AUSTIN, Texas, — The women got their turn on Thursday at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Mike A. Myers Stadium, and for the second straight day, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) had three individuals advance out of the semifinals.
North Carolina A&T State senior Kayla White qualified for the finals in both the 100 meters and 200 meters, while teammate Cambrea Sturgis advanced in the 200 meters. Norfolk State also has a finalist this year, as sprinter Kiara Grant qualified for the finals in the 100 meters.
The Aggies also qualified for Saturday’s final in the 4×100-meter relay.
White, the reigning indoor NCAA champion at 200 meters, got off to a fast start in the 100 meters — clocking in at 11.01 to post the second-fastest time (just .02 seconds off LSU’s Sha’Carri Richardson) and advance to Saturday’s championship final.
Grant also qualified for the 100-meter final, running an 11.16 to finish second in her heat.
White followed that performance by running a 22.65 to finish second in her 200-meter heat, grabbing an automatic qualifying spot for Saturday’s final and giving her a shot at two NCAA titles. Sturgis also qualified for the 200-meter final, posting the third-fastest time with a personal-best 22.51.
Kamaya Debose-Epps was 20th with a 23.29.
Sturgis missed out on the final in the 100 meters after running an 11.22 to come in 11th.
The Aggie women opened Thursday’s action by posting the fifth-fastest time in the 4×100-meter relay semis, coming in second in the first heat to grab an automatic qualifying slot with a MEAC season-best 42.95. The 4×400-meter relay squad did not advance, coming in 18th with a time of 3:37.00.
Norfolk State’s Martha Bissah just missed out on qualifying for the final in the women’s 800 meters, running a 2:04.12 to finish fourth in her heat and post the ninth-fastest time overall.
Madeleine Akobundu of North Carolina A&T State ran a 13.20 in the 100-meter hurdles to come in 17th and miss out on Saturday’s final. Such was also the fate for Tori Ray, who was 14th in the 400 meters with a time of 53.15.
Bethune-Cookman’s Monae Nichols competed in the long jump on Thursday, with her best jump at 6.03 meters (19 feet, 9.5 inches). She finished 18th.
Friday will see the men’s finals being contested. For the MEAC, Coppin State’s Joseph Amoah will have two cracks at an NCAA title, competing in both the 100 and 200 meters at 9:22 p.m. EST and 10:07 p.m. EST, respectively.
North Carolina A&T State will have four shots at winning a national title on Friday; Michael Dickson in the 110-meter hurdles, Trevor Stewart in the 400 meters, and the Aggies will be competing in both the 4×100- and 4×400-meter relay races.
TV coverage will be on ESPN starting at 8:30 p.m. EST.