STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – North Carolina A&T women’s high jumper Nakita Gray won for the third time this season, this time she did at a high-profile meet, as she took first in the high jump at the 2013 Penn State National Invitational. Gray jumped a personal-best 5-feet, 10 ½ inches to earn her fifth career win in the high jump in just her second year of eligibility.
Gray has not finished in lower than third in the high jump this season. She has finished in the top-3 in 11 of her last 12 high jump events dating back to last outdoor season. Her only blemish was a 30th place finish at the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round hosted by A&T last spring.
The Aggies had numerous personal best on the first day of the invitational. Junior Desmond Lawrence finished third in the men’s 60 meters in a season-best 6.74. Lawrence was third behind two unattached athletes. He ran a 6.79 in the preliminary to advance to the semifinals, where he ran the fastest time at 6.76. His 6.74 has him ranked first in the MEAC with the conference championships two weeks away.
Two Aggies distance runners – freshman Darren White and junior Saeed Jones qualified for the MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championships to be held in Landover Md., in the 5,000 meters by running a 15:35.43 and a 15:47.64 respectively.
Sophomore Demetria Dickens threw a season-best 48-feet, 2 ¾ inches in the weight throw, while Daniqua Dye ran a personal-best 1:16.32 in the 500 meters to finish eighth. Senior Roshel Bygrave placed sixth in the 400 meters with a season-best 56.69.
“Disappointed,” said Duane Ross, A&T’s director of track and field programs. “We had some good performances on Friday, and we come back Saturday and we don’t perform like A&T should perform. Not only that, we’re not holding each other accountable for the performances that we put out there. Our kids need to learn that’s not how we’re going to win championships.”
The Aggies will be back in action Thursday at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C., for the High Point Challenge.