Three Aggies Headed to NCAA Championships
GREENSBORO (February 28, 2017) – Three Aggies are officially able to celebrate their guaranteed bid to the 2017 NCAA DI Indoor Track and Field Championships. Junior Christopher Belcher, sophomore Michael Dickson, and sophomore Lasheon Strozier each ended their regular-season last night among the country’s top-16, ensuring they will travel to College Station, Texas March 10-11 for nationals.
“I think the expectations for Mike and Chris have been there are all along,” said the director of track and field programs Duane Ross, who pointed out that the men’s team has consistently ranked in the nation’s top-10 for the 60-meter hurdles, the 60 meters, and the 200 meters, in large part, because of Belcher and Dickson.
The teams rank first in the nation in the 60mh, third in the 60m, and fifth in the 200m, currently.
“The surprise is Lasheon and the way he bounced back from last year,” said Ross. “But he’s been practicing hard, hitting the weight room hard and hitting the classroom hard. He’s just been really impressive and that’s a story you want to share with all your athletes.”
After submissions for the NCAA Championships were complete, Strozier ranked 15th in the triple jump with his mark of 52-feet, 3 ¼-inches from the Hokie Invitational and Dickson ranked third in the 60mh with a time of 7.63 from the Camel City Invite.
While Strozier and Dickson found success through qualifying-marks from earlier in the season, Belcher actually secured his latest bid to nationals during the Boston Last Chance Meet on Sunday. Belcher gave an outstanding showing in the men’s 200-meter event in Boston where he swiped first-place and found a personal record of 20.59 in the event.
Coming into the meet, Belcher’s season-low 200m time of 21.01 had him positioned 37th. After his latest feat, however, the senior climbed 29 spots and landed No. 8 nationally. Belcher is also ranked 12th in the nation in the 60m with his time of 6.64 from the Virginia Tech invitational.
The plan for Belcher in Boston, according to Ross, was to let the junior run in the 60m preliminaries as a warm-up before actually competing in the finals for the 200m. In the 60m Belcher had the second highest qualifying time with a 6.73 mark.
“We had him do the first round in the 60 meters but the thing with Chris is he loves to compete,” said Ross. “So he wanted to run the final for the 60 but I told him he had to stick to the plan.”
Apparently the plan paid off. In Belcher’s second season with the Aggies, his first as an indoor athlete, he will be competing in multiple events at an NCAA championship after qualifying as an outdoor athlete last season. Belcher’s 20.59 run in 200m also broke the school record of 20.89 which was held by Calesio Newman since 2008.
“I was hoping that some of the other sprinters to get their times lowered,” Ross said about the team’s recent last chance meet competition in Boston. “But overall I’m pleased with how the day went.”