North Carolina A&T

Randolph Ross Jr. makes US team for worlds

A&T junior Randolph Ross Jr. earned a second trip to perform on track’s world stage on a day where a new world record was set. Three other A&T athletes advanced.

NC A&T junior Randolph Ross Jr., the two-time NCAA Outdoor 400 meters champion, earned a spot Saturday on the U. S. team for the upcoming World Championships.

Ross came through with a third-place finish in the 400 meter finals in 44.17 seconds at the U. S. Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Ross finished behind Nike-sponsored champion Michael Norman, whose 43.56 was the fastest time in the world this year. Champion Allison of Florida, who finished behind Ross at the NCAA Outdoors two weeks ago, took second in a career-best time of 43.70.

Ross said he has plenty to improve on.

“Probably a C,” he said in a post race interview of the grade for his performance. “We’ve got something to improve on – technique-wise and pattern-wise, but we’ll get it down. I’ll go home, recover and will be right back out here in three weeks ready to go.”

Randolph Ross Jr.
Randolph Ross in his post-race interview.

The three will represent the U. S. in the event at the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships back in Eugene on July 15-24.

Randolph Ross Jr.: A repeat in Eugene

After winning the NCAA Outdoors last year, Ross also finished third behind Norman and Michael Cherry at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene. He ran for the U. S. in the 400 meters at the Tokyo Olympics but did not make the final. He did win an Olympic gold medal as a member of the winning 4×400 relay team.

Ross, whose father Duane Ross was his track coach at A&T, will join his father who was recently named the new head of track and field programs at Tennessee. Duane Ross had led A&T since 2012.

Another Aggie in a final

In a day highlighted by 400 meter hurdles world record holder Sydney McLaughlin setting a new world mark (51.41) in the event, Randolph Ross Jr. was not the only NC A&T athlete to make a final.

Grad student Paula Salmon made the final of the women’s 100 meter hurdles where she finished sixth in 12.78 behind champion and adidas-sponsored Keni Harrison (12.35). Harrison nipped Alaysha Johnson (12.35) of More Sports MG at the tape. LSU’s Alia Armstrong (12.47) was third.

Earlier in the day, Salman advanced to the finals with a 12.76 clocking in the semifinals.

NC A&T runners advance in 200 meters

Three other A&T products advanced in opening round 200 meters competition Saturday.

NC A&T sophomore Javonte Harding finished third in the fourth and final first-round heat of the 200 meters in 20.42 seconds. He advanced to Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. semifinal with the 13th best time of the 16 that moved on.

The men’s 200 final is set for 4:34 p.m. Sunday.

In the women’s 200 meters, former Aggies Cambrea Sturgis and Kayla White advanced out of the first round.

Sturgis, now running for adidas after taking both the 100 and 200 meter titles at last year’s NCAA Outdoors, finished second to Kentucky’s Abby Steiner (22.14) in the second heat in 22.24 seconds. Steiner, who won the NCAA Outdoor 200 championship this year in 21.80, and Sturgis had the top two times in the round. A&T grad student Symone Darius was sixth in the heat in 23.06 and did not advance.

White, running for Nike, was second in the fourth 200 heat in 22.38 seconds to advance. Former Alabama sprinter Tamara Clark, who now runs for adidas, won the heat in 22.29. A&T sophomore Jonah Ross was fourth in the heat in 23.17 to fall short of the semis.

The women’s 200 meters semifinals are Sunday at 2:45 p.m. followed by the finals late Sunday at 4:44 p.m.

One more Aggie moves on

Former A&T hurdler Michael Dickson, now running unattached, came through in the first round of the men’s 110 meter hurdles. Dickson finished third in the second heat in a time of 13.64 seconds. Dickson’s time was 14th of the 16 that advanced to Sunday’s 3 p.m. semifinals. The men’s 110 hurdles finals will close out competition Sunday at 4:54 p.m.

TV Schedule

June 26, 20222022 Toyota USATF Outdoor ChampionshipsEugene, OregonNBC, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
USA, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET
Randolph Ross Jr. makes US team for worlds
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