XC Teams Are Mentally Prepared For Championships
GREENSBORO (October 27, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T cross country teams are heading out to compete in the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships on Saturday at the Delaware State University Outreach and Research Center in Smyrna, Del.
The women’s team will start the action with a 5k run at 9:45 a.m., and the men will follow at 10:30 a.m., with an 8k race.
On the men’s side, Florida A&M’s David Too holds the fastest time in the MEAC at 23:47.50 in the 8k. This will mark the first time in four years that the Rattlers will compete in the MEAC cross country championship. They are looking to dethrone reigning three-time champion Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks. On the women’s side, Hampton’s Eusila Chepkemel has the fastest time in the 5k race with a time of 17:27.30. The Pirate women also hold eight of the top-10 times in the MEAC. Everyone is trying to take down five-time reigning champion Florida A&M.
The N.C. A&T had four male runners set new personal records this season at the Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge on Oct. 7. Junior Hakeem Mustafaa has consistently led the men this season and boasts a season-best time of 26:19.39 at the Greensboro Cross Country Invitational held at Hagan Stone Park on Sept. 30. It secured him the number one spot in that race. Sophomore Mar’Quise McGee has been another top performer for the team with two top-3 finishes this season.
Camille Martin has set the pace for the ladies. Martin set a personal record in the 5k this year with a time of 19:24.72. That time helped her earn a first-place finish at the at Hagan Stone Park. Sophomore Kristoni Barnes additionally had a personal best during the same race (19:32.24) to land second-place.
In last year’s championship, the men finished third while the women placed sixth.
“We’ve prepared well for the championship this weekend and now it’s up to our athletes to go out and leave it on the course,” said Duane Ross, director of track and field programs at N.C. A&T. “This week has been all about mental preparation. Our teams are physically ready to compete.”