EVANS AND HER IMPRESSIVE SEASON HEADS TO EUGENE
June 10, 2014
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. — Since the start of the volleyball season in late August, there have been 168 UMES student-athletes who have competed as a Hawk or Lady Hawk, representing the college on the hardwood, alley, diamond, court, links, or on the track. As time passed on, 167 of those Hawks wrapped up their season, with several finishing near the pinnacle of elites for their sport. But one is still standing—she is senior track sprinter Gayon Evans (Clarendon, Jamaica), and she will look to end her season with high notes at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon this week.
Evans arrived at UMES as a transfer from Oklahoma Baptist University in 2013. After a junior season with several first place finishes, she excelled in her senior campaign during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
The indoor season saw Gayon taking the best times in the 60 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter dashes. In the 60 meter dash, Evans ran a top time of 7.34 seconds at the Coach O Invitational in Princess Anne last December. She followed that with a 7.41 second, first place finish at the MEAC Championships in February and a 7.40 second, second place finish at the IC4A/ECAC Championships in Boston this past March. Evans was also stellar in the 200 meter dash with a record setting performance of 23.36 seconds at the IC4A/ECAC Championships, and a second win at the Navy Lid-Lifter.
Despite all her successes over the winter, Evans was just warming up. Gayon once again took the top times for the Lady Hawks in the 200 meter and 400 meter dashes, as well as the top times in the 100 meter dash. She took home five individual victories and an assisted win in the 4x400 relay. Evans qualified for the NCAA Preliminaries with an 11.53 second time in the 100 meter dash and a 23.08 second time in the 200 meter dash.
She was the lone Lady Hawk represented at the NCAA Preliminaries and one of eight UMES athletes who competed in the event. The first rounds of the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes featured 48 runners vying for qualification by finishing in the top 24 of the field. Evans exceeded that threshold with flying colors in both races, with an 11th place time of 11.66 seconds in the 100 meter dash and a 5th place time of 23.33 seconds in the 200 meter dash.
The quarterfinal round would prove to be a greater challenge, with the field of 24 needing to finish in the top 12 in order to punch a ticket to Eugene. Gayon easily advanced in the 200 meter dash with a 7th place finish and a time of 23.56 seconds. The 100 meter dash proved to be more of a challenge. In order to advance, you either had to finish in the top three of your heat or have one of the three best times of those finishes in fourth place or lower. Evans ran a personal best time of 11.49 seconds, and it was still almost not enough. She took fourth in her heat, but her time was the third best among those who didn’t automatically qualify. Therefore, she captured the 12th final spot and advanced to Oregon in both races.
This will be the fifth straight year a Hawk has advanced this far—Lenora Guion-Furmin and Akeem Smith made the trip to Oregon in 2013.
Beginning on Wednesday, the Championships are a four-day event featuring athletes from all over the country. Gayon’s first race will be the 100 meter dash semifinal, which will take place on Wednesday (6/11) at approximately 8:45 p.m. EDT. The 200 meter semis will run on Thursday (6/12) around 7:15 p.m. If Evans advances to the finals, those races will run on Friday (6/13) for the 100 meter dash, and Saturday (6/14) for the 200 meter dash.
Live online streaming of the race is available on Track Town Live at gotracktownusa.com and immediate posting of the results will be displayed on flashresults.com throughout the meet.