A&T earns nine first-place finishes at HPU, Saturday

Athletics | 03/19/2022 21:42:00

HIGH POINT, North Carolina – North Carolina A&T returned to complete outdoor athletics mode on Saturday afternoon in the second High Point University Bob Davidson Invitational at Vert Stadium.

The Aggies had nine first-place finishes and 23 top-3 finishes. They also broke a record and came away with impressive national rankings.

Senior Ayola Gbolade (1,500 meters women), seniors Cedric McGriff (110 hurdles), seniors Delecia McDuffie (400m women), first year Markevus Jackson (400m men), youth Aveon Reid (400H men), second year Brandon Nya (200M men), the women’s 4×400 meters relay team, graduated Nazah Reddick (women’s high jump) and graduate Loren James (women’s shot put) were among the winners on Saturday.

A&T won its most significant abundance in the women’s 400m. The Aggies captured the top four spots in the race, with McDuffie winning in 53.10, beating Vert Stadium’s previous record of 53.71. McDuffie, who said she didn’t have the indoor season she wanted, capped her indoor season by winning the Big South Conference title in the women’s 400m. She is undoubtedly excited about the start of her 2022 outdoor season.

“I’m looking for the outdoors to be more challenging and more intense last year,” said McDuffie, an NCAA outdoor national qualifier in the 4×400 and regional qualifier in the 400 and 4×400 in 2021. She also won the Mid- Eastern Athletic Outdoor Conference Title (MEAC) in the 400.

McDuffie’s performance on Saturday ranks second in the nation.

“I want to (break my personal best) in my two races, the 200 and the 400,” McDuffie said. “But above all, I want to improve and gain more experience in the 400m to qualify for the national championships.”

Another Aggie ran a time faster than 53.71 in first grade Grace Nwokocha finished second in 53.51 to rank fourth in the country. Second year Jonas Ross ranked third (54.29) and freshman Pebbles Scott (54.65) finished fourth. The Aggies had another top 10 finish in the women’s 400 as runner-up Mykayla Perry (56.29) finished seventh.

“Today was very special. We all went inside not knowing what we were supposed to run today, so we just went out there and ran,” McDuffie said. “We ran our races like we’re supposed to. We’ve been training really hard over the past two weeks since the indoor sessions ended, so I was really happy with how the day ended for us in the 400m.

Reid sought his own redemption. But that wasn’t from last season or the previous indoor season, but from a previous race on Saturday. Reid lined up for the third and final round of the 110H. The race began, but the gunshot rang out again, indicating a false start as the competitors reached the fourth hurdle. Nevertheless, all hurdlers finished the race, ignoring the second hit.

The officials decided to redo the final round of 110H one hour later. Senior A&T Cedric McGriff returned to the make-up race and won the event finishing in 13.99 to place sixth in the nation. But the long jump was in his past – he finished sixth. Plus, the 400H was in its future. Consequently, Reid did not return.

Instead, Reid finished the 400H in 51.71 to place sixth nationally.

“I just wanted to catch up on my 110 because I wanted to start the season at an under-14,” Reid said. “The 400 hurdles is a tough race, but (A&T athletics coach Duan Ross) always tells us, ‘If you anticipate pain, you won’t run well.’

So I tried to get a good start and let the wind carry me. My day didn’t go as planned, but I didn’t give up on my next race.”

The wind didn’t heal Gbolade in the women’s 1500M. Gbolade won the race with a personal best time of 4:45.09.

“Honestly, I feel like it was a great first,” said Gbolade, who said she hopes to use the 1500 to run the 800 better. today. It was very difficult to go down the last 100 meters with the wind in my face. I probably could have been faster, but I can’t complain. I had a great race. kinda shocked.”

Not all of the Aggies’ successes have happened on the track. James earned his eighth career outdoor shot put victory by throwing his best throw 51 feet, 2 ¼ inches. Reddick won the high jump with a jump of 5 feet 8 ¾ inches. Reddick’s jump ranks 10th nationally. Kenady Wilson placed second in the high jump at 5-foot-7.

Back on track, the 4×400 team of Scott, Ross, graduate Breanne Bygrave and McDuffie won their event with a time of 3:39.06. It is the seventh fastest time in the country.

Fresh off his NCAA Indoor Championship run in the 4×400, Jackson crossed the finish line in 46.58. Jackson, the 2022 Big South indoor 400 champion, has the fifth-fastest outdoor time in the nation so far. Second year teammate Chambers of Shemar finished second at 47.15 to rank ninth nationally.

Nya closed out the winners for A&T by finishing the 200M with a personal best 20.73 to rank sixth in the country. Nya finished second in the 100m at 10.26 for the fifth fastest time nationally.

Next week, A&T will travel to Austin, Texas to participate in the Texas Relays hosted by the University of Texas, March 23-26.

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