EAST GREENSBORO – For the first time in three decades, a North Carolina A&T cross country team is releasing a schedule as the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champions. The N.C. A&T men’s cross country team claimed the MEAC title in 2018, their first in 36 years.
The women’s cross country team is coming off a third-place finish. This season the men’s and women’s cross country team will compete in five meets to gear up for the 2019 MEAC Cross Country Championships scheduled for Oct. 26 in Smyrna, Del.
“Our expectations will not waiver. Our goal is to see both teams claim the MEAC title,” said Duane Ross, director of track and field programs. “We have a competitive schedule that will prepare us for conference and regionals. Our goal is to always win as many MEAC and NCAA championships as we can.”
The men won last year’s championship with a total time of 2:20:01.10 with an average time of 28 minutes, twenty-one hundredths of a second. Three Aggies earned All-MEAC honors by finishing in the top-15 including sophomore Regan Kimtai who finished second in 26:50.80.
Sophomore Morris Kimble finished sixth in 27:40.50 and senior Mar’Quise McGee finished seventh in 27:44.20. All three runners return this season along with seniors Joel Freeman and Coy Brown who finished 33rd and 34th respectively.
The women’s team is coming off their best finish since finishing second in 2009. The Aggies had one athlete earn All-MEAC honors last season in senior G’Jasmyne Butler who finished 13th in 19:58.67. Sophomore Monzerad Creary also returns after finishing 29th at the MEAC championships in 21:21.26.
Both teams open the season at the 7th Annual Elon Opener at 8:15 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30 at Elon University. Aug. 3. An Aggie, Darren White, won the event three years ago. After competing at Elon, the Aggies will run at the Adidas Cross Country Classic hosted by N.C. State at the Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. The meet last season was cancelled due to inclement weather. In 2017, the men finished ninth and the women placed 11th.
Eight days later, the Aggies will compete in Greensboro at the Greensboro Cross Country Invitational at Hagan Stone Park on Sept. 28. The men and women won the event last season with Butler winning individually on the women’s side and Kimtai winning individually on the men’s side. The men and women have won at Hagan Stone the past two seasons.
A week after Hagan Stone Park, the Aggies will return to the Wake Med Soccer Park to compete in Robert Shumake HBCU Challenge. The Men’s four-year run on winning the HBCU Challenge came to an end last season, but the women did win the challenge with Butler claiming first place.
N.C. A&T’s final regular-season meet is at High Point University’s VertCross Invitational on Oct. 11 at Ivey M. Redmond Sports Complex in Kernersville.
For the fifth straight season, the MEAC championships will be held at the Delaware State University Outreach and Research Center in Smyrna, Del. The Aggies men's track and field programs’ streak will be on the line. The Aggie men have won the last five MEAC track and field titles which started with winning the 2018 MEAC indoor track and field championship.
Women’s cross country has never won a MEAC title.