LANDOVER, Md.(February 16, 2018) – The North Carolina A&T men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams, both of whom won their respective 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference indoor titles, are still in contention for the 2018 MEAC titles.
After seven events scored, the women are second with 50.50 points, 14 points behind Bethune-Cookman while the men rose to third in the team rankings with 43 points trailing both Hampton (58) and Bethune-Cookman (55). The Aggie men won the heptathlon and weight throw events, while the women placed second in the high jump, 800m and distance medley relay on Day 2.
Sprints will be key for the Aggies on the final day of the championships on Saturday. Eight runners advanced to tomorrow’s finals on the track. In the 60m prelims, sophomore Jaylan Mitchell ran the top-time of 6.69 while junior Rodney Rowe (6.72) was third and senior Joel Thomas was fifth (6.78). Senior
Dajuan Harding led a pair of Aggies in the 400m prelims with the fastest time of 48.38 while freshman Trevor Stewart was second at 48.57. In the 60-mh prelims junior Michael Dickson (7.83) is first, Todd Townsend (8.15) is third and sophomore Robert Miller (8.04) is fourth.
Ten female Aggies advanced to Saturday’s finals on the track. Junior Kayla White has the No.1 time in the 60m after running 7.44 in the prelims. Senior India Brown (7.48) is third and sophomore Taliyah Townsend (7.49) is fifth. The Aggies have true firepower in the 400. Four Aggies are in the finals led by junior Tori Ray’s 55.81 to rank second. Freshman Nia Lundy (55.81) follows in third with sophomore Sun-Sara Williams (55.82) fifth and freshman Payton Russell (57.54) eighth.
Multiple points are also available In the 60mh Kayla White is tops at 8.38. Sophomore Madeleine Akobundu (8.42) is second while senior Morgan Knight (8.61) is sixth and freshman TeJyrica Robinson is eighth (8.65).
The Aggie men were fueled not by their sprinters on Friday, but by throws. Junior Derrick Wheeler and senior Todd Townsend were crowned conference champions. Townsend took gold in the indoor heptathlon for the second year in a row accumulating 4,975 points winning the 60mh (8.03) while placing second in the 60m (7.02), long jump (22-feet, 4 ½ inches), shot put (27-feet, 10 ¾ inches) and third in the pole vault (11-feet, 3-inches) events.
Wheeler won the men’s weight throw, tossing a personal-best 59-feet, 3 ½ inches. His initial throw of had him leading the competition. Wheeler fell to second approaching the finals but came alive on his second toss to defeat runner-up Sidney Holston from Bethune-Cookman by 1 ½ inches. Freshman Aaron Wilkerson scored for the Aggies in the weight throw as well by throwing a personal-best 50-feet, 2 ¾ inches to finish seventh.
N.C. A&T’s distance medley team of senior Corey Aiken, freshman Alan Johnson, senior Steve Stowe and sophomore Mar’Quise McGee placed third (10:12.23) for six points.
The Aggies were fourth and sixth in the high jump finals led by freshman Semaj Anderson. Anderson set a new personal record at 6-feet, 7-inches while senior Nemiah Lipford measured out at 6-feet, 7-inches to finish to spots behind his teammate. In the long jump, freshman Michael Bell placed seventh with a personal-best 22-feet, 10 ½ inches.
Two Aggies scored in the men’s 800m run paced by Corey Aiken’s sixth place finish (1:54.10). Steve Stowe established a new PR by shaving two seconds off to clock in at 1:54.87 to score for the Aggies as an eighth-place finisher. Alan Johnson just missed the top-8 finish, placing ninth at 1:54.98.
For the women, N.C. A&T tallied 15 points in the 800m. Sophomore Kristoni Barnes ran a personal-record 2:10.37 to win sliver. Khadijah Reid placed fifth by running a PR 2:16.39. Senior Imani Coleman finished seventh in 2:17.10 and sophomore G’Jasmyne Butler (2:17.37) placed eighth.
The Aggie women’s distance medley team of Butler, Reid, Barnes and sophomore Camille Martin placed second with a time of 12:02.42. Freshman Nazah Reddick cleared 5-feet, 7 ¾ inches in the high jump winning silver for the Aggies. Freshman Jade Smith tied for eighth in the high jump at 5-feet, ¾ inches.
Senior Imani Abraham placed seventh in the weight throw to post a personal record throw of 52-feet to score for the Aggies.
Saturday will be an exciting day for the Aggies and their opponents as N.C. A&T chase history and their foes fervently try to disrupt that.