EAST GREENSBORO – The NCA&T men’s and women’s outdoor track and field teams will send a combined 27 athletes to the 2021 NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla, May 26-29.
The 27 athletes the Aggies are sending to the east prelim breaks the previous combined record for both programs of 24 set in 2018. The Aggies will send 13 men and 14 women to the event. The 14 women are the most the Aggies have ever sent to a regional eclipsing the old mark of 11 in 2018. The Aggies sent 13 men to the regionals in 2018, tying this year’s mark.
NCA&T will have a combined four athletes competing in field events, another school record for the east prelims. The Aggies sent three field event athletes to the east prelims in 2017.
Senior Loren James in the first shot putter during the 11-year coaching era of director of track and field programs, Duane Ross, to earn a trip to the east prelim. Sophomore Kenady Wilson and junior Paula Salmon will be the second and third athletes to earn a spot in the high jump, joining Nakita Gray, who qualified in 2013. Junior Brandon Hicklin is the third long jumper to make a regional spot under Ross, joining Frank Quarles and Madeleine Akobundu.
Eleven Aggies will be in multiple events, including freshmen Javonte Harding (men’s 100 meters, 200 meters, 4×100-meter relay), Randolph Ross Jr. (men’s 400m, 4×100, 4×400) and Jonah Ross (women’s 100m, 200m, 4×100, 4×400), sophomores Cambrea Sturgis (women’s 100m, 200m, 4×100, 4×400) and Kamaya Debose-Epps (women’s 100m, 200m, 4×100), juniors Daniel Stokes (men’s 200m, 4×400), Delecia McDuffie (women’s 400m, 4×100, 4×400), Paula Salmon (100-meter hurdles, high jump) and Symone Darius (women’s 100m, 200m, 4×400) and seniors Trevor Stewart (men’s 400m, 4×400) and Elijah Young (men’s 400m, 4×400).
Sturgis and Jonah Ross lead the way as they will compete in four different events. They are the first two ladies in program history to qualify for four different events at a regional. They join Akeem Sirleaf (2019) and Stewart (2018) as the only Aggies to qualify for four different events at a regional.
Aggies will compete in a program-record 18 total events throughout the weekend. The Aggies participated in 16 events in 2019.
Twelve Aggies competed in multiple events in 2018 and 2019.
800m – Abbas Abbkar (1:48.81);
4×100 – Men: Tavarius Wright, Ross Jr., Stokes, Harding (38.85); Women: Sturgis, McDuffie, Debose-Epps, Ross.
4×400 – Men: Ross Jr., Young, Stokes, Stewart (3:002.23); Women: Sturgis, Darius, Ross, McDuffie
Long Jump – Brandon Hicklin (24-feet, 5 ½-inches).
Shot Put – Loren James (52-feet, 8 ¾-inches).