GREENSBORO – Once again North Carolina A&T track and field will have the MEAC Track and Field Championships on its home turf. This time the Aggies believe the men have a real shot at winning a MEAC title in their backyard.
“I expect our guys to compete and I expect our team to win on the men’s side,” said Duane Ross, director of track and field programs. “On the women’s side I expect them to come in with a much better attitude, much better competitive nature and I definitely think they will finish better than they did indoors.”
The meet is scheduled to begin Thursday at 1 p.m. with the men’s decathlon. The men finished third at the indoor championship back in January and look forward to gaining revenge. Senior Jessica Farr looks to close out her senior year with numerous champion titles after being top-ranked in multiple events.
Going into the championship the Aggies have a great number of top-ranked athletes in the conference.
The Aggies look to be dominant in the relays. The men’s 4x100 meter relay, which consists of seniors Desmond Lawrence, Darryl Williams, freshman Caleb Gabriel and sophomore Marquis Noble, is ranked first at 39.84. The men’s 4x400-meter relay is ranked third, which is made up of freshman Barry Harris, junior Leonard Robbins, Townsend and freshman Josiah Elliot at 3.10.79.
The 100 meters is stacked with Aggie athletes. Lawrence is first in the MEAC with a time of 10.33. Junior Jeffery Lewis is tied for fifth with Williams at 10.57. Gabriel and Joshua Peoples are tied for seventh at 10.58. Junior Marquis Noble is ninth at 10.59.
In the men’s 200, Peoples is ranked fourth in the conference at 21.26 and Lawrence is ranked sixth at 21.28.
Freshman Todd Townsend is fourth in the men’s 110-meter hurdles at 14.13 with Lewis tied for 10th at 14.63. Townsend is also ranked third in the men’s 400 meter hurdles at 52.39.
On the distance side, junior Saeed Jones is third in the men’s 1,500 meter run at 3:59.83. Freshman Darren White is third in the men’s 5,000 meter run at 15:20.04 with Jones ranked eighth at 16:05.74. The Aggies have three men in the 3,000 steeplechase. Jones (9:47.69) is ranked fourth, White (9:53.44) and sophomore Perry Cabean (10:16.44) is ranked sixth.
In the field events, sophomore Cliff Obodo is ranked third in the men’s high jump at 6-feet, 8-inches. Junior Omozokpia Olumese is ranked sixth in the men’s pole vault at 13-feet, 8 ¼ inches. Noble is ranked fifth (24-feet, 1 3/4) in the men’s long jump with junior Keenan Smith ranked ninth (22-feet, 8 inches). Smith is also ranked second in the triple jump at 50-feet, 2 ½ inches. Townsend is ninth in the javelin at 155-feet, 10 inches.
“On the men’s side, I think we’re going to come out on top, that’s my expectation anyways. But of course with championship meet like this, we have to get out there and see where the cards fall,” said Ross.
“Everyone has to compete, we expect everyone else to step their game up, they know it’s pretty much a battle between us, Bethune-Cookman and Hampton, just like indoors. I expect that those coaches are telling their kids the same thing we are telling ours, so I expect a good quality competitive competition, and I think our guys are prepared so now it’s time to get on the track and compete.”
On the women’s side, senior Jessica Farr is ranked eighth in the women’s 100 meters at 11.76. Farr is also ranked fifth in the women’s 200 at 23.88. Farr is ranked first in the 400 at 54.47 with senior Roshel Bygrave ranked sixth at 55.17.
Senior Brittanie Morris is ranked eighth in the women’s 100-meter hurdles at 14.33. Morris is ranked seventh in the women’s 400 meter hurdles at 1:02.17 with freshman Daniqua Dye ranked ninth at 1:02.54.
The women’s 4x consists of senior Latrese Barker, Farr, sophomore Tiffany Ellick and Bygrave is ranked fourth at 46.04. The women’s 4x4 (Bygrave, Farr, Dye and freshman Imani Harris-Quillen) is ranked second at 3:41.30.
Sophomore Nakita Gray is ranked second at 5-feet, 8 ¾ inches. Junior Tatianna Clark is third at 19-feet, 2 ¾ inches in the long jump. Clark is also ninth in the triple jump at 38-feet, 4 ¾ inches. Junior Sherri Owens is ranked ninth in the shot put at 40-feet, 3 ¼ inches. Sophomore Demetria Dickens is ranked third in discus at 143-feet, 11 inches with Owens ranked fifth at 141-feet. Senior Jasmine Baskerville is ranked ninth in the javelin at 113-feet, 8 inches.
The women have depth in the hammer. Owens is ranked second (139-feet, 4 inches), Dickens is third (132-feet, 9 inches), sophomore Paige McIntosh is ranked fourth (125-feet, 6 inches) and sophomore Dyasia Robinson is fifth (125-feet, 5 inches).
“No more training, no more thoughts, no more repetition now it’s just time to compete and this is what we’ve been training for all year,” said Ross.