CARY (October 7, 2017) – The four-peat is a reality. The North Carolina A&T men’s cross country team won the Cedric Walker HBCU Cross Country Challenge for the fourth straight time, but it was not without Morehouse trying to seriously dethrone the Aggies on Saturday at the Wake Med Soccer Park. The women’s cross country team finished second for the second straight year at the HBCU challenge.
The men scored a meet-low 42 points with an average time of 27:26. Morehouse (45), Benedict (109), Virginia State (123), and Virginia Union (156) finished out the top-5. The only interruption in the men's reign at the HBCU challenge was a rainout in 2015. Hampton took the women’s title with 23 points followed by the Aggies (42), Fayetteville State (93), Benedict College (143) and Winston-Salem State (145) in the top-5.
Four Aggie men set personal records in an 8k event on Saturday. Sophomore Mar’Quise McGee was the first Aggie to cross the finish line as he completed his race with a personal-best time of 26:22.4, marking the second straight week he posted a personal best. Redshirt junior Corey Aikens (27:10.4), sophomore Coy Brown (27:59.4) and freshman Alan Johnson (29:13.9) also set personal best during the race. Aiken (9th), Dequan Maddox (27:28.6, 11th), Brown (14th) all finished in the top-15.
“This week in practice felt good, and me and my teammates pushed each other every day,” said McGee.
In the women’s 5k event, sophomore Camille Martin (19:27.3) was the fastest Aggie again on Saturday, finishing fifth. Sophomores Kristoni Barnes (19:38.2) and G’Jasmyne Butler (20:03.4) joined Martin in the top-10 as they finished sixth and seventh respectively.
“Even though I did not get a new PR this week like the last two, I am still excited to finish this race a whole 10 minutes faster than last year,” said Barnes.
The Aggies cross country teams continue to improve and have just one more meet before the MEAC Championships. They will run in the VertCross Invitational hosted by High Point University next Saturday.
“I’m happy whenever we can come away from a competition with a win, but to come away with it with so many personal bests makes me extremely proud of our team,” said Duane Ross, director of track and field programs. “Our women battled well today and came up a little short, but I’m happy with the effort they put forward to finish second. If everyone was fully healthy, it might have been a different race.”
The N.C. A&T men won without lead runner Hakeem Mustafaa.