Howard Track & Field Run Ends at the NCAA East Prelims

4x400 relay squad competes, but fall short

Derek Bryant
(Photo Credit – Tim Rice)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 25, 2019) – Howard University track & field wrapped up its 2019 outdoor season on Day Three of the NCAA East Prelims with the women’s 4x400 relay.

“We're a bit disappointed that we were unable to progress to the semifinal round for a second year in a row,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver. “It's been nearly a decade since Howard has had someone make it to that point. We will come back strong in the fall with preparations to get beyond this round in 2020.”

In the nightcap, juniors Sydney Benson (Gross Pointe Woods, Mich.) and Oluchi Ike (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and sophomores Jessika Gbai (Philadelphia) and Ozioma Scott (Georgetown, Guyana) recorded their third-best finish on the year (3:38.95) but fell short of reaching Austin.

“Ozi [Ozioma Scott] ran a great first leg and had us in a great position,” Director Oliver stated. “We had a botched handoff and things fell apart afterward, [but] they did a great job getting to this point.”

Despite the results, the four Bison ended the 2019 outdoor campaign with two first-place finishes while earning All-MEAC honors at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Championships.

“This is the first time Howard has had a 4x400 [relay team] make it to this point,” Director Oliver continued. “All the ladies that comprised this group will return next season. This was a great learning experience at the least.”

In his second season at the helm, Director Oliver has guided six Bison to the NCAA East Preliminary Round, including four this year, which doubled last year’s qualifiers.

“Our women saw a 22-point increase over last year as well as increased our participation at the National Championships from two events to four,” Director Oliver commented. “I'm excited for the future and I feel like we are definitely a program on the rise. Our student-athletes represent Howard University extremely well on and off the track.”

On the men’s side, Howard witnessed several young Bison emerge throughout the year, including rising sophomores Jermaine Byrd (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), Aariq Nixon (Baltimore) and reigning MEAC javelin champion Mekhi Abbott (Monroe, N.J.).

“I would call our second season as a staff a success,” Director Oliver expressed. “[The] men improved from one-point and a dead last finish at the conference [outdoor] meet a year ago to 32points and finishing 7th [out] of 12. We've got a young squad returning [with] no seniors on the roster, so the future is bright.”

For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.
 
Crenshaw Tops Three NCCU Eagles at NCAA T&F Regional

kyle Serba

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – North Carolina Central University sophomore Bhrandi Crenshaw posted the third-best triple jump of her college career to place 20th at theNCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field East Preliminary Championships on Saturday at the University of North Florida.

A native of Alexandria, Virginia, Crenshaw leaped 12.66 meters (41’ 6.5”) in her second straight trip to the East regional. Earlier this season, she achieved the MEAC'slongest triple jump of the season with a career-best triple jump of 12.72m at the Florida Relays. Crenshaw earned gold medals as this year's triple jump conference champion in both the indoor and outdoor MEAC championships.

NCCU senior Bethany White (Gaithersburg, Md.) completed her college career by placing 25th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.60 seconds, and 29thin the 200m dash in 23.68 seconds.

Sophomore Gordon Lewis (Fredericksburg, Va.) placed 25th in the 400m dash with a time of 46.95 seconds.

-EAGLE PRIDE-

(archived photo of Bhrandi Crenshaw from 2019 MEAC Championships by Kevin Dorsey)
 
Howard’s Gbai, Ike Come Up Short at the NCAA East Prelims


Ike sets new personal best
Derek Bryant
(Photo Credit – Tim Rice)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 24, 2019) – Howard University junior Oluchi Ike (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and sophomore Jessika Gbai (Philadelphia) came up short on Day Two of the NCAA East Prelims, falling just shy of reaching the championship round in Austin, Texas.

“Today was a rough one for the group,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver. “[It was] a real emotional roller coaster.”

After advancing to Friday’s 400-meter hurdles quarterfinals, Ike finished 15th overall, despite setting a new personal best with a 58.14 mark.

“Oluchi [Ike] ran a heck of a 400 hurdle race,” Director Oliver stated. “She set a new personal best, but sometimes your best just isn't enough. On this level, where you're competing with the best in the nation, you're punished for every small mistake and it was just a marginal error that cost her at the end.”

Although today did not go in favor of Ike, the Maryland native had a solid outdoor season. Individually, she won five events in the 400 hurdles, including the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title.

“I couldn't be more proud of her,” Director Oliver expressed. “Especially, coming from where she was at this point last year to where she is right now. She has grown mentally and physically.”

In her NCAA debut, Gbai ran the 200-meter dash where she clocked in at 23.87. Even though she recorded her third-fastest time of the season, the Philadelphia product did not qualify for the quarterfinals.

