Norfolk State Men, Hampton Women Hold Slim Leads Entering Final Day Of Competition
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Norfolk State men and the Hampton University women are atop the leaderboards after the second day of action at the 2017 MEAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University.
Hampton's Jerrick Powell won the men's decathlon with 6,197 points as he closed the event on a strong note highlighted by a win in the javelin (157-08) and a second-place performance in the 1,500-meter run. Bethune-Cookman's JaQuaveon Beachem placed second with 5,989 points followed by Hampton's Desmond Lindsey.
Savannah State claimed the top two spots in the long jump as Laron James of Savannah State won the title with a jump of 24-08.5. Teammate Malik Franklin placed second after his jump of 24-3 while Lasheon Strozier of North Carolina A&T State (24-3) rounded out the top three finishers.
South Carolina State's Anthony Britt set a personal-best record after his throw of 56-03 feet in the shot put on his third attempt. Coppin State's Steven Thomas placed second following a mark of 51-11.75 with Norfolk State's Christopher Lee the third-place finisher (51-05.5).
MEAC record-holder Khalil-Rmidi Kinini defended his 3,000-meter steeplechase title for the third consecutive season as he led from start-to-finish in a time of 9:13.33. Darren White of North Carolina A&T State claimed second in a time 9:20.29 followed by Xavier Walton of Bethune-Cookman's third-place time of 9:39.98. Coppin State's Steven Thomas won the final scoring event of the afternoon as he posted a throw of 171-07 in the hammer. Derrick Wheeler of North Carolina A&T State placed second (164-04) with Sidney Holston of Bethune-Cookman placing third after a throw of 161-10.
In the preliminary rounds, Hampton's Charles Graham topped the field in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.02 while North Carolina A&T State qualified three hurdlers for Saturday's final. South Carolina State had two of the top three runners in the 400-meter dash led by Tyrell Richard's top time of 46.85. North Carolina A&T State's Christopher Belcher had little trouble posting the top time in the 100 with a 10.1 followed by Coppin State's Joseph Amoah (10.24) and Caleb Gabriel (10.35) of North Carolina A&T State.
Coppin State dominated the 800 as Michael James (1:50.98), Ronaldo Ball (1:51.34) and Alaric Coker (1:51.40) all qualified for Saturday's final.
Norfolk State leads North Carolina A&T State by the slimmest of margins as they're ahead by 1.5 points over second-place North Carolina A&T State. Bethune-Cookman sits in third with 43.5 points followed by Maryland Eastern Shore at 34 points.
The Hampton women jumped ahead in the standings to close out day two of competition on the women's side.
Coppin State's Khemani Roberts set a new MEAC Championships record in the women's heptathlon, racking up 5,036 points in winning the gold medal.
Madeleine Akobundu of North Carolina A&T State took gold in the women's long jump, leaping 19-10.75, while Bethune-Cookman's Catoria Sirmon won the women's shot put with a mark of 49-7.75.
Hampton also closed out the afternoon with a pair of MEAC titles; Corneisha Mitchell took gold in the hammer throw with a mark of 163-4, and Faith Keitany won the 3,000-meter steeplechase after running a 10:57.45.
Kayla White of North Carolina A&T State posted the top preliminary time in the 100-meter hurdles; she ran a 13.50 in the hurdles race, before turning in an 11.42 in the 100-meter dash to post the second fastest time. Her teammate India Brown had the fastest 100 dash time with an 11.38.
North Carolina A&T State's Morgan White had the second fastest 100-meter hurdles time with a 13.58.
Norfolk State's Martha Bissah ran a 2:09.04 to post the fastest time in the women's 800 run, and Delaware State's Omealla Gordon had the fastest 400-meter preliminary time with a 54.67.
Hampton leads the women's team standings after two days with 67 points. Florida A&M, with 56 points, sits in second, while Maryland Eastern Shore (36 points), Coppin State (34) and Howard (31) round out the top five.