Courtesy of North Carolina A&T Athletics
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first day of the NCAA East Division I Preliminary Round featured the men’s events. Representing the NC A&T Aggies men’s outdoor track and field athletes were Reheem Hayles and Shemar Chambers at the University of North Florida’s Hodges Stadium Wednesday evening.
Hayles and Chambers both qualified in the top-24 in the men’s 400 meters and will be moving on to Friday’s quarterfinals scheduled for 6:50 p.m. Hayles clocked 45.93 to finish first in Heat 1, and he ranked fifth overall. Chambers ranked 12th after finishing second in Heat 6 with a time of 46.24.
Three of the four competitors who had lower times than Hayles were the top-3 runners in the country. University of Florida’s Ryan Willie (45.84), University of Tennessee’s Emmanuel Bynum (45.88), and University of Georgia’s Elijah Godwin (45.90) will be among Hayles’ most formidable competitors. Leading the way, however, was Alabama’s Khaleb McRae with a 45.50.
After putting up yet another impressive 400m run, Hayles did not fare as well in the 200m. After finishing eighth in Heat 6, in 20.80, he finished 30th overall, which was not enough to push him through to the next round.
Yet and still, Hayles and Chambers will tackle three events on Friday. In addition to the 400m quarterfinals, they are expected to run in the 4×100 and 4×400 relay quarterfinals.
On Thursday, NC A&T women’s track team will get their shot at the first round of the East prelims. Up first, Paula Salmon will take on the 100-meter hurdles, and Julieth Nwosu will tackle the shot put. Both events start at 6 p.m. Then Jada Griffin will run in the 400m and the 200m, respectively, scheduled for 7:25 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.