“This was Jessika's [Gbai] first time on the national stage,” said Director Oliver. “Sometimes, nerves get the best of us. When you're standing on that starting line alone, [and] looking around at some of the best athletes from the biggest programs, it's tough.”

In her second year as a Bison, Gbai won six races in the 200-meter during the indoor and outdoor seasons combined while setting new school records.

“She had a great sophomore campaign,” Director Oliver commented. “[She] broke the [200-meter] indoor and outdoor school records. She'll be back better next year [and] this was a great experience for her.”

Both Bison’s seasons are not over as they will represent HU in Saturday night’s 4x400 relay. Gbai, Ike, junior Sydney Benson (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) and sophomore Ozioma Scott (Georgetown,Guyana) race at 9:25 p.m. inside Hodges Stadium on the campus of North Florida.

“We have to shake off the disappointment of today and refocus for tomorrow,” Director Oliver concluded. “The 4x400 relay [team] has a chance to go out there and really surprise some people.”

For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.

 

Hampton Track - Jaelen Williams qualifies in 400 hurdles for NCAA Championships
James Heath
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the second time in his three years, Hampton junior Jaelen Williams will see his season extend into June after his finish in the 2019 NCAA East Regional hosted by the University of North Florida on Friday night.

The junior 400 hurdler from Hampton, Va. ran a season best 50.27 to take third in his heat and automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships starting on June 5 at the University of Texas in Austin. A top three finish in the heat ora top three wildcard time would’ve advanced Williams as he had the seventh fastest overall time.

In 2017, Williams ran 50.32 to qualify for the NCAA’s as a freshman where he finished 12th and earned Second Team All-American honors.

On Saturday, the women’s 4x100 relay team will run in their qualifying heat at 6pm.

Other Hampton entrants on Friday included:

Women’s 400 hurdles

Sophomore Autumn Smith placed seventh in her quarterfinal heat in 59.53 and did not qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Men’s 110 hurdles

All three Hampton entrants failed to qualify as Dylan Beard was fifth in his heat running 14.03. Others included: Charles Graham was sixth in his heat in 14.14 and Jaelen Williams was eighth in his heat in 16.45.

For more information on Hampton University track and field  visit the official Pirates website at www.hamptonpirates.com.
 
Rams 4x400m Relay Places 12th in Preliminaries of 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Nationals

Top eight advance to event finals

Trevin Goodwin

KINGSVILLE, TX – The Winston-Salem State Rams 4x400m relay team put on a strong showing at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Nationals Championships, Friday evening. The team ran one of theirtop times of the season to place 12th in the preliminary round of the women’s 4x400m relay at Javelina Stadium in Kingsville, Texas.

The Rams ran in the second heat of the event against some of the top teams in the nation. The Rams ran a 3:47.94 to place 12th in the event. With the top eight teams advancing to the event finals, Saturday, the Rams’ season came to an end. The time was five seconds off of the Rams’ best time of the season.

For more information on Rams track & field log on to www.WSSURams.com.

 

Howard’s Ike Advances to the NCAA East Quarterfinals

Third-year hurdler moves on; sophomore sprinter comes up short
Derek Bryant
(Photo Credit – Rob Knox)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 23, 2019) – Howard University junior Oluchi Ike (Upper Marlboro, Md.) inched one step closer to Austin after surviving and advancing to the NCAA East 400-meter hurdles Quarterfinals with a 58.81 mark. As a result,the Maryland product finished with one of the fastest non-automatic qualifying times.

“Oluchi [Ike] went out and did exactly what she set out to do [and] qualified for the next round,” said Howard Director of Track & Field David Oliver. “She had a few shaky hurdles in the race, but she has put herself in a great position to make it to the [NCAA] semifinals in Austin [Texas].”

Ike moved on to Friday’s quarterfinals set for 7 p.m. at Hodges Stadium, hosted by the University of North Florida. For her to reach Austin, she must finish in the top 12 with either an automatic bid or top 3 non-automatic qualifying time.

Other notable Bison in action included second-year sprinter Ozioma Scott (Georgetown, Guyana) falling just short of the quarterfinals by one-hundredth of a second.

“My heartbreaks for Ozioma [Scott],” Director Oliver stated. “Missing out on the [NCAA] quarterfinals by one-hundredth of a second is a hard pill to swallow. I've been there as a student-athlete and it haunts you a bit [and] leaves you wondering what more could I have done to get that fraction of a second.”

Despite the tough setback, Scott’s season is not over as she will represent HU in Saturday’s 4x400 relays.

“She is a sophomore,” Director Oliver added. “She will definitely be back next year. She will have that extra fire for her 4x4 leg on Saturday night.”

Ike, Scott, junior Sydney Benson (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) and sophomore Jessika Gbai (Philadelphia) race Saturday (May 25) at 9:25 p.m.

