Randolph Ross

NC A&T tracksters pick up where they left off

Randolph Ross Jr., the star of NC A&T’s individual and team accomplishments last season, had the only first-place finish but the Aggies showed their depth and shined again competing at the season-opening indoor Clemson Invite. (Photos by Erin E. Mizelle, NC A&T)

Courtesy: NC A&T Athletics

CLEMSON, S.C. – After a record-setting 2020-21 track season, the North Carolina A&T tracksters are at it again, breaking records and making history.

NC A&T quartermiler Randolph Ross Jr.

In his 2022 debut, junior Olympic gold medalist and NCAA 400 meter outdoor champion, Aggies’ star Randolph Ross Jr., ran a 45.37 in the men’s 400 meters to finish in first place at the Clemson Invite held at the Clemson Indoor Track & Field Facility on Friday. Not only did Ross Jr. place first, but he also ran the fastest time in the world this year, and he broke a Big South Conference record. 

Ross Jr., who finished second in the nation last season in the indoor 400m, ran a 44.99 in the national championship final. His time will likely get progressively better as the season progresses. 

His teammate, and fellow national champion in the indoor and outdoor 4×400-meter relay, Daniel Stokes, finished second in the 400 with a time of 46.71. Four other Aggie 400m runners finished in the top-10. Ross Jr. was the only first-place finish for the Aggies, but not the only standout performance. 

NC A&T hurdlers

Salmon broke school record in
indoor 60-meter hurdles

Graduate hurdler Paula Salmon broke the school record in the 60-meter hurdles by finishing in 7.91. Salmon finished behind Olympic silver medalist Kendra Harrison and Florida’s Grace Stark. Salmon’s time is the second-fastest in the nation this season. 

Three Aggie hurdlers finished in the top-5 of the men’s 60mh, led by senior Rasheem Brown. Brown ran a personal-best 7.71, beating his previous personal record of 7.79 at the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. 

Freshman Leonard Mustari (Fort Myers, Fla.) had an excellent collegiate debut. He finished third in the 60mh with a time of 7.76. Senior Cedric McGriff finished fifth in 7.90. 

Aggie sprinters

A&T’s sprinters also did well. After a remarkable freshman season, Javonte Harding started his sophomore campaign by running a personal-best 6.66. His previous best was 6.77, which he also ran at Clemson on Feb. 12, 2021, at the Tiger Paw Invite. Harding’s 6.66 placed him in third on Friday. Teammate Tavarius Wright finished seventh in 6.71. 

Javonte Harding ran a personal best
in the 60 meter dash.

Seniors Kamaya Debose-Epps and Symone Darius had personal bests in the women’s 60. Debose-Epps ran a 7.32, and Darius finished in 7.37. They finished sixth and eighth, respectively. 

This season, Graduate Loren James is also back after qualifying for the NCAA Division I East Preliminary Round (regionals) in the women’s shot put last spring. On Friday, she finished fifth in the weight throw with a toss of 58-feet, 9 ¼-inches. 

The Aggies return to Clemson on Saturday to compete on the second day of the Clemson Invite. The day will start at 11 a.m., for the Aggie women as Salmon and senior Nazah Reddick compete in the women’s high jump. 

The men will get started at 12:25 p.m., as McGriff is scheduled to run in the seventh heat of the men’s 300m. 

NC A&T tracksters pick up where they left off
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