COLUMBIA, S.C. – North Carolina A&T sophomore Randolph Ross moved into the top-10 nationwide in the men’s 400m, and he notched a personal-best in the 200m as the N.C. A&T men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams completed the South Carolina Invitational at the Indoor Track and Field Complex at the University of South Carolina (USC) on Saturday.
N.C. A&T’s indoor teams combined for two wins, four second-place finishes and two third-place finishes.
Among the winners was Ross, who finished the 400m in 45.79 to move to sixth nationally. Senior teammate Trevor Stewart finished behind him in second at 46-seconds flat. Senior Elijah Young placed fifth in 47.23.
Senior Tavarius Wright posted the other win for N.C. A&T as he won the men’s 60m with a personal-best 6.64. Wright moved into sixth place nationally in the 60. Ross ran a personal-best in the men’s 200m as he finished second with a time of 20.64. He is ranked fifth in the nation in the 200m.
His previous personal-best in the 200 came two weeks ago at USC when he broke the facility record with a 20.69 along with freshman teammate Javonte Harding. Florida’s Joseph Fahnbulleh broke that record on Saturday by beating Ross with a time of 20.60. N.C. A&T put eight competitors in the 200m race.
Harding finished behind Randolph Ross in third place at 20.75. Harding had the second-fastest qualifying time at 6.75. Harding’s 20.69 at USC two weeks ago has him ranked sixth in the nation. Wright also finished in the top-10 in the 200m as he placed eighth in 21-seconds flat. Junior Daniel Stokes placed ninth (21.20) and junior Malcolm Croom-McFadden finished 10th (21.29).
Paula Salmon had one of those second-place finishes as she placed second in the women’s 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.21. Salmon is 15th in the nation in the event. She had the second-fastest qualifying time on Saturday at 8.33.
Junior Delecia McDuffie had two top-10 finishes. She placed second in the women’s 200m at 23.53 to earn a No. 18 ranking in the nation. Junior Kamaya Debose-Epps placed in sixth (23.99) behind McDuffie and junior Nilaja Florence also finished top-10 in ninth (24.57). McDuffie placed fifth in the women’s 400m at 54.19.
In the field events, junior Brandon Hicklin placed third with a leap of 24-feet, 1 ¾-inches. His leap of 25-feet, ¾-inches two weeks ago at USC, has him ranked 11th nationally. Freshman Arrieya Harper placed fourth in the women’s triple jump at 39-feet, 4 ½-inches.
The Aggies also had competitors in the women’s 60m, women’s 800m, men’s 800m and the men’s 5000m. Debose-Epps had the top finish in the women’s 60m for N.C. A&T by placing fifth (7.47). Ayoola Gbolade had the best Aggie time in the women’s 800m at 2:09.68 to finish eighth.
In the men’s 800, Thomas Mosley had a time of 1:56.41 to place 13th. Junior Morris Kimble led the Aggies in the men’s 500m with a time of 15:20.63.
N.C. A&T has one more qualifying opportunity for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships when they head to Clemson University on Saturday, Feb. 13.