EUGENE, ORE. (June 8, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T women's track and field team did not have anyone making through to Saturday's finals on Thursday at Historic Hayward Field, but they did earn two second-team All-American recognitions to complete their experience at the 2017 NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships.
N.C. A&T's women started their afternoon by coming one spot shy of qualifying for the final of the 4x100 meter relay. The team of freshmen Tori Ray and Taliyah Townsend and junior India Brown and sophomore Kayla White finished ninth in 44.41 to earn second-team All-American honors. The top-8 teams qualify for the finals. The Aggies could have lowered their school record run of 44.01 they set two weeks ago at the NCAA East Preliminary Round, they would have bested Kansas State's eighth place finish of 44.27.
“There was a bad exchange between our second and third legs,” said Duane Ross, the Aggies director of track and field programs, about the exchange between Brown (No. 2) and Townsend (No. 3). “That completely took us of the race. Those are the type of little mistakes you can't afford when you're going against the best in the country. But they're young. They will get another chance.”
White will also come away with second-team honors in the 100-meter hurdles. She completed the second heat in 13.29 to finish fourth in the heat and 13th overall. Two weeks prior she ran a 12.94 which would have easily qualified her on Thursday.
“When you come here, you have to run your (personal record) to make sure you're in the finals,” said Ross. “I can't pinpoint what it was with Kayla today. She just didn't seem to have the same pop she normally has.”
Ross said the same of Brown after she finished seventh in the second heat and 18th overall in 11.49 in the 100 meters. But not even Brown's PR of 11.34 would have qualified her for Saturday's final. Brown later ran a 23.43 to finish seventh in her heat and 18th overall.
“This group of young women are young. India is the only one who has been here before,” said Duane Ross, the Aggies director of track and field programs. “It is just something we have to look back on and where we went wrong in terms of preparation. I know they can do better. What I like is they're not pleased. I don't think they looked bad. They executed, but it just wasn't there today. They know today was just not their day.”