday could put her in the top-15 nationally and top-10 regionally.
“Kayla is continuing to surprise me and her other coaches,” said Duane Ross, the Aggies director of track and field programs. “She’s coming around. We knew that when she got focused, when she started putting it together, she was going to be something to deal with. She makes our job tough though because just last week when she ran 11.39, we decided she’ll just run the 100-meter hurdles at conference and focus on the 100 meters at nationals. Then she comes out and runs the sixth-fastest time in the region, so it’s like, ‘Okay what do we do now?’ It’s a good problem to have. She’s a great athlete and a great person, and she’s going to run even faster.”
Winners on the day included Camille Martin in the women’s 5000m (19:22.08) and freshman Madeleine Akobundu (19-feet, 10 ¾-inches) in the women’s long jump. The Aggies also took first in both the men’s and women’s hammer throw. Sophomore Derrick Wheeler led the men with a launch of 140-feet, 9-inches and junior Imani Abraham took first for the women in 143-feet, 6-inches. In the men’s 110mh, first place went to Jeff Porter (13.53) representing Nike and second went to Ronnie Ash (13.83) representing Adidas. But the Aggies held their own against the competition with junior TeQuille Jackson (14.08) and freshman Robert Miller (14.23) both recording PRs with their respective fourth and sixth-place finishes.
“Everybody is in a good mood, so I think there are going to be some good performances tomorrow too,” said Abraham. “We’re used to this track and this field so it’s kind of second nature to us. There’s really no excuse not to throw, run, or jump well.”