EAST GREENSBORO – On top of having some of the best athletes in the world, the North Carolina A&T track and field men’s and women’s programs are also pretty good academically.
Four Aggies earned all-academic honors from the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Akeem Lindo (5-11, SO, East Orange, N.J.), Kristoni Barnes (5-6, SR, Wake Forest, N.C.), Nilaja Florence (5-6, SO, Powder Springs, Ga.) and Sun-Sara Williams (5-4, SR, Charlotte, N.C.) earned the national academic honor.
The Aggies track and field programs have won 12 MEAC championships (three men’s indoor, three women’s indoor, three men’s outdoor, two women’s outdoor and one men’s cross country) in the past three years.
Lindo had a tremendous first season in Aggieland. He reached the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in the 400-meter hurdles and the 4x400-meter relay. He earned first-team All-American honors in the 4x400 by helping the foursome finish fifth nationally. Lindo was also an NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round (regionals) qualifier in the same two events and he won an outdoor MEAC championship in the 4x400.
Lindo earned second-team All-MEAC outdoor honors in the 400mh by finishing second at the MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by N.C. A&T. Lindo is a mechanical engineering major with a better than 3.6-grade point average.
For the first time in her career, Barnes qualified for the NCAA nationals after reaching the meet following her performance at the NCAA regionals where she qualified in the 4x400 and 800 meters. Barnes qualified for nationals in the 4x400.
Barnes and her 4x400 teammates won the MEAC outdoor championship in 2019 with a time of 3:35.59. Barnes also claimed a MEAC indoor title in the distance medley relay and was a second-team All-MEAC indoor performer after finishing second in the 800. Barnes is a psychology major with a better than 3.7 GPA.
Florence also made the NCAA nationals as a freshman. She earned the spot in the 4x400 after qualifying for regionals in the 4x400 and the 400mh. Florence helped the Aggies 4x400 team win the MEAC outdoor title at N.C. A&T’s Irwin Belk Track in May. She was also a third-team All-MEAC selection after finishing third in the 400mh at the conference outdoor meet.
During the indoor season, Florence earned two gold medals at the conference indoor championships thanks to Aggie wins in the 4x400 and the DMR. Florence is an economics major with a better than 3.5 GPA.
Like the Aggies other USTCCCA All-Academic team members, Williams was an NCAA nationals qualifier and an NCAA regional qualifier. She qualified for nationals in the 4x400 and qualified for the NCAA east prelims in the 400m and 4x400. Williams helped the 4x400 team win the MEAC outdoor title while finishing third in the 400 to earn third-team All-MEAC honors.
Williams took home individual gold during the indoor conference meet when she claimed the 400m title with a time of 56.03. She also helped the 4x400 team win the MEAC indoor title. Williams is a sports science and fitness management major with a better than 3.3 GPA.