RADFORD, Va. – The North Carolina A&T swimming team took a trip to Maui, Hawaii in December, and it looks like it is paying off. The Aggies returned to competition after more than two months away as if it faced Radford in a dual meet at the Dedmon Center.

According to the results, the Highlanders defeated the Aggies 165-35, but A&T head coach Shawn Hendrix said officials are trying to decide whether the Aggies hit the touchpads first on the 200-medley relay, which if overturned, will give the Aggies the win by 1/10th of a second.

A&T’s close call in the relay can be contributed to the training session in Maui. The Aggies spent seven days in the second-largest city in Hawaii and came away a more fit and unified team.

“It is a long break between our last meet (in November) and our first meet of the New Year,” said Hendrix. “Then when you get back you have a couple of more meets and it’s time for conference championships. The trip gave us a chance to do some team-bonding exercises m, build mental toughness and keep the kids fit over the holidays.”

The Aggies were put through some vigorous workouts. Among the challenging cardio routines Hendrix administered was making the team run a mile on the beach and then swim a mile against the current.

“It’s totally different style of training to run on sand and then jump in the water,” Hendrix said. “When you’re facing tougher teams, it is the type of training that helps you focus on doing your best in your event and not the other team because nothing can be tougher than facing a rip tide.”

A&T put its training to good use Friday.

Aarica Carrington, who normally does not compete in the 100-yard backstroke, scored two points for the Aggies by finishing in 1:08.43. Kenya Dunn anchored both A&T’s relays, including the 200-yard medley relay.        

Danielle Jackson scored seven points for the Aggies. Jackson finished second in the 100-yard breaststroke just under a second after Radford’s Madeline Schouten in 1:14.06. Jackson was also a part of the 200-yard medley relay (Miranda Jacobs, Erika Eisenman and Kenya Dunn).

The Aggies return to action on Friday, Jan. 31 when they face Campbell in Buies Creek.