“Both [Ike and Scott] ran their second fastest times of their careers,” Director Oliver concluded. “This was their first time competing on this stage. In Ike's case, she survived and advanced,[and] unfortunately for Scott, it just wasn't enough."

After Ike’s quarterfinals race, Gbai will compete individually in the NCAA East 200-meter dash First Round. Friday night’s event starts 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.
 
 
Thompson Places 15th in 100m Preliminaries at 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Nationals

Top eight advance to event finals

Trevin Goodwin

KINGSVILLE, TX – Winston-Salem State University junior Cierra Thompson gave a great effort when she placed 15th in the preliminaries of the 100m dash at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track& Field National Championship Meet, Thursday evening. She ran an 11.77 to earn a 15th place finish in the event.

Thompson’s time was one of her top times of the season. However, it was not enough to qualify her for the finals of the women’s 100m dash, Saturday. Her top time of the season came when she ran an 11.64 at the Mount Olive First Chance & Multi.

Her finish completes the season for Thompson, but the Rams’ 4x400m relay team will take the track tomorrow evening when they take part in the preliminary round of the 4x400m relay at 8:50 p.m.

For more information on Rams track & field,  log on to www.WSSURams.com.

 
Hampton Day 1 NCAA East Regional Track
James Heath
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Hampton University track and field teams started competition on Thursday at the 2019 NCAA East Regional held at Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida and had two advance in the 400 hurdles.

For the men, junior Jaelen Williams ran a season best 50.66 to take second in his heat and post the fourth fastest qualifying time for Friday’s7:15 pm quarterfinal round. To advance to the NCAA Championships in Austin, Texas, Williams will have to finish in the top three in his heat or have the one of the next three fastest times.

On the women’s side, sophomore Autumn Smith advanced to Friday’s 7pm quarterfinal with the 15th fastest time running a personalbest 58.72 in the 400 hurdles. She will also have to finish in the top three of her heat on Friday or have one of the next three fastest times to advance to Austin.

Sophomore Isis Brooks ran in the 100 meters where she ran 12.06 and failed to advance, while in the long jump Jaelan Leonard had a leap of5.61meters (18-5) and also failed to advance.

For more information on Hampton University track and field, visit the official Pirates website at www.hamptonpirates.com.
 Four Howard Bison Ready for the 2019 NCAA East Preliminary Round

Bison looking to take the next steps to Austin

Derek W. Bryant
(Photo Credit – Steve Worthy)

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2019) – With the outdoor season ending, the Howard University track & field program will have four Bison competing at the 2019 NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Fla. The three-day event (May 23-25) takesplace at Hodges Stadium, hosted by the University of North Florida.

Fans can follow all the action either via FloTrack (PPV) and/or live results.

MEET PREVIEW

A trio of Bison qualified for the NCAA East Prelims by finishing among the top 48 in their respective events while the 4x400 relay team placed top 24.


Individually, junior Oluchi Ike (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and sophomores Jessika Gbai (Philadelphia) and Ozioma Scott (Georgetown, Guyana) punched their tickets to Jacksonville after a successful outing at the 2019 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Outdoor Championships.


Ike's dominance in the 400-meter hurdles carried over into Championship Saturday where she won the race with a new season-best (58.28). Currently, her efforts rank top 15 in the East Region.

Gbai (Philadelphia) left her mark on Day One by setting a new school record in the women's 200-meter dash, clocking in at 23.51. Entering the event, she has the 30th-best time in the East.

Scott ran a 53.57 in the 400-meter dash, which sits 34th in the East Region.

Collectively, the three Bison, alongside junior Sydney Benson (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.), earned All-MEAC honors after finishing runner-up in the 4x400 relays with a season-best mark of 3:37.38.As a result, the four runners rank 19th in the East Region.

Third-year hurdler Uchechi Onuoha (Yardly, Pa.) will be an alternate for the 4x400 relay squad, if needed.

To view the complete list of participants, please click here.

LAST TIMEOUT

On May 11-12, the Bison competed in the 2019 IC4A/ECAC Outdoor Championships.

For the men, senior Kenneth Chigbue (Bowie, Md.) competed in his final race for the Bison, placing sixth in the 200-meter dash (21.78).

On the women’s side, the 4x100 squad finished second place, consisting of Gbai, Onuoha, sophomore Ameenah Saalih (Willingboro, N.J.) and freshman Kennedy Lewis (Atlanta) running a season-best(46.06).

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

The next stop will be the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas (June 5-8). To qualify, each Bison must finish top 12 in their respective events at the NCAA East Prelims, including the4x400 relay squad.

For more information, visit the Bison Athletics website at www.HUBison.com.