NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - It was a record-breaking day for the North Carolina A&T cross country teams. The men and women ran at Christopher Newport University on Saturday. In the process, sophomore Saeed Jones broke an 8k school record for the men, while senior Kristin Rush shattered the school's 6k mark for the women.
Rush placed 11th with a time of 23:54.70. Her performance helped the women finish 11th out of 16 schools. Their time was 2:11:00.49. The Aggies did finish higher than conference rivals Norfolk State and Hampton. Jones finished the men's 8k race in 26:36.85, which was good enough for a 16th place. As a team, the Aggies placed seventh out of 13 teams with a time of 2:24:48.71.
"It's the same thing I've been preaching since I got here, we need to be a complete team," Duane Ross, the Aggies director of track and field programs, said. "We're at the point now where we are getting some great individual performances, but once we're able to build a complete team here, we're going to make some noise in the MEAC."
The Aggies next meet will be at the MEAC Championships at Princess Anne, Md., on Oct. 27. The course at Christopher Newport prepared the Aggies for the championships, according to Ross. The Aggies finished ahead of the Hampton men, but the team to beat will be Norfolk State.
"We're headed in the right direction," Ross said. "As long as our young people are striving to be competitive, I feel like we're headed in the right direction."
Sophomore Christian Harrison added to some of the season best on Saturday. He ran the 8k race in 28:18 to finish 62nd. On the women's side, Janay Ferrell finished 16th with a time of 24:09.64.