MEAC Officially Kicks Off 2017 Indoor Track & Field Championships
LANDOVER, Md. - The Maryland Eastern Shore and North Carolina A&T State men along with the Florida A&M women lead the way after the opening day of the 2017 MEAC Track & Field Championship at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex.
Judith Kibil of Florida A&M picked up the first individual title of this year’s Indoor Championships, winning gold with a time of 17:23.93. Maryland Eastern Shore's Khalil Rmidi Kinini won his third consecutive 5,000-meter title despite facing stiff competition from Norfolk State's Ronald Korir and North Carolina A&T State's Darren White as he crossed the finish line in a time of 14:59.30. Korir placed second after a run of 15:02.30 while White finished in third for the second straight year as he came in sixth-tenths-of-a-second behind Korir (15:02.99).
Finals were also held in the long jump as Savannah State’s Laron James claimed top honors on the men's side as he recorded a personal best jump of 24 feet, 5.5 inches. Madeleine Akobundu of North Carolina A&T State took the MEAC title with a mark of 5.92 meters (19-5.25 inches), just .02 meters shy of her season- and MEAC-best mark.
In the heptathlon, North Carolina A&T State's Todd Townsend set the tone early as he leads after four events with a total of 2,947 points.
Townsend posted the top time in the 60-meter dash (7.0) followed by a second-place finish in the long jump. He placed fourth in the shot put (38-8.75) before closing the day out by winning the high jump (6-01.25). Bethune-Cookman freshman JaQuaveon Beachem is right on Townsend's heels as he stands in second place paced by a first-place finish in the long jump (22-8.5) and second-place run in the 60 (7.08). The men's heptathlon will conclude tomorrow with the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000-meter run.
North Carolina A&T State dominated the prelims of the men’s 200 as three Aggies advanced to the finals. Rodney Rowe (21.72) and Christopher Belcher (21.77) finished 1-2 while teammate Caleb Gabriel placed seventh (22.19). The Bethune-Cookman duo of Kareem Fair (21.91) and Jordan Williams (21.97) finished 3-4 as they both advanced to Saturday's final round.
North Carolina A&T State’s India Brown turned in the top time in the prelims of the women’s 200, winning her heat with a time of 24.13.
Maryland Eastern Shore and North Carolina A&T State are both tied atop the men's standings with a total of 17 points scored through two events. Norfolk State follows in third with 15 points while Savannah State rounds out the top four with 13 points.
Florida A&M leads the women’s team standings through two scored events with 25 points. North Carolina A&T State is second with 18, while Hampton is third with 16 points.
Day two of the three-day championship kicks off at 9 a.m. on Friday as finals will be held in the high jump, weight throw, 800 and distance medley.
A complete schedule of events and live statistics for the 2017 MEAC Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships can be found at www.MEACsports.com.
Admission for the Indoor Track and Field Championships is $5 daily on Friday and Saturday, February 17-18. Tickets are available at the Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex.