Aggie Track and Field collects multiple awardsCourtesy A&T Athletics / June 11, 2021
Share this article:Duane Ross, North Carolina A&T’s director of track and field programs, added to his growing legacy on Friday. Ross captured his fourth and fifth career coach of the year honors from the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as the organization named Ross the men’s and women’s southeast region coach of the year.
In addition, Ross’s fifth-year senior, Trevor Stewart, earned USTFCCCA southeast region men’s athlete of the year. Sophomore Cambrea Sturgis secured southeast region women’s athlete of the year. Also on Friday, Ross’s assistant coach Ron Garner secured USTFCCCA men’s assistant coach of the year.
After Friday, the USTFCCCA honors have become numerous for Ross’s N.C. A&T track and field program.
Friday marked the second time in Ross’s career he has won both the men’s and women’s coaching honors in the same season after accomplishing the feat in 2018. In 2019, USTFCCCA named him men’s southeast region coach of the year.
Stewart and Sturgis become the third and fourth athletes under Ross to earn a USTFCCCA regional honor. In 2019, sprinter Kayla White won the southeast region women’s track athlete of the year during the indoor and outdoor seasons.
In addition, White also became the first Aggie ever to win a national player of the year honor when she was named the NCAA women’s indoor track athlete of the year in 2019.
After the 2021 indoor season, Ross’s son, Randolph Ross Jr., earned southeast region men’s athlete of the year.
Stewart and his 4×400-meter relay teammates ran the world’s fastest time twice this year. In March, they set the standard at Texas Relays by running a 3:00.23. Last week at the Division I NCAA East Preliminary Round, they lowered their time to 2:59.21.
Stewart ran the anchor leg of that 4×400 race in an impressive 43.70.
Individually, Stewart posted a 44.55 in the first round of the 400 meters at the east prelims at the University of North Florida. In the quarterfinal round, he qualified for NCAA nationals with a time of 44.59. Thanks to those two performances, Stewart owns the two fastest 400m times ever recorded at an NCAA east regional.
Stewart’s 44.52 posted at Drake Relays on April 29 is the third-fastest time recorded in the nation this season. During the indoor season, Stewart helped the Aggies’ 4×400 team win the NCAA national championship.
“I’m tremendously happy for Trevor,” said Duane Ross. “This honor is so well deserved. Four years in, and I’ve never heard him complain about anything. He is an outstanding athlete but an even better young man.”
Sturgis is having a great season. Sturgis claimed three MEAC titles in May, winning the 100 and 200 meters, and she ran the lead leg on the Aggies’ conference championship 4×100 team. At the east prelims, Sturgis ran the 15th-fastest collegiate 200m time in history at 22.26. She also posted a 10.92 in the 100 at the regional.
“It is a well-deserved honor for Cambrea,” said Ross. “She works hard and has big plans for NCAA championships and the Olympic Trials.”
Under Ross, Stewart and Ross Jr., are two of the best 400m runners in the country and own two of the world’s top-10 times with Stewart’s 44.52 and Ross Jr.’s 44.60. The 2:59.21 ran by the 4×400 team is the third-fastest time in collegiate history.
Ross led the Aggie men to their fourth straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title when they won the championship in May, breaking the conference record for points with 288. He led the ladies to their third MEAC title in four years with a record-breaking 290 points.
The men had 13-event conference champions and won every track event contested except the 3000m steeplechase. The N.C. A&T men’s outdoor track and field team sent 13 athletes to the east prelims and came away with nine athletes going to the NCAA championships in nine events.
Freshman Javonte Harding earned most outstanding male track athlete for the MEAC. The women also won 13 events as senior Loren James earned most outstanding female field athlete, and G’Jasmyne Butler won most outstanding female track athlete at the conference championships. Ross sent 14 ladies to the east prelim, with nine women advancing to the NCAA championships in six different events, including sophomore Cambrea Sturgis, who broke the UNF Hodges Stadium record in the 100m (10.92).