Brian Holloway – Associate Athletics Director/Communications
LEXINGTON, Ky. – North Carolina A&T men’s and women’s track knocked off some of the rust from their 10-month layoff from competition this weekend at the University of Kentucky’s McCravy Green Invitational at Nector Field House.
How rust did they knock? They won eight times on Saturday and a total of nine times for the weekend, including two freshmen who crossed the finish line in first place in their respective collegiate debuts. One can only wonder what they will look like, completely revamped.
The women had four first-place finishes, all on Saturday. The men had four of their five wins over the weekend on Saturday.
N.C. A&T’s All-Americans came ready. Three-time All-American Cambrea Sturgis, a junior, won the women’s 60 meters. Sophomore and two-time All-American Randolph Ross won the men’s 400m and teamed with his 4×400-meter relay teammates to win the 4×4.
All-American hurdler Paula Salmon started the season with a win in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Freshmen Arrieya Harper and Carolyn Brown began their collegiate careers by making a little noise. Harper won the triple jump, while Brown crossed the finish line first in the women’s 800m.
Speaking of debuts, junior Rasheem Brown won the men’s 60mh in his first meet as an Aggie. Senior Tavarius Wright closed out the winning by claiming victory in the men’s 60m.
“We were definitely shaking off some of the rust, but we came away with a lot of wins,” said Duane Ross, N.C. A&T’s director of track and field programs. “The times and marks were not super impressive, but our young men and women know how to win.”
Sturgis, Ross and Salmon, without question, fall into the category of winners. Sturgis is a MEAC champion in the 200m indoor and the 4×100. She secured All-American honors in the 200m outdoor, the 4×100 and the 60m. On Saturday, Sturgis finished the 60 in 7.29 after having the fastest qualifying time at 7.36.
Junior Symone Darius finished behind her in second place with a time of 7.42. Two other Aggies finished in the top-10, with junior Kamaya Debose-Epps (7.50) coming in seventh and freshman Jonah Ross (7.53) finishing eighth.
Randolph Ross secured All-American honors as a freshman in the 400m indoor and the 4×400 indoor. He even posted the fastest 400m time in the world a year ago at 45.44. Ross debuted in 2021 by running a 46.20 to win the 400 at Kentucky.
Trevor Stewart, who has not had a shabby career himself, winning All-American honors in the outdoor 400m and 4×400, finished second by Randolph Ross on Saturday. Stewart ran a 47.01, followed by Elijah Young, who finished fifth in 47.85.
Randolph Ross teamed with Stewart, Young and Akeem Lindor to win the 4×4 with a time of 3:09.28. Kentucky came in second (3:09.85), the Aggies ‘B’ team of Daniel Stokes, Javonte Harding, Matthew Moore and Canoy Tyree finished third in 3:16.06.
Salmon ranked 10th in the country last season in the 60mh. She opened this season by winning the 60mh in 8.30 after having the fastest qualifying time at 8.35.
A day after winning the men’s long jump, the Aggies stepped away from the track again on Saturday for a victory as Harper triple jumped 38-feet, 7-inches for the win. Harper’s jump was an inch-and-half better than Louisville’s Ariel Lawrence, who finished second. Back on the track, fellow freshman, Carolyn Brown, won the 800m with a time of 2:12.22.
Even though he is not a freshman, Rasheem Brown is a newcomer who looked very comfortable in his new surroundings. He won the 60mh in 7.84 after posting the fastest qualifying time at 7.86. Meanwhile, Wright led six Aggies in the top-5 of the 60m as he finished in 6.70, followed by junior Malcolm Croom-McFadden in third (6.83) and Harding in fifth (6.863).
The Aggies are back in action on Saturday, Jan. 23, for the Carolina Challenge at the University of South Carolina.