ELON (September 2, 2017) – North Carolina A&T’s men’s and women’s cross country seasons officially started at the Elon Invitational Saturday as the Aggies were among 10 men’s teams and 11 women’s teams who competed. Ninety-two runners competed on the women’s side, while the men’s race involved 79 participants.
The Aggie men started morning with a 6k race finishing in seventh place overall with 195 points and an average time of 20:35. Campbell University captured the top spot with an average time of 19:27 with runners securing the top four places in the race. The Campbell men’s cross country won the event with 26 points, followed by the University of North Carolina (44), Elon (94) in the top-3.
The Aggie women placed ninth with 250 points and an average time of 16:29. Event host Elon won the meet with 40 points and an average time of 14:49. They were followed by UNC (62) and High Point in the top-3.
“We were competitive and I am pleased with the results of the first meet,” said track and field assistant coach Garfield Ellenwood II who was handling cross country duties on Saturday.
Junior Hakeem Mustafaa, who placed 30th overall, was the first to cross the finish line for the Aggies at 20:04. Sophomore Mar’Quise McGee finished right behind him in 31st with a time of 20:10. “I felt good about the race and thought I could have gotten a better time. But it was a good opener,” said Mustafaa.
On the women’s side, sophomore Camille Martin had the fastest time s team at 16:01. Sophomores G’Jasmyne Butler and Kristoni Barnes finished side-by-side each other with both recording a time of 16:06. Butler finished 43rd and Barnes 44th.
“I took off at the men’s 4k marker thinking the race was almost over, but they changed the track from last year. But I feel that help my time,” said Martin.
The Aggies did well after only practicing for two weeks leading up to the first meet. The cross country teams have two more weeks to prepare for their next race which will be the Adidas Cross Country Challenge at the Wake Med Soccer Park in Cary on September 16.