Greensboro - The next three weeks of the North Carolina A&T track and field season should be filled with defining moments. First, the Aggies will be on display for fans as they host their first home meet of the season, the much-anticipated International Friendship and Freedom Games. Next, the Aggies head to Philadelphia to participate in The Penn Relays, the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States. After The Penn Relays, the Aggies return home as A&T will play host to the MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Irwin Belk Park in Greensboro.
"Preparation, rest and discipline will be the keys to our success over the next three weeks," said James Daniels, interim director of A&T track and field programs.
The Freedom Games begin on Friday at 1:30 p.m., with the men's discus throw. The first running event, the women's distance medley relay, is at 2:30 p.m., on Friday. The two-day meet is open to colleges, junior colleges, individual athletes and club teams.
Last season, the A&T men and women both won the meet with the scores of 84 and 159 respectively. The team has been working hard to repeat the same success this year.
"I expect that we will compete to our best ability. We have been working very hard and now it's our time to establish our competition rhythm," said Daniels.
Among the Aggies who have been working hard on improving this season is senior sprinter Jarrell Elliott, who is closing in on the end of his college track and field career. During his time as an Aggie, the Winston-Salem native has left his mark on the legacy that is NC A&T track and field.
"Jarrell is really starting to realize his potential. When I recruited him I was impressed by his range from the 400 meter dash and up," said Daniels. "Once he arrived here, I gradually started to move him to the sprint events. His best races are still ahead."
Elliott is on track to have one of the best seasons of his college career. So far in the 2011- 2012 track and field season, Elliott has recorded personal bests on two separate occasions in the 200 meter and 400 meter dashes. The sprinter also set a school record in the 400 meter dash with a time of 47.43, and he assisted in setting a new school record in the 4x200 meter relay with a time of 1.23.66.
However, the success this season has not been limited to just Elliott. With five meets under their belt, the team has earned three MEAC weekly accolades, seven first-place finishes and set three school records. The Aggies hope to keep their momentum going as they head into the most important three-week stretch of their season.