KERNERSVILLE (October 13, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T women’s cross country team got the warmup they needed heading into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships in two weeks. Meanwhile, the N.C. A&T men’s cross country team got the competition they needed as they head into the MEAC Cross Country Championships in two weeks.
Both teams competed at the Vertcross Invitational hosted by High Point University at Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex on Friday. The men finished 10th in their 8k event. Furman took the No. 1 spot in the men’s race with 56 points. East Tennessee State (70), Appalachian State (108), Charleston Southern (114) and Marshall (168) rounded out the top-5. The women were one of the 16 teams competing and the men faced 17 teams. There was a total of 142 women and 138 men competing.
The Aggie women finished 11th in the 6k event with 262 points. Host HPU (62) finished first followed by Appalachian State (68), East Tennessee State (73), Furman (83), and Wofford (129).
Camille Martin continues to set the pace for the Aggie women. She ran a team-best 23:44.29 to be the only Aggie to finish 45th. Kristoni Barnes was the only other Aggie to finish in the top 50, placing 50th in 23:51.22. G’Jasmyne Butler (24:36.93), Khadijah Reid (24:25.67) and Miranda Green (25:23.036) were a part of the top-5 finishers for N.C. A&T.
Friday marked the women’s first 6k event of the season. They were competing at that distance for a reason. Director of track and field programs Duane Ross said the longer race will give his team an endurance boost going into the conference championships on Oct. 28 in Delaware.
“It was really tough running the 6k, but it will help give us a competitive edge heading into the conference tournament,” said Martin.
In the men’s 8k event, Hakeem Mustafaa was back up front for the Aggies, finishing in 38nd at 26:22.17. Mar’Quise McGee also finished in the top-50 in 45th with a time of 26:27.60. Dequan Maddox (27:21.91), Steve Stowe (27:37.14), Coy Brown (27:46.49), Corey Aiken (28:12.60), and Alan Johnson (29:36.04) were the other Aggies competing. Brown set a personal record for the second straight week.
“The race was really competitive today, and I feel it will help us during conference,” said Mustafaa.
The Aggies will have two weeks to continue to train and prepare before heading to the conference championships in Smyrna, Del., on Oct. 28.
“We have to compete better as a team if we expect to beat some of these teams,” said Ross. “We have individual bright spots at these competitive competitions, but we need both teams to have a complete meet where everyone shows up at their best. Our next competition is our conference championship, and we must have both teams show up if we expect to win.”