CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Saint Augustine’s University men breezed to its 19th straight title and the women took second in the CIAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the Irwin Belk Complex on Saturday, April 23, 2016.
The Falcons cruised to victory in the men’s division with 203 points. Virginia Union was second with 139.83 points and Virginia State finished third with 107.33 points.
The Lady Falcons scored 156 points to capture second place. Johnson C. Smith won the women’s crown with 165 points and Winston-Salem State placed third with 138.50 points.
Both teams, ranked No. 1 nationally in the men’s and women’s divisions, performed magnificently in the two-day championship meet as they produced eight national top 10 Division II times and marks. Tia-Adana Belle (Jr./St. George, Barbados) solidified her top-ranking in the women’s 400 hurdles with a time of 55.82 which is the fifth-best in the world this year. It is also an Olympic qualifying time.
Team-wise, the Falcons were too much for the rest of the men’s teams in the meet. Sparked by CIAA Track MVP Immanuel Hutchinson (Sr./San Jacinto, CA) and CIAA Field MVP Jumonne Exeter (So./St. Vincent), the Falcons won with their usual formula – depth in the sprints, jumps and long distance events. The Falcons started the day in second place with 41 points, but scored 162 points to surge past Virginia Union, who led after the first day with 61.83 points.
“The men did well,” Legendary Falcons’ Head Coach George Williams said. “I am really happy with 203 points. I hope we can compete at this same level in the NCAA Championships next month.”
Hutchinson was victorious in the 800 and 1,500 runs, placed second in Friday’s 5,000 run and was part of the 4×400 relay squad which finished second. Exeter captured the triple jump, placed second in Friday’s long jump and was fifth in the high jump.
Both Hutchinson and Exeter were among several Falcons who provided highlights Saturday. Burkheart Ellis, Jr. (Sr./Raleigh, NC) was a dual winner, taking both the 100 and 200 dashes. His Division II automatic qualifying time of 20.36 in the 200 placed him No. 1 in Division II. Daniel Jamieson (Sr./Windsor, CT) was second in the 200 dash with an automatic qualifying time of 20.66. He currently ranks second nationally in Division II behind Ellis.
Ellis led a Falcons’ sweep in the 100 dash. Jamieson was second and Kendall Kee (Sr./Shelby, NC) placed third while Brent Arceneaux (Sr./Snellville, GA) was sixth. Ellis, Jamieson, Kee and Arceneaux were members of the winning 4×100 relay squad, which ran automatic qualifying time of 39.44 to maintain their top ranking in the event.
The sweep was the second for the Falcons. Exeter placed first, Taylor Eubanks (Jr./Everett, WA) was second and David Shaw (Sr./St. Pauls, NC) was third in the triple jump.
Shawn Rowe (Jr./West Palm Beach, FL) crossed the finish line first in the 400 hurdles and La’Kai Whatley (Fr./Rome, GA) was the winner in the javelin throw. Rowe also was third in the 110 hurdles and Shaw was seventh. Khari Herbert, Jr. (Jr./Coral Springs, FL) was second in the 400 dash. Kee was seventh in the 200 dash and the men’s 4×400 squad of Ellis, Jamieson, Hutchinson and Herbert was second.
Shaquille Dill (Fr./Pembroke, Bermuda) finished second behind Hutchinson in the 800 and 1,500 runs. DeQuante McCoy (So./Charlotte, NC) was eighth in the javelin throw.
The women’s championship wasn’t decided until late in the meet as Saint Augustine’s battled Johnson C. Smith down the stretch. Led by the running of Belle and Ornella Livingston (Sr./St. Ann, Jamaica), the Lady Falcons led 148-145 heading into the final two events. The lack of depth caught up with the Lady Falcons as the Golden Bulls surged ahead in the end.
“We didn’t have any distance runners,” Williams said. “Maybe next year we can get a few distance runners to help us complete the task. Johnson C. Smith competed real well. I am proud of them. I am proud of all the schools in the CIAA. They all competed real well.”
Both Belle and Livingston were double-winners – Belle taking the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles and Livingston sweeping the 100 and 200 dashes. Livingston’s time of 23.51 in the 200 ranks her second nationally in Division II. Livingston also teamed up with Shamia Lassiter (Sr./Chesapeake, VA), Leah Barker (So./St. Michael, Barbados) and Shakinah Brooks (Jr./Raleