Track & Field celebrates past and present successes at Aggie Classic A&T posts six first-place victories on SaturdayCourtesy A&T Athletics / April 29, 2022
Saturday became a celebration for North Carolina A&T track and field, past and present, during the second and final day of the Aggie Classic hosted by A&T at Marcus T. Johnson Track.
As anyone can imagine, the VIP list included the who’s who in Aggies’ track and field. The Aggies’ Track and Field Alumni held its reunion this weekend, bringing back many of the great champions of the past. It culminated with Saturday’s action at the track, which included a tent outside the stadium.Many of the Aggies recent conference champions, All-Americans and national champions competed as pros, including Cambrea Sturgis, Akeem Sirleaf, Kayla White, Chris Belcher, TeJyrica Robinson and Mar’Quise McGee.
Of course, the current lineup of men’s and women’s track and field athletes showed up and out. The men’s outdoor team came into the weekend ranked 15th nationally, and the women competed as the 11th-ranked team. The celebration became complete when the two programs honored 21 student-athletes participating in their final home meet on Senior Day.
The Aggies put together excellent performances once again. The Aggies had six first-place finishes on Saturday. Coupled with the three first-place finishes on Friday and the first-place finishes from former track and field athletes, the weekend indeed recognized A&T track and field greatness.
On Saturday, three of the Aggies’ wins came in field events led by junior Kenady Wilson, who jumped a career-best 6-feet, ¾-inches in the women’s high jump.
Wilson, who came into the weekend No. 1 in the Big South Conference, did nothing to damage that. In addition, Wilson’s jump moves her into a ninth-place tie nationally. Senior teammate Nazah Reddick finished second with a leap of 5-feet, 8 ¾-inches.
Graduate Loren James continued to add to her legacy as a thrower at A&T. She won the women’s shot put with a personal-best throw that landed at 53-feet, 5 ¾-inches. It is the No. 1 throw in the Big South. The throw also ranks her 16th in the East region.
Freshman Carlos Alexander got his first career victory as he took first place in the men’s shot put. He threw a personal-best 55-feet, 1-inch to finish ahead of freshman teammate Brayden Hodgest who finished second with a throw of 53-feet, 8 ¾-inches.
After the victories in the field events, the show turned to the track. The Aggies received two wins in the hurdles. Graduate Paula Salmon won the 100H in 12.66. It was a little slower than the 12.63 she ran last week at the University of Florida. She is No. 1 in the conference, No. 3 in the region and No. 4 nationally.
Former Aggie hurdler TeJyrica Robinson finished second in 13.17. Robinson won two MEAC titles and earned a first-team All-American honor in the 100H during her time at A&T. The entire top-5 in the 100H on Saturday were Aggies as graduate Breanna Bygrave (13.59) finished third, followed by freshmen Zamia Stelly (13.86) and Amanda Kinloch (13.88). Stelly and Kinloch ran personal bests.
Senior Cedric McGriff won the 110H in 13.97. It marked a season-best for McGriff as he remains third in the conference. Senior Jordan Richardson won the men’s 3000-meter steeplechase in 9:52.19. He is sixth in the Big South after running a 9:29.48 at the Florida Relays on March 31.
The celebration of A&T track and field ended with Aggies turned professionals. Sturgis, the reigning 100m and 200m NCAA champion stunned the crowd by running the 100m in an astonishing 10.87 as a team member of Adidas.
White, the 2019 200m indoor champion and the NCAA female indoor track athlete of the year, finished second for Nike in 11.13. Senior Kamaya Debose-Epps placed third in 11.31.
Belcher, who once ran 9.93 at the 2017 NCAA outdoor championships, ran 10.02 in the 100m final Saturday for Nike. Sophomore Javonte’ Harding, the 200m indoor national champion, finished second in 10.21. Senior Tavarius was third in 10.24.