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St. Augustine’s men win their fifth straight NCAA track and field title

NC A&T sends 13 to compete in NCAA Division I championships

The St. Augustine University Falcons won their fifth consecutive men’s outdoor track and field championship, taking the title in the event’s final race last weekend in Bradenton, Florida.

The talented 4×400-meter relay team of Shawn Rowe, Shaquille Dill, Adrian Kimmons and Khari Herbert sealed an exhilarating comeback win to propel the Falcons to the NCAA Division II title.

The victory gave the St. Augustine’s men’s team its 16th outdoor title and helped give legendary head coach George Williams his 39th NCAA championship. This makes Williams the winningest track and field coach ever, regardless of NCAA division.

“Everybody stepped up,” said Williams. “Shawn Rowe stepped up in the hurdles, and Omar Johnson stepped up in the 200. I’m proud of the young folks because they could have easily folded, but they didn’t. They kept their heads up.”

NC A&T sends 13 athletes to NCAAs

Seventeen HBCU athletes have advanced to the NCAA track and field championships in June after finishing in the top 12 of their respective events at the regional competition last weekend.

The North Carolina A&T Aggies led the pack by sending 13 athletes to compete in the Division I championships from June 7-10 in Eugene, Oregon, a record for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The Aggies will have participants in the men’s and women’s 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 4×100-meter relay. NC A&T will also have athletes in the women’s 100-meter hurdles, men’s triple jump, men’s 400-meter dash and men’s 4×400-meter relay.

Dajuan Harding, a junior 400-meter competitor for the Aggies, is humbled to represent both his school and HBCUs on the national stage.

“We don’t get as much recognition as bigger schools, so being on this stage is a great accomplishment,” Harding said. “With this being my first time going to nationals, I’m proud to be able to go not only for my open 400 meters but also with my 4×400-meter relay team.”

The NCAA championships have historically served as a foundation for track and field athletes able to up their performances and then participate for the United States in the World Championships and the Olympics.

Bethune-Cookman, Tennessee State, Hampton and Maryland Eastern Shore will also be represented and will compete in the men’s and women’s triple jump, men’s 400-meter hurdles and men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Donovan Dooley is a former Rhoden Fellow and a multimedia journalism major from Tuscaloosa, AL. He attends North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University.