LYNCHBURG, Va. (January 28, 2018) – Three North Carolina A&T indoor track and field male athletes won their respective events at the Liberty Kickoff hosted by Liberty University at the Liberty Indoor Complex over the weekend. The N.C. A&T men had 18 top-10 performances with six setting new personal records and five recording season-best marks.
“This weekend was one of our better competitions as a team,” said Duane Ross, the Aggies director of track and field programs. “We had a lot of energy and focus and both of our teams ran well. With MEAC Championships around the corner our teams are starting to fire on all cylinders. February is our month where we really start putting everything together, especially for our NCAA championship contenders.”
Junior Rodney Rowe won the 200m in 21.03 for a new PR. It is the 15th fastest time in the nation. Junior Michael Dickson won the 60mh in 7.81. He ranks 16th nationally in the event. The Aggies other winner was Dajuan Harding who won the 400m in 47.77. Also in the 60mh, sophomore Robert Miller (8.25) ran the ninth-fastest time in the MEAC to place sixth. Freshman Chase Bonham (49.18) set a new PR in the 400m.
Senior Joel Thomas led the Aggies in the 60m. He placed second in 6.77, while Rowe followed in fifth with a time of 6.86. Thomas ran a PR 21.73 in the 200. In the 800m, senior Corey Aiken ran a season-best 1:53.78 to finish second. Freshman Alan Johnson ran a 1:54.14 for a personal record. He ranks fourth in the conference, while sophomore Marquise McGee placed 10th at 1:56.56 for the ninth-fastest time in the MEAC. Junior Hakeem Mustafaa cut his 3000m time with a season-best 9:12.78.
In the field events, senior Nehemiah Lipford notched a season-best mark in the long jump to place second at 6-feet, 8 ¼ inches. Lipford ranks fourth in the MEAC. Junior Lasheon Strozier finished third in the triple jump at 50-feet, 1 1/4 inches.
A trio of Aggies rose in the MEAC's long jump indoor rankings. Michael Bell debuted for the Aggies in the long jump with a leap of 22-feet, 4 ½ inches to place 12th. Strozier leaped a season-best 22-feet, 1/2 inch to place 14th and Anderson was 15th also with a top season mark of 22-feet, 1 3/4 inches. Bell is ranked sixth in the conference, Strozier is ninth and Anderson is 10th.
Freshman Aaron Wilkerson paced the throwers. In the shot put, he placed fifth with a toss of 54-feet, 5 1/2 inches. Derrick Wheeler threw a personal-best 48-feet, 3 ¼ inches in the shot put to place 13th. He is eighth in the conference.
“Our throwers continue to get better every week. I continue to be impressed with Wilkerson. His future is very bright,” said Ross.
Seniors Todd Townsend (4,067) and Aaron Deane (3,619) competed in the heptathlon and were sixth and eight, respectively.
The Aggies return to the JDL Fast Track to kick off February at the Camel City Invitational on Friday, Feb. 2 in Winston-Salem.