GREENSBORO, N.C. - North Carolina A&T State made history on the track with its first MEAC Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championship title in 21 years. The championship also marks the first time since 2013 that one school has swept both the outdoor and indoor championships and the first time since 2003 that one school has swept all four track championships (indoor and outdoor) on both the men's and women's side.
The Aggie men recorded 176 points to take the title. Bethune-Cookman was second with 115 points followed by Norfolk State (97.5), Hampton (80) and Maryland Eastern Shore (73).
Entering the 4x100-meter relay, North Carolina A&T State was two-and-a-half points behind Bethune-Cookman at the time. Thirty-nine seconds later, the Aggies narrowed the gap to a half-point as the quartet of Christopher Belcher, Rodney Rowe, Caleb Gabriel and Joel Thomas broke their own MEAC Championship record in a run of 39.44. The race started out tight in the first two legs before Gabriel broke it open on the third leg to set up Thomas' finish. Bethune-Cookman placed second with a run of 40.41 while Coppin State finished third at 40.86.
A&T's TeQuille Jackson captured the 110-meter hurdles championship in a time of 13.92 as he held off Maryland Eastern Shore's Taj Showalter (13.97) by five-tenths of a second. Hampton's Charles Graham placed third with a time of 14.05. As a result of Jackson's finish, along with A&T's Robert Miller's fourth-place time, the Aggies surged ahead of Bethune-Cookman by 16 points.
NCAT picked up 14 points and created further separation after the 400-meter dash as Dajuan Harding topped the field in a time of 46.18. South Carolina State's Tyrell Richard (46.85) and Jarad Jeter (47.51) picked up 14 points for the Bulldogs as they finished 2-3.
In the highly anticipated 100-meter dash, A&T's Belcher broke his own MEAC Outdoor Championship record in a time of 10.04. Coppin State freshman Joseph Amoah placed second (10.24) followed by A&T's Gabriel (10.27).
With the championship already in hand, the Aggies' mile relay team fell just short of tying the MEAC record as they won the race in a time of 3:07.32.
MDES' Rmidi Kinini closed out his career in style after winning the 5,000 with a run of 15:20.23. North Carolina A&T State's Darren White (15:24.18) and Ronald Korir of Norfolk State (15:28.02) finished 2-3 in the event.
Kinini once again was named Most Outstanding Runner after totaling 30 points and three first-place wins.
In the field events, Bethune-Cookman's Michael Tiller won the triple jump for the second consecutive year with a mark of 50-08. North Carolina A&T State's Lasheon Strozier placed second after his jump of 49-8.50 followed by Bethune-Cookman's Joel Sampson (47-11.25). Bethune-Cookman also made noise in the pole vault as Dominic Harper repeated as champion for the second straight year after jumping a height of 14-06 to win the event along with a third-place showing from Princy Dorsainvil (13-02.25). Trey Clark of Hampton placed second as he logged a vault of 14-02.
Howard's Rajae Gayle became a three-time MEAC Outdoor javelin champion after blowing away the field with a throw of 194-09. Morgan State's Kurt Goodlitt placed second (172-02) while Aran Lee of Delaware State finished third (167-05).
Steven Thomas of Coppin State was named Most Outstanding Field Performer for the second consecutive season with a total of 26 points. Thomas won the hammer throw along with a pair of second-place finishes in the discus and shot put.
The Aggie women finished with 155 points, while Hampton was second with 124 points and Florida A&M came in third with 95.5 points.
North Carolina A&T State took home seven event titles on Saturday, including two from India Brown – who won the 100m (11.24) and 200m (23.51) races. Kayla White also took home the title in the 100m hurdles, running a 13.40.
Both runners were on the gold medal-winning 4x100 relay squad, which turned in a MEAC Championship-record 44.81.
Morgan Knight also set a MEAC Championship record in the pole vault, leaping 12 feet, 1.25 inches. The Aggies also took gold in the 4x400 relay with a 3:42.60.
Andrea Aaron of Florida A&M was named the meet's Outstanding Field Performer, while Hampton's Faith Keitany was named Outstanding Runner.
North Carolina A&T's Duane Ross was named the Outstanding Coach.