JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- The last day of the 2014 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round did not go as planned for the Aggies.
The 400 meter relay missed the next round by finishing in 13th place. The top 12 relay teams advance to NCAA Nationals. Seniors Desmond Lawrence and Darryl Williams, junior Marquis Noble and freshman Caleb Gabriel ran a season-best 39.78, 8/10ths of a second off of Charlotte’s qualifying time.
“Despite setting a personal best today, I expected our relay to run much better,” said Duane Ross, director of track and field program. “I preach to our team that ‘Victory favors the prepared,’ and today we had a mental lapse in our preparation. I wasn’t expecting that at all. We’ve done a great job all year of preparing for our competitions in terms of our warm-up and mental preparation, that has to remain the case during championship competition.”
Lawerence, who qualified for nationals in the 100 on Friday, did not qualify in the 200 on Saturday, finishing 17th at 21.20
“Desmond had a very long weekend and I’m proud to see him finish the 200 as strong as he did,” said Ross. “In January I had to convince him that he could run a great 200, now here he is competing with the best in that event. His future is bright in whatever he decides to undertake.”
“Our team is very young and I know they’ve obtained some valuable experience that will help them in the years to come,” said Ross. “I’m still very proud of our team, no team is perfect and mistakes will be made, but we’re going to continue to strive for that perfection and become the dominate program we set out to be.”
Lawrence will compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., in the 100 meters June 11-14.