GREENSBORO (September 14, 2017) – Duane Ross, the North Carolina A&T director of track and field programs, released his 2017-18 indoor and 2018 outdoor schedules on Friday. The Aggies men’s and women’s track and field teams are the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference defending champions in all four track and field sports.
N.C. A&T will compete at 12 meets before trying to defend their MEAC track titles, Feb. 15-17, at the Prince George’s County Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, Md.
“This is probably one of our most competitive schedule in past years, and we’re looking forward to it,” Ross said. “We want to be the best team we can be and in order to do that we need to continue to compete against other great programs. Our teams have embraced the target on their backs and we’re going out looking for the great competitions.”
For the fifth straight season, the Aggies indoor season will begin at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C. N.C. A&T opens with JDL College Kickoff on Dec. 12. It will be the first of four meets at JDL.
Ross will take the Aggies to his alma mater, Clemson University, in back-to-back weeks starting on Dec. 9 for the Clemson Winter Invite in their final meet of the year. The new year will start with the Aggies in Clemson, S.C., for the Orange and Purple Classic on Jan. 6. The teams will head to Birmingham, Ala., Jan 12-13. The Blazer Invitational is Jan. 12 and the Vulcan Invitational is Jan. 13. Both meets will take place at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
Ross, who often splits up his team based on training needs, will take a portion of the Aggies back to Winston-Salem two days later for the HBCU Invite at JDL on Jan. 15. Wrapping up the month of January, the teams splits again. Some will compete in Lynchburg, Va., for the Liberty Kickoff and the others will go to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Razorback Invitational. Both meets are scheduled for Jan. 26-27.
The Aggies jump into February with a pair of meets at JDL. On Feb. 2-3, N.C. A&T looks to improve at the Camel City Invitational followed by the Queens University Combined Events on Feb. 5-6. Heading into the weekend the teams split for the Liberty Elite Invitational hosted by Liberty University on Feb. 9-10 and the USC Last Chance in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 10.
The Aggies return to the scene of the dominance they displayed at the MEAC indoor championships a year ago, when the women won by 51 points and the men took home the trophy with a 50.5-point spread in Landover, Md. Post MEAC championships will include a last chance meet at JDL and the NCAA Indoor Championships, March 9-10 in College Station, Texas. Three Aggies qualified for the indoor championships last season.
The outdoor season opens in Columbia, S.C., on March 24 at the Weems Baskin Invitational. The Aggies will split squads during the following weekend at the Florida Relays March 30-31. Other team members travel to High Point for the two-day High Point VertKlasse Meet hosted by High Point University.
N.C. A&T once again splits squads as the Aggies compete at the USC Invitational back in Columbia, S.C., and the Liberty Collegiate Invitational in Lynchburg, Va. Both two-day meets will be held April 6-7.
A week later the Aggies host their first of two home meets in the Aggie Invitational held at Irwin Belk Track, April 13-14. For the final time, the Aggies split teams as the Yellow Jacket Invitational (hosted by Georgia Tech) and the Duke Invitational take place, April 20-21. The Aggies close out the regular season at the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, La.
The 2018 MEAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships take place May 3-5 at Irwin Belk Track. It will mark the 10th straight year the Aggies have hosted the conference championships. Last season, the women produced 13 MEAC champions and the men produced 12. The Aggie Last Chance Meet is May 13 at Irwin Belk, and the NCAA Division East Preliminary Round occurs May 24-26 in Tampa, Fla.
The Aggies sent a record 20 athletes last season. Thirteen of those athletes advanced to the NCAA Track and Field Championships. This season the NCAA championships will take place June 6-9 in Eugene, Ore.