Courtesy of Norfolk State Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State University Director of Track & Field Programs Kenneth Giles announced Monday the signing of five student-athletes who will join the women’s track & field program this fall.
The class includes sprinters Allysia Farrar (Burlington, N.C./Cummings HS), Armani Harris (Phoenix, Ariz./Chandler HS) and Alicia Thomas (Triangle, Va./Potomac HS), distance runner Faith Jemutai (Lessos, Kenya/El Paso CC) and multi-event athlete Dahja Price (Mineral, Va./Louisa County HS).
“This is an excellent class,” Giles said. “We feel we met all the needs we had to in order to take our next step of winning a conference title.”
Farrar was the North Carolina 1A/2A indoor state champion in the 300 meters (PR of 40.48 seconds) and third-place finisher in the 55 meters (PR of 7.04) as a senior. As a junior, she was outdoor 2A state champion in both the 100 meters and 200, and has personal records of 11.80 and 24.28, respectively, in those events. She also had interest from Coastal Carolina, Northern Illinois and Army.
“Allysia is a well-rounded sprinter with range from the 100 to 400 meters and is a real gem for this class,” Giles said. “She will contribute immediately in the very competitive sprints in the MEAC.”
Harris was a three-time state qualifier in the 400 meters for Chandler High School, one of the top programs in the state of Arizona. She clocked a PR of 56.30 as a sophomore and has also run 7.68 in the 60 meters.
“Armani ran very fast at a young age, similar to (All-American NSU sprinter) Kiara Grant,” Giles said. “She will have the chance to learn from school indoor record-holder Malika Pride and give us needed depth in the 400 meters.”
Thomas was a state qualifier in the 55 meters and the 4×200 relay as a senior at Potomac High. After winning the Cardinal District 55m championship, Thomas placed third at the 6A state indoor meet and has a PR of 7.07. Thomas had offers from Hampton, VCU, N.C. Central, N.C. A&T and Florida A&M.
“Alicia will provide quality depth in an already strong area for us,” Giles said. “She is a very powerful sprinter who will contribute immediately in the short sprints.”
Jemutai is a two-time NJCAA All-Region V and NJCAA National Championship qualifier in cross country. She placed third at the regional championship as a freshman in 2018 and seventh in 2019 before placing 31st and 27th, respectively, at the national meet those two years. Jemutai owns a 5,000-meter PR of 17:43. She also reported scholarship offers from Campbell and McNeese State.
“I expect Faith to battle (All-MEAC performer) Fridah Koech for the No. 2 spot on our cross country team,” Giles said. “She is a very experienced runner who will not wilt under pressure.”
Price was a standout multi-event performer for Louisa County in the sprints, hurdles and jumps. Earlier this year at the VHSL 4A state indoor championship, Price earned second-place honors in the 55-meter hurdles and was third in the 55 meters. She also finished 12th in the high jump and was a member of the 4×200-meter relay team that finished seventh. Price owns a long jump PR of 18-1.
“Dahja will provide immediate help in a needed area for us, the multi events,” Giles said. “She is a very talented athlete who also received an offer from Ohio University. She has great speed for a multi-event athlete.”
Giles hopes to add a transfer in the coming weeks. The new recruits join a Spartan program which won the 2019 MEAC cross country title and notched a runner-up finish at the 2020 MEAC Indoor Track & Field Championships.