LANDOVER, Md. -- If the North Carolina A&T men’s indoor track and field team holds on for one more day it will accomplish something no other men’s indoor team has ever accomplished. They will walk away with a men’s indoor conference title. After day one of the 2014 MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championships at Prince George’s Learning Center, the men lead the event with 36 points.
Hampton is a close second with 32 points, followed by Florida A&M’s 28 and Bethune-Cookman and Maryland Eastern Shore each have 27.
The men’s long jump is where the Aggies made their biggest impact on Friday. Freshman Frank Quarles (23-feet, 4 inches) and junior Marquis Noble (23-feet, 2 ¾ inches) combined to score 11 points by placing third and fourth respectively in the long jump.
A sign of the improvement within the program is where the Aggies received their second-highest totals – a distance race. In year’s past it has been the Aggies Achilles’ heel. But junior Saeed Jones changed all that with a personal-best 15:25.60 in the men’s 5,000 meters to score six points by placing third. Freshman Darren White also ran a personal best in the same event, crossing the line in 15:33.29, adding four points to the Aggies score.
There was also a considerable amount of points added by the men’s distant medley relay team of Jones junior Dyronne Mabry and freshmen Todd Townsend and Josiah Elliott. Their second-place finish netted the Aggies eight points with a time of 10:23.68. The other scoring was provided by junior Omozokpia Olumese who scored five points by placing fourth in the men’s pole vault with a personal-best 13-feet, 11 ¼ inches. Mabry closed out A&T’s scoring by placing seventh in the 800 meters in 1:55.29 for two points.
The Aggies have four men in three finals on Saturday. Desmond Lawrence had the top qualifying time in the 60 meters at 6.74. Freshman Joshua Peoples ran a personal-best 21.94 in the 200 meter qualifying round, earning the second-fastest time in the preliminary. He will be joined by his teammate Noble who also qualified in the 200. Redshirt senior Jeffery Lewis qualified for the finals in the men’s 60 meter hurdles.
Twins Keenan and Kendrick Smith can also add to the Aggies point totals as they compete in the men's triple jump on Saturday. Cliff Obodo will compete in the men's high jump.
On the women’s side, sophomore Nakita Gray placed fifth in the women’s high jump with a jump of 5-feet, 3 ¾ inches. Sophomore Demetria Dickens placed seventh in the weight throw with a personal best of 49-feet, 3-inches.
Junior Sherri Owens also got a personal best in the weight throw at 48-feet, 1 ¾ inches. Sophomore Tiffany Ellick will be returning in the finals of the women’s 60 meter hurdles after running 8.79 in the preliminaries.