GREENSBORO, NC — NC A&T sprinter Symone Darius, a grad student, is the athlete declared ineligible that caused the Aggies women’s program to forfeit points and lose its Big South Outdoor Track and Field Championship.
Neither A&T or the Big South Conference identified Darius as the athlete involved though both were contacted for clarification. Nor has either given any reason for her ineligibility.
Her name however has been removed from the list of Big South athletes competing in this week’s NCAA Outdoor Track & Field East Regionals in Bloomington, Indiana. Her name is also not among the list of 25 A&T athletes competing at the Regionals.
A&T self-reported her ineligibility some time after the May 9-11 Big South championships.
Darius at the Big South Championships
At the Big South championships at High Point University, Darius scored 26 points for the Aggies. She finished second in both the 100 (11.25 seconds) and 200 meters (22.78) finals. Teammate Grace Nwokocha won both events, the 100 in 11.13 seconds and 200 in 22.75. Darius earned eight points each, 16 points total, for those second-place finishes.
She also ran a leg on the Aggies’ winning 4×100 meter relay team that finished first in a time of 43.19 seconds and earned ten points.
The 26 points earned by Darius were subtracted from the Lady Aggies winning total of 206 points. The Big South released a statement to that effect on May 20. With now 180 total points, the Lady Aggies landed in second place behind High Point University’s 187 points.
High Point thus swept both the men’s and women’s Outdoor Big South competition. High Point eeked one a one-point win, 178 to 177 over A&T, to earn the men’s title.
A&T sprinter Symone Darius’s history
Darius, 23, is a talented sprinter originally from New Rochelle, New York. She competed three years (2017-2019) for the University of Alabama’s indoor and outdoor track programs. Darius came to A&T during the 2020-21 season.
She participated in the Aggies 2020-21 outdoor season but did not compete indoors. Outdoors, she had a fourth place finish in last year’s MEAC Outdoor Championships in the 100 meters in 11.38 seconds. She also finished fifth in the 200 meters in a time of 23.82 seconds. She was a member of the Lady Aggies 4×100 meter relay team that finished fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
This indoor season Darius led a 1-2-3-4 Lady Aggie finish in the Big South Indoor Championships 60 meters. She set a Big South record-breaking time of 7.34 seconds. She also placed third among the same foursome in the 200 with a time of 23.90 seconds. The A&T women won the Big South Indoor Championships with 207 points.
She did not qualify for the 2022 NCAA Indoor 60 meters and did not make the finals of the 200 meters.