Thu, May 23
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –North Carolina A&T track and field completed the first day of the 2019 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round hosted by the University of North Florida at Hodges Stadium with nine athletes advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals of their respective events. 


In the individual events, the top 24 advances to the quarterfinals. The 24 consists of the top three of each heat and the six next best times. 


If competitors qualify out of the quarterfinals, they will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship Meet hosted by the University of Texas, June 5-8.  


Leading the way for the Aggies was junior Trevor Stewart who had the best first-round time in the men’s 400 meters. Stewart finished in 44.55 to advance. Stewart was coming off running a 44.38 at the 2019 MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the top time in the nation. 


Junior teammate Akeem Sirleaf finished ninth in the same event with a time of 46.01 to qualify for the men’s 400 quarterfinals scheduled for 5:45 p.m., Friday.  Justin Hamilton did not qualify for the men’s 400 quarterfinals. 


In the women’s 400, junior Tori Ray placed eighth overall in the first round by running a 52.75. Junior Sun-Sara Williams also ran in the women’s 400 but failed to qualify with a time of 55.09. The women’s 400 quarterfinals is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., Friday.


Senior Kayla White had the second-fastest qualifying time in the women’s 100 meters in the east with a time of 11.25.  Two other Aggies qualified for the quarterfinals in the women’s 100 in freshmen Cambrea Sturgis and Kamaya Debose-Epps. Sturgis qualified with a time of 11.364, the seventh-fastest in the region. Debose-Epps was 22ndin 11.540. 


The women’s 100 quarter will take place, Friday at 6 p.m.


Senior Rodney Rowe represented for the men in the 100. He qualified for the quarters with the third-fastest time of the first round at 10.256. Rowe will try to advance to the national championship meet when he competes again in the 100 at 6:15 p.m., Friday.


Two more Aggies qualified in the men’s 400-meter hurdles. Freshman Akeem Lindo had the best time out of the two Aggies by finishing in 50.99. Junior Chase Bonham will also be in the quarterfinals after running his 400mh race in 51.12. Junior Brandy Felix failed to qualify with a time of 52.04. The 400mh quarterfinal is 7:15 p.m., Friday.


Freshmen Paula Salmon and Nilaja Florence competed in the women’s 400mh. Both young stars failed to qualify for the quarterfinals. Junior Kristoni Barnes just missed qualifying for the quarters in the women’s 800. She finished 25thin 2:06.60. The top-24 qualify.