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BLACKSBURG, Va. (January 19, 2019) –There was a bold prediction made about freshman North Carolina A&T women’s indoor track and field sprinter Cambrea Sturgis on Saturday. 


“She will be making headlines in track and field for a long time,” said Duane Ross, N.C. A&T’s director of track and field programs. 


Well, there is no time like the present. In her first collegiate 200-meter race, Sturgis ran a 23.43 Saturday during the second day of the Hokie Invitational at Virginia Tech’s Rector Field House to win the event in school-record time. It is the ninth-fastest time in the nation this year. 


Both the men and the women competed for a second day on Saturday. It was another productive day for both teams. The men also had a first-place finish as senior standout sprinter Rodney Rowe made his season debut in the 200m by taking first in 21.11. The men and women each had six top-5 finishes. 


The Aggies had an awesome Friday for both teams in the 60m and 60mh. They won both 60mh events and had a second-place finish by Rowe in the men’s 60 and a third-place finish by Taliyah Townsend in the women’s 60. 


They returned on Saturday and were impressive in the 200, 400 and 800m. To add to what Sturgis and Rowe accomplished in their respective 200’s, junior Akeem Sirleaf, who looks to make a few headlines of his own, finished second behind Rowe in the 200 Saturday (21.26) a day after he finished in third in the 60. It is his fastest 200m indoor time of his career including junior college. Freshman Nilaja Florence finished seventh in the women’s 200. 


N.C. A&T’s 400m are also a reason to be excited. Sophomore Trevor Stewart finished second on the men’s side in 47.03 followed by junior Brandy Felix in sixth (49.16). The Aggies placed three runners in the top-15 in the women’s 400 led by junior Tori Ray who finished third in 55.76. Sun-Sara Williams finished fourth (55.96) followed by senior Kennedy Thorne in 14thwith a time of 58.79. 


“The 400-meter group on both sides had great openers,” said Ross. “All of our 400 athletes had their fastest openers ever.”


The 800 wasn’t too shabby either. Three Aggie men finished in the top-10 including freshman Regan Kimtai who finished second by running a 1:52.27. He was followed by junior Mar’Quise McGee in seventh place with a personal-record 1:54.25 and junior Coy Brown in ninth place (1:55.37). Kimtai’s 800m time is almost two seconds faster than last week when he ran at the Virginia Tech Invitational. Brown has never run the 800 that fast indoors. 


Junior Kristoni Barnes led a group of four Aggies in the top-20 of the women’s 800 by finishing fourth in 2:14.27. Junior G’Jasmyne Butler finished sixth (2:15.98) followed by freshman Monzerad Creary in 18th(2:22.37) and freshman Shalah Means in 20th(2:23.40).


Also on the track, the men’s 4x400-meter relay team of sophomore Chase Bonham, freshmen Brandon Hicklin and Akeem Lindo and Felix finished fourth in 3:20.97. The women’s team of junior Madeleine Akobundu, sophomore Payton Russell, Ray and Thorne finished sixth in 3:51.48. Morris Kimble finished 13thin the 5000m in 16:11.70. 


The field events were led by sophomore Nazah Reddick. With two women’s high jump first-place finishes already secured this season, Reddick finished second on Saturday with her best jump measuring at 5-feet, 6-inches. Sophomore Loren James finished fifth in the women’s shot put with a throw of 45-feet, 5-inches. 


Hicklin led two Aggies in the top-10 of the men’s long jump. He jumped 24-feet ¾-inches to finish third ahead of teammate and sophomore Michael Bell in 10thplace at 22-feet, 5 ¼-inches.  In the men’s shot put, sophomore Aaron Wilkerson placed eighth with a throw of 148-feet, 8-inches. 


“It was another solid competition and great effort all around for our teams,” said Ross. “Our distance crew is the best we’ve put together.”


As for Sturgis, Ross called her one of a kind. 


The Aggies are scheduled to split up their athletes, Feb. 1-2. Athletes from certain events are scheduled to compete in the Camel City Invitational at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem while others will compete at the University of South Carolina in the Carolina Challenge.  


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