BLACKSBURG, Va. (January 12, 2019) – There are some trends developing early in the season for the North Carolina A&T women’s indoor track and field team.
One, sophomore Nazah Reddick is a pretty good high jumper and two, junior Madeleine Akobundu is still very, very good. The Aggies men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed Saturday during the second day of the Virginia Tech Indoor Invitational at Rector Field House.
Akobundu recorded the second-fastest time in the country in the women’s 60-meter hurdles by running an 8.14 in the preliminary round on Friday before winning the final in 8.16. She returned Saturday and won the women’s long jump. Meanwhile, it was Reddick who stood out for the Aggies in the women’s high jump for the second straight meet. A month after winning the high jump at the JDL College Kick-off, Reddick took first place at Virginia Tech.
Sophomore Michael Bell and the men’s 4x400-meter relay team highlighted the men’s performance on Saturday. Bell won the 200 meters after finishing second in the long jump. The 4x4 team of seniors Justin Hamilton and Rodney Rowe and freshman Akeem Sirleaf and sophomore Trevor Stewart are the owners of a new school record after Saturday’s competition.
Akobundu, who won the MEAC indoor title in the long jump in 2017 before finishing second in 2018, looks to get back to the top in 2019. She is off to a good start after jumping 19-feet, 4 ¾-inches finishing ahead of Charlotte’s Jade Jordan who jumped 18-feet, 6 ½-inches. It was Akobundu’s fifth career indoor win in the long jump and her 10th top-5 finish in the event.
Two other Aggies finished in the top-10 of the women’s long jump. Sophomore Royce Johnson placed sixth with her best jump measured at 17-feet, 9-inches. Reddick had a seventh-place finish thanks to an indoor personal-best 17-feet, 4 ¾-inches.
Reddick fared much better in the high jump. In December, Reddick broke the JDL College Kick-off meet record in the women’s high jump by earning a mark of 5-feet, 8 ¾ inches. Reddick went to Blacksburg and jumped 5-feet, 6-inches to out jump second-place Lauren Miller of Virginia Tech who jumped 5-feet, 4 ¼-inches. Reddick also competed in the 200m where she finished 18th (27.74).
The women’s 800m also did well with Aggies finishing 1,2 and 3. Junior G’Jasymne Butler led the way by running a 2:17.48 followed by freshmen Monzerad Creary (2:17.82) and Shalah Means (2:19.59).
On the men’s side, Bell ran his first career 200m and looked impressive doing it. He crossed the finish line in 21.61 to blow away Charlotte’s Nico Menzel who finished second in 21.74. Junior Robert Miller finished fifth with an indoor personal-best 22.67.
Bell also had a good showing in the long jump as he leaped 22-feet, 2 ¼-inches. It was his first long jump win during the indoor season. Freshman Justice Sims-McCray also competed in the long jump where he finished 13th (19-feet, 9 ½-inches).
The Aggies 4x4 men’s team has won three straight conference titles. They look headed in that direction again as they claimed first place Saturday by running a 3:08.96 for the best time in school history. The women’s 4x4, which consists of Taliyah Townsend, senior Kayla White, junior Sun-Sara Williams
The men also excelled in the 800m. Three Aggies finished in the top-5 led by freshman Regan Kimtai who finished his in second with a time of 1:54.09. Juniors Mar’Quise McGee (1:56.63) and Coy Brown (1:57.83) finished third and fourth respectively while Morris Kimble finished eighth (2:03.85).
In other field events, sophomore Loren James placed third in the shot put with her best throw traveling 45-feet, 6 ½-inches as she posted a new indoor personal record outthrowing the old record of 44-feet, 3 ½-inches recorded at the Liberty Kickoff 2018. Sophomore Aaron Wilkerson had a seventh-place finish in the men’s shot put (46-feet, 6-inches) while senior Derrick Wheeler placed eighth (45-feet, 3 ¼-inches).
N.C. A&T will split the squad next week. Some will head to Columbia, S.C. to compete in Gamecock Invitational hosted by the University of South Carolina, Jan. 18-19. Others will return to Blacksburg to compete in Hokie