A&T’s Brown, Belcher advance to NCAA ChampionshipsCourtesy NC A&T Sports Information / June 3, 2016
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two North Carolina A&T track and field athletes advanced to the 2016 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday during the second day of the East Preliminary Round at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium.
Junior Christopher Belcher advanced to the men’s 100 meter semifinals to be held at the nationals in Eugene, Ore., June 8-11, while sophomore India Brown is guaranteed a trip there as a semifinalist in the women’s 100.
Brown came out with the ninth-fastest time in the quarterfinals with a sprint of 11.44. She also progressed through the first round of the 200 with a mark of 23.33 that will have her seeded 14th in the quarterfinals. Brown’s 200 quarterfinals race is Saturday evening at 7:35.
“I’m extremely happy for India,” said Duane, the Aggies director of track field program. “She competed well, and she has had her game face on all weekend. I love to see my athletes like that.”
Brown’s 100 was a season low, down from her original qualifying mark of 11.46 and only a split-second slower than her personal record of 11.43. “You have to love the athletes that listen to their coach and go out and execute,” said Ross about Brown’s performance. “She does well in the classroom, and she’s a really good student.”
To earn his bid to nationals, Belcher sprinted a 10.299 in the 100 to tie Florida freshman Ryan Clark for the fourth-fastest time in the quarters. Belcher did not advance to the quarterfinals of the 200, but freshman teammate Rodney Rowe will compete in Saturday’s 200 quarters scheduled for 7:50 p.m. Rowe’s personal record of 20.90 kept his NCAA national hopes alive in the 200. His 10.46 in the 100 was not enough to qualify him for Eugene.
The last Aggie to see advancement on the day was freshman Kayla White. White crossed the line for the first round of the women’s 100-meter hurdles with a qualifying time of 13.46. She will try to advance to the semifinals at 7:05 p.m., Saturday. White’s 11.68 in the women’s 100 was did not qualify her for nationals.
Other Aggie competitors on Friday included junior Maurice Eaddy. Eaddy competed in the 100 meters at the 2015 NCAA nationals, but ran a 10.49 to miss out on the semifinals this season. Sophomore Morgan Knight ran a 13.63 in the first round of the 100mh and will not advance to the quarterfinals. Sophomore Dajuan Harding ran a 47.64 in the quarterfinals of 400 as he did not advance to the semifinals in Eugene.
The first Aggies to compete on Saturday will be the women’s 4×100 team at 6 p.m., in the quarterfinals. Saturday’s 4×1 will give Brown an opportunity to qualify for nationals in the 100, 200 and 4×1. The men’s 4×1 follows at 6:15 p.m., where Belcher will get a chance to have an additional event on his schedule in Oregon. The preliminary round will conclude with the men’s 4×400 at 9:45 p.m., as junior Dorian Claggett, sophomores Corey Aiken and Dajuan Harding and freshman Justin Hamilton look to add to the Aggies’ numbers at NCAA nationals.