MEAC 2019 Outdoor Track and Field Champs

Aggie Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Teams Sweep MEAC Championships

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 6, 2019) – For the second time in three years, the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams swept the MEAC championships, Saturday, May 4.

This is the third consecutive MEAC title for the men’s outdoor team to go along with their three straight MEAC indoor titles and their 2018 MEAC men’s cross country championship. The women also hold three consecutive MEAC indoor titles.

“Based on some of the times we put up, this is the best MEAC championship we have ever had,” said Duane Ross, the A&T director of track and field programs. “If there are teams out there that didn’t know we are for real about being a nationally-recognized program, they have not been paying attention. Our times today show we mean business.”

Michael Dickson

For the women’s team, it was a day of redemption. Florida A&M has proven to be a formidable opponent for the North Carolina A&T women’s outdoor track and field team over the past two years at the conference championships. It was the Rattlers who prevented the Aggies from repeating last season, and it was the Rattlers who led by more than 100 points after the first two events were scored on Saturday during the final day of the championships.

“To see us fight back the way we did was the highlight of my weekend,” said Ross said. “I was sitting around calculating in my head, ‘How in the world are we going to make up all those points?’ But winning the pole vault got our team going. By the time the sprinters and distance runners hit the track, it was a snowball effect. We were off and running.”

For the second straight season, senior Kayla White was named the meet’s most outstanding runner. She ran an NCAA-best 10.96 to win the 100 meters. According to the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association, it was the fifth-fastest collegiate time ever. White also ran an NCAA-best 22.52 to win the 200. White was also a part of the Aggies 4x100 championship team.

“Kayla was a huge part of us coming back because our younger athletes follow her,” said Ross. “When you’re at this level you have to be mindful of the things you say and the things you do because they’re watching even when you don’t think they’re watching. For them to see her still working hard helps them learn all the right things to do.”

Senior Trevor Stewart was the main highlight for the men. He won the 400 meters by running the 14th-fastest time ever in the world at 44.38. Stewart will head to the NCAA Division I East Regional Preliminary Round (regionals) with the No. 1 team in the nation.

“I think he is going to be the future in the 400-meter event,” said Ross. “I’m talking about in the world. I think once he matures, I think he can be an Olympian, a world champion, you name it.”

With both teams’ success, some may say that Ross is building a dynasty. He believes it’s too early.

“I think there is a chance to get caught up in complacency when you call yourself a dynasty, so I don’t want to go there,” said Ross. “There is no better feeling as a coach than to know you can depend on your (team) when it is championship time.”

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Women’s Outdoor Track & Field

First-Team All-MEAC: Jayne Roberts (pole vault); Madeleine Akobundu (long jump, 100mh); Kayla White (100m, 200m, 4x100); Tori Ray (400m, 4x400); 4x100); Cambrea Sturgis (4x100); Taliyah Townsend (4x100); Kamaya Debose-Epps (4x100); Sun-Sara Williams (4x400); Kristoni Barnes (4x400); Nilaja Florence (4x400); G’Jasmyne Butler (3,000m steeplechase).

Second-Team All-MEAC: Paula Salmon (high jump, 400mh); Loren James (shot put); Cambrea Sturgis (200m); TeJyrica Robinson (100mh); Kristoni Barnes (800m).

Third-Team All-MEAC: Nazah Reddick (high jump); Cambrea Sturgis (100m); Kamaya Debose-Epps (200m); Sun-Sara Williams (400m); Paula Salmon (100mh); Nilaja Florence (400mh).

 

Men’s Outdoor Track & Field

First-Team All-MEAC: Lasheon Strozier (triple jump); Derrick Wheeler (hammer); Aaron Wilkerson (shot put); Rodney Rowe (100m, 200m, 4x100); Trevor Stewart (400m); Michael Dickson (110mh, 4x100); Malcom Croom-McFadden (4x100); Akeem Sirleaf (4x100); Akeem Lindo (4x400); Brandy Felix (4x400); Chase Bonham (4x400); Kemarni Mighty (4x400); Regan Kimtai (1,500m); 

Second-Team All-MEAC: Brandon Hicklin (long jump); Joshua Faison (discus); Kevin Fofanah (hammer); Akeem Sirleaf (400m); Akeem Lindo (400mh); Regan Kimtai (800m)

Third-Team All-MEAC: Akeem Sirleaf (200m); Regan Kimtai (3,000m steeplechase)