CLEMSON, S.C. - North Carolina A&T's indoor track and field teams took six athletes -- a mixture of men and women - to the Tiger Paw Invitational over the weekend.
The abbreviated roster of competitors was there to qualify for this week's upcoming MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Landover, Md. Mission accomplished.
Seniors Kristin Rush and Janessa Benn qualified in the 800 meter run, while freshman Tiffany Ellick and junior Brittanie Morris qualified in the 60 meter hurdles. On the men's side, senior Darius Bogertey ran a 1:54.44 in the 800 meters to finish seven and qualify for the conference championships.
"I thought Kristin ran real well," said Duane Ross, the Aggies director of track and field championships. "It was encouraging to see her try to go after it in her senior year. I thought Darius ran pretty well too."
Morris had the highest finish. She placed second in the 60 meter hurdles in 8.91 after a preliminary time of 9.16. Ellick placed seventh in 9.24. Three female Aggies placed in the 800 with Rush coming in sixth (2:17.20), Janay Ferrell finishing 13th (2:21.69) and an 18th-place finish by Benn (2:23.54).
A&T will be a full strength on Friday when the conference championships begin. The Aggies head to Maryland Feb. 14-16 with the understanding that they are in a rebuilding process.
"Right now, we just want to serve notice that if you want to win the MEAC, you're going to have to take it from A&T," said Ross. "Right now on the men's side, I would say Norfolk State is too strong, and on the women's side, it's Hampton. Those programs are a little more established than we are. But we're coming along."