COLUMBIA, S.C. (February 2, 2019) – Senior Kayla White took time off from indoor track and field competition to rest and recharge her batteries.
Yikes said the track and field world. White came returned to action Friday and Saturday at the Carolina Challenge hosted by the University of South Carolina at the South Carolina Indoor Track & Field Complex to further her ascent toward the top of the NCAA rankings in several events.
White broke the facility record at USC by running an 8.07 in the 60-meter hurdles Saturday to win the event. White qualified for the final on Friday with a top qualifying time of 8.16 on Friday. Also, on Saturday, White won the 200m dash in a school-record time of 23.03. It marked the third time she has broken her own school record.
She is on pace to have an unbelievable indoor season and she is the midst of putting together one of the best careers in the history of N.C. A&T track and field. White is ranked nationally in the top-10 in three different events. White, a Miami native, is ranked fourth in the 60mh (8.07) and 200 (23.03) while being listed at No. 8 on the national performing list in the 60 meters (7.25).
Freshman Cambrea Sturgis ran an amazing 23.19 to come in a distant second to White in the 200. Sturgis is ranked seventh nationally the event. Sturgis was also excellent in the 60m where she finished third in 7.43. In the 60mh, junior Madeleine Akobundu finished behind White as Akobundu came in third in 8.27. She is ranked 10th in the country in the 60mh (8.14).
White’s fellow senior Rodney Rowe is on pace for another stellar year as he embarks on a historic career. Rowe won the men’s 200m in 20.70. Rowe is ranked fifth in the nation in the 200m, 27th in the 60 (6.69) and he has the men’s 4x400 relay team in the No. 11 in the country (3:07.22).
It was Rowe’s second win of the season in the 200 and his third win overall. Behind Rowe in the 200 on Saturday was sophomore Trevor Stewart who finished third in 21.01. Junior Akeem Sirleaf was fifth in 21.02.
Stewart and Sirleaf are 21st and 22nd respectively in the 200m nationally after their performances on Saturday. Two other Aggies finished in the top-15 in the 200 including senior Justin Hamilton in ninth place in 21.25 and senior Michael Dickson in 11th place in 21.43.
Rowe and Sirleaf also participated in the 60m where Rowe finished sixth (6.74) and Sirleaf was eighth (6.80). On the men’s side in the 60mh, Michael Dickson finished second in 7.87. Dickson is 12th in the nation in the60mh.
The Aggies future did not do too bad either. Freshman Brandon Hicklin placed third in the men’s long jump. He jumped 24-feet, 10-inches. It is the No. 1 jump in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) this season.
A day after breaking the school record in the 1 mile (4:11.52), freshman Regan Kimtai finished fourth in the 5000m in 15:00.37. Kimtai would own the facility record in the mile if it were not for Embry-Riddle’s Calahan Warren who ran a 4:07.45 on the same day.
Other top performances included junior Kristoni Barnes finishing third in the 800 with a time of 2:21.31. Sophomore Nazah Reddick finished fifth in the women’s high jump with a measurement of 5-feet, 7-inches.
The Aggies will split the team again next week as some athletes will travel to Lynchburg, Va., to compete in the Liberty Elite Invitational, Feb. 8-9. Others will head to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational, Feb. 8-9.