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Courtesy: Megan Raymond

North Carolina A&T State Men's Track Wins First Indoor Title In 21 Years

Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations
          Release: 02/18/2017
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FINALS RESULTS

LANDOVER, Md. -  The North Carolina A&T State men’s indoor track and field team sprinted to its first title in 21 years after claiming the 2017 MEAC Indoor Championship.

Only 10.5 points separated four teams entering Saturday’s finals on the men’s side with Norfolk State sitting atop the ledger. Maryland Eastern Shore’s Khalil Rmidi Kinini won the mile run in a time of 4:14.86 but Hampton jumped to the top after claiming third, fourth and fifth in the event.

Because of the mile, North Carolina A&T State dropped to fourth but things would change in an instant once the sprints started as Dajuan Harding posted the top and a personal indoor-best time (47.75) in the 400 to claim the title. Hampton’s Charles Graham claimed the 60-meter hurdles as he clocked 7.95 but A&T racked up 15 points and moved to third after placing second, fourth and seventh in the event.

The Aggies blew the meet open once the 60-meter dash commenced as Christopher Belcher (6.65), Rodney Rowe (6.76), Joel Thomas (6.78) and Caleb Gabriel (6.79) finished 1-2-3-4 to total 29 points and move atop the standings with 83.5 points. Belcher returned to the track several minutes later in the 200 and picked up his second individual title as he finished the race with a season-best run of 21.38. Belcher had a tough race as he held off fellow teammates Rowe and Gabriel down the stretch. With the lead comfortably in tow, the Aggies brought the crowd to its feet after posting the top time in the mile relay (3:16.91).

Howard’s Robert Mercer won his fourth MEAC pole vault title and his first since 2015 after posting a mark of 14-06. Christopher Lee of Norfolk State won his second consecutive indoor shot put title (55-3) after a tight battle with Hampton’s Sulaiman Fared. Michael Tiller of Bethune-Cookman closed out his career as a three-time MEAC indoor triple jump champion with a jump of 52-08.75 while Rmidi Kinini also went out in style with his third consecutive 3,000-meter run championship.

The Aggies, which ended Bethune-Cookman’s two-year MEAC Indoor Championship run, won their first MEAC Championship since 1996 behind the strength of 146.5 points. Norfolk State finished as the runner-up with 96 points followed by Hampton’s 91 points. Rmidi Kinini won Most Outstanding Runner for the third straight year while Coppin State’s Steven Thomas was named Most Outstanding Field Performer. 

ALL-MEAC TRACK TEAMS

First Team: Christopher Belcher, North Carolina A&T State (60m, 200m, 4x400); Dajuan Harding, North Carolina A&T State (400m, 4x400); Jonathan Moore, Bethune-Cookman (800m); Charles Graham, Hampton (60h); Khalil Rmidi Kinini, Maryland Eastern Shore (5,000m, Mile, 3,000m, DMR); Dorian Claggett, North Carolina A&T State (4x400); Caleb Gabriel, North Carolina A&T State (4x400); Oussama Chouati, Maryland Eastern Shore (DMR); Taj Showalter, Maryland Eastern Shore (DMR); Jordan Leon, Maryland Eastern Shore (DMR); Jacob Milton, Norfolk State (HJ); Robert Mercer, Howard (Pole); LaRon James, Savannah State (LJ); Michael Tiller, Bethune-Cookman (TJ); Christopher Lee, Norfolk State (Shot); Steven Thomas, Coppin State (Weight); Todd Townsend, North Carolina A&T State (Heptathlon)

Second Team: Rodney Rowe, North Carolina A&T State (60m, 200m); Joel Roberson, Morgan State (400m); Stanley Davis, Hampton (800m); Todd Townsend, North Carolina A&T State (60h); Felix Kiprotich, Norfolk State (Mile); Ronald Korir, Norfolk State (5,000m); Oussama Chouati, Maryland Eastern Shore (3,000m); Gabriel Johnson, Hampton (4x400); Jerrick Powell, Hampton (4x400); Jaelen Williams, Hampton (4x400); Geoffrey McCullough, Hampton (DMR); Chace Washington-Saunders, Hampton (4x400, DMR); Tayvon Burris, Hampton (DMR); Emmanuel Too, Hampton (DMR); Omega Smalls, North Carolina Central (HJ); Dominic Harper, Bethune-Cookman (Pole); Demek Kemp, South Carolina State (LJ); Lasheon Strozier, North Carolina A&T State (TJ); Anthony Britt, South Carolina State (Shot); De’Trail Hockaday, Norfolk State (Weight); Donmanique Hardy, Hampton (Heptathlon)

Third Team: Joel Thomas, North Carolina A&T State (60m); Caleb Gabriel, North Carolina A&T State (200m); Olujimi Scott, Howard (400m); Michael James, Coppin State (800m); Allan Frye, Norfolk State (60h); Geoffrey McCullough, Hampton (Mile); Darren White, North Carolina A&T State (5,000m); Kevin Leach, Morgan State (4x400); Joel Roberson, Morgan State (4x400); Onyx Johnson, Morgan State (4x400); Deyvon Howell, Morgan State (4x400); Desmond Fogg, Norfolk State (DMR); Justin Pinder, Norfolk State (DMR); Rashad Ramsey, Norfolk State (DMR); Felix Kiprotich, Norfolk State (DMR, 3,000m); Kelton Williams, Bethune-Cookman (HJ); Trey Clark, Hampton (Pole); Frank Quaries, North Carolina A&T State (LJ); Matthew Colvin, Howard (TJ); Steven Thomas, Coppin State (Shot); Noah Agwu, Maryland Eastern Shore (Weight); Kurt Goodlitt, Morgan State (Heptathlon)

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