Aggie Men, Women 4-Peat in MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championships

By Staff Report / 03/02/2020 Athletics

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 2, 2020) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams each tallied 165 points to win their fourth straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) indoor track and field championship.

N.C. A&T, which accomplished the feat Feb. 29 at the Prince George’s County Sports & Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland, is the only MEAC school in history to have both of its indoor teams 4-peat simultaneously.

“Winning the conference championship is the foundation of North Carolina A&T,” said Duane Ross, N.C. A&T’s director of track and field programs, who is in his eighth season at N.C. A&T. “Our goal from Day 1 is to win an NCAA championship. But we never take this meet lightly. We can’t. The conference is too good.”

The Aggie men won six titles with junior sophomore Regan Kimtai claiming three titles over the weekend. Kimtai won the mile Feb. 29, was a part of the distance medley team victory Feb. 28 and won the 5000m Feb. 27. He was a part of 36 ½ points for the Aggies.

Senior Abbas Abbkar took home a middle distance title with his win in the men's 800m. He won the event in 1:52.50 to win his first individual MEAC indoor title as an Aggie. Kimtai finished third at 1:55.19.

Senior Jaylan Mitchell leaned past Coppin State's Joseph Amoah to win the 60m in 6.67. Junior Tavarius Wright finished third in 6.69 and sophomore Akeem Lindo finished sixth in 6.77.

Mitchell, who has fought through numerous injuries in his career, secured his first individual MEAC title. He is headed to his second NCAA indoor national championship race in two weeks.

Freshman Randolph Ross, who also will be at NCAA nationals, collected gold in the men's 400m as he ran a blazing 46.25 to break the meet record. Senior teammate Trevor Stewart finished second in 46.80. Senior Akeem Sirleaf, who plans to compete with Team Liberia in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, gave the Aggies an extra three points by finishing sixth in 48.16.

Ross also finished second in the men's 200m with a time of 21.36. Stewart finished fourth (21.52) and Sirleaf finished fifth (21.60).

“It takes discipline and dedication and courage, mostly” to compete at this level, said Stewart. “The workouts are hard, but once you understand what you need to stay ready and healthy, everything else falls into place.”

The N.C. A&T women won eight titles with junior Loren James named the most outstanding women's field athlete.

After winning the women's weight throw Feb. 28, James threw the shot put 47-feet, 10-inches Feb. 29 to win the event and add 10 points to the Aggies’ totals.

The women’s 60-meter hurdles added 24 points to the board for N.C. A&T on Feb. 29. Senior TeJyrica Robinson took home her first MEAC title as she ran a personal-best 8.12 to claim the gold, outlasting sophomore teammate Paula Salmon and senior teammate Madeleine Akonbundu.

Junior transfer Delecia McDuffie won her first conference title as an Aggie by posting a time of 54.13 in the women’s 400m, where graduate Tori Ray finished third in 55 seconds flat and junior Payton Russell came in sixth in 56.20. Their performances added 19 points for the Aggies.

Aggies sophomore Cambrea Sturgis, who came into the women’s 60m race ranked second in the nation, finished second in 7.26. The event earned the Aggies 23 points as junior Kayla Foy finished third in 7.383, sophomore Kamaya Debose-Epps finished fourth in 7.387 and senior Taliyah Townsend finished fifth in 7.54.

Sturgis won gold in the women’s 200m by running a 23.61. McDuffie was third after completing her race in 23.97. Townsend and Foy also scored by finishing sixth and seventh, respectively.

N.C. A&T capped off its fourth straight championship by winning the women's 4x400-meter relay in 3:42.07 with the team of Russell, senior Sun-Sara Williams, Ray and sophomore Nilaja Florence.

“When we came in here and won the first one, no one expected it. Now when we come in here, we’re expected to win,” said Duane Ross. “Four years ago we were hungry to get one. Now we’re hungry to stay on top.”

First-team All-MEAC honors are giving to first-place winners, second-team honors to second-place finishers and third-team honors to third place finishers.

Aggies who received first-team All-MEAC honors were, for the men, Mitchell (60m), Randolph Ross (400m), Abbkar (800m, DMR), Kimtai (mile, 5000m, DMR), Lindo (DMR) and Mar'Quise McGee (DMR); for the women, Sturgis (200m), McDuffie (400m), Robinson (60mh), Ray (4x400), Williams (4x400), Russell (4x400), Florence (4x400), Paula Salmon (high jump) and James (weight throw, shot put).

The Aggies’ All-MEAC second-team honorees were, for the men, Randolph Ross (200m), Stewart (400m) and Brandon Hicklin (long jump); for the women, Sturgis (60m), Salmon (60mh), Kenady Wilson (high jump), Sandra Brown (pole vault) and Akobundu (long jump).

Members of the Aggies’ All-MEAC third team were, for the men, Kimtai (800m) and McGee (mile) and, for the women, Foy (60m), McDuffie (200m), Ray (400m), G'Jasmyne Butler (mile) and Akobundu (60mh).

Media Contact Information: uncomm@ncat.edu