Fri, Sep 15
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CARY (September 15, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T men’s and women’s cross country teams returned to the action Friday night for the adidas XC Challenge hosted by North Carolina State at the WakeMed Soccer Complex. The Aggies men’s team finished in ninth place in the 6k event with an average time of 20:23. The women placed 11th in their 5k event with a 20:34 average time.

Junior Hakeem Mustafaa recorded a new personal record in a 6k event. He crossed the line first for the N.C. A&T men and with a time of 19:28.9 to finish 30th. At last season’s 6k adidas challenge Mustafaa ran 20:07.6. He also shaved 36 seconds off his 6k time from two weeks ago (20:04) at the Elon Invitational. Despite the improvements, Mustafaa saw room for getting even better.

“That big hill on this course made it tough and having to come up it twice in the race hurt my time,” said Mustafaa.

Sophomore teammate Mar’Quise McGee also finished in the top-50 with a time of 19:53.1. McGee also showed vast improvement from last season’s adidas race, taking nearly 50 seconds off his time.

Sophomore Camille Martin led the women. For the second meet in a row, she had the fastest time for N.C. A&T. Martin also pulled off a personal record on Friday. Martin’s 5k time was 19:28 to put her in 51st place, while also taking 47 seconds off her previous personal best, a 20:15.5 ran at last year’s adidas XC Challenge.

Martin also thought she could do better, but the hill she climbed over the final 50 meters took away the burst she wanted to finish with during the race. Kristoni Barnes also ran a personal best as she finished 58th in 19:51.3. Barnes’ previous personal best was completed at the 2016 MEAC Cross Country Championships with a 20:12.4.

“Mustafaa did well for the men’s and I think he has it in him to continue to improve every meet,” said A&T volunteer coach Bill Dunn. “We still building the foundation needed and meets like this gets them ready for the MEAC championship.”

The Aggies next meet will race in Greensboro in the Greensboro Cross Country Invitational at Hagan Stone Park on Sept. 30. It will mark the first time the teams have raced at Hagan Stone since 2012.