HAWK MEN HOLDING DOWN SECOND PLACE AT MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP
May 2, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. — It was a tenuous couple of days for the Hawks at the 2014 MEAC Outdoor Track and Field championship, but when it was all said and done the team came away with many positives. Most notably, the men’s team finished with 41 points, good for second place in the competition entering its final day.
Thursday signaled the beginning of the championship meet and the Hawks started out strong with several high marks in final events and solid qualification times in preliminaries. Freshman Evelyn Chappell (Bowie, Md.) kicked things off with her seventh-place high jump of 1.62 meters, good for two points for the Lady Hawks. Senior Shawnata Young (Temple Hills, Md.) kept things going by earning six points in a third-place finish in the discus throw with a toss of 44.69 meters, her best toss of the year. Fellow Lady Hawk senior Gayon Evans (Clarendon, Jamaica) earned qualification in the 200 meter dash finals by finishing second overall in the preliminaries with her time of 23.44 seconds.
While the women earned several impressive finishes, the men shined in their first day of competition. Two Hawks, senior Rico Taylor (Silver Spring, Md.) and junior Dillon Simon (Pottersville, Dominica) ended the first day with first place finishes. Taylor finished just shy of the school record he set here two years earlier with a 2.12 meter high jump for ten points. Simon doubled that score with his discus throw, tossing his second-longest mark of the year at 55.85 meters. In the 5000 meter run, freshman Khalil Rmidi Kinnini (Malaga, Spain) added six more points by finishing third in the race with a season high 15:20.60 time. Two more freshmen, Orwell Maylor (St. Catherine’s, Jamaica) and Michael Johnson (Ramstein AFB, Germany) qualified for the 400 meter hurdles with Maylor’s fifth place time of 52.92 seconds, and Johnson’s seventh place finish at a clip of 53.51 seconds.
Day two saw four more qualifications on the women’s team. Evans followed her qualification in the 200 meter dash by finishing third in the 100 meter preliminaries, easily earning qualification with a time of 11.47 seconds. Three Lady Hawks qualified for the finals of the 800 meter run, with sophomore Shantol Hemley (St. Catherine’s, Jamaica) leading the pack by finishing fourth at 2:11.47. Junior Annis Mars (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished sixth at 2:11.68 while sophomore Jheniel Kelly (Edgewood, Md.) finished at 2:13.14, good for eighth place.
The men added to their team scores as two Hawks racked up fifteen points in their final events. Freshman Jared Kerr (Brampton, Ontario, Canada) placed fourth with a 7.21 meter leap in the long jump that was good for five points. Meanwhile, Simon took home his second top finish of the meet with an 18.64 meter hurl in the shot put, ending day two with 41 points. Senior Aaron Chatmon (Waldorf, Md.) also earned the right to race on MEAC finals Saturday with his third place time of 47.43 seconds in the 400 meter dash.
In one event that crossed both days of the meet, freshman Shelasia Leitch (Newark, N.J.) has been competing in the women’s heptathlon. She has competed in seven events thus far with her highest performance coming in the 100 meter hurdles, earning a fourth place finish with a time of 14.79 seconds.
Florida A&M leads the women’s portion of the meet with a combined team score of 48 points and their Floridian rival school Bethune-Cookman leads the men’s competition with 70 points. The Hawks are currently holding a comfortable twenty point advantage ahead of the third place team, Hampton, who has 21 points. The meet concludes tomorrow with field events beginning at 9:00am and track events beginning at 1:00pm. An awards ceremony will follow the meet to honor the winners.