North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T sends 12 to NCAA regionals

North Carolina A&T will send a dozen athletes to the NCAA track and field regionals.

EAST GREENSBORO – The NCAA announced the NCAA East Region Division I Preliminary Round men’s and women’s track and field qualifiers with 12 North Carolina A&T outdoor track and field athletes making the trip to the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The qualifiers among the men and women split evenly.

The women will send six athletes to compete in five different events. The men will send six Aggies to compete in four different events. On the women’s side, Jada Griffin will compete in three different events, including the 200 meters, the 400m and the 4×400-meter relay. Paula Salmonqualified in her signature event, the 100-meter hurdles. Julieth Nwosu is the only Aggie to compete in a field competition, as she qualified for the shot put. Meanwhile, Pebbles ScottFajr Kellyand MyKayla Perry will join Griffin in the 4×400. 

The men will send Reheem Hayles to the prelims. He qualified for four events – the 200m, the 400m, the 4×100, and the 4×400 – even though it is unsure if he will compete in all the relays or if an alternate will step in. Shemar Chambers is headed to North Florida to compete in the 400m, 4×100 and 4×400. Joining Chambers and Hayles on the 4×100 are Brandon Nya and Caleb Jackson. Joining the duo on the 4×400 are Ryan Saint-Germain and Akeem Lindo

“Not to be cliché, but our objective is to advance as many people as possible to the NCAA championships,” said director of track and field Allen Johnson. “We feel confident everyone can make it, but everyone needs to train well, and we need everyone to give us personal records to push us over the top.”

Griffin has been superb in her one and only season at North Carolina A&T. She won Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) women’s indoor track athlete of the year and the conference’s most outstanding female athlete at the indoor championships. She returned for the outdoor season and claimed CAA most outstanding female athlete for the outdoor championships by winning the 200m, 400m and 4×400. 

North Carolina A&T

Griffin was an NCAA East prelim qualifier last season at N.C. State in the 400m. Her best 200m this season came at the CAA outdoor championships when she ran 23.37 in the prelims. She also ran 52.26 in the 400m at the CAA outdoor championship final to win the conference crown. 

Salmon is one of the most accomplished female hurdlers in North Carolina A&T history. Salmon heads to her fourth NCAA East prelim. She has turned her previous regional opportunities into one first-team outdoor All-American honor and one second-team outdoor All-American accolade in the 100H. In addition, Nwosu is a first-time regional qualifier after throwing a 52-feet, 1 ¼-inches to win the CAA outdoor championship in the shot put. 

The women’s 4×100 team ran a 45.12 to finish second at the CAA outdoor championships. The ladies’ 4×400 team ran a 3:35.87 to win the CAA outdoor championships. 

On the men’s side, the Aggies send an accomplished Hayles, who had an outbreak 2023 season. Hayles won CAA men’s indoor athlete of the year and CAA most outstanding male performer at the conference’s indoor championships. Hayles is one of only two 400m runners in the top-10 in the East region, not in the SEC. He ran a season-best 45.47 at the Florida Relays. At the University of South Carolina’s Baskim Weems Relays, he posted a 20.71 in the 200m for his season best. Hayles won CAA titles in the 400m and the 4×100. 

Hayles and Chambers conducted a 400m classic race at the CAA outdoor championships. Chambers heads to the East prelims with a season-best 45.73 recorded at the Florida Relays. Hayles is ranked eighth in the region, and Chambers is 13th. 

“Their race was exciting per usual, the type of battles they have against each other in practice,” said Johnson. “We expect big things from them, especially if they work together to push each other to be the best they can be.” 

A&T’s men’s 4×100 team ran a season-best 39.87 at the Florida Relays, while the 4×400 team ran a 3:05.77 at Florida Relays. 

“We want to approach this meet like you do any other,” said Johnson. “We are going to do what we do in practice and let that translate to what we do in competition. I think we’ve improved a lot in our marks, and I’ve seen our mindset and approach to competition get better. They understand the process, and they understand what it takes to excel. Our confidence is rising.”

North Carolina A&T sends 12 to NCAA regionals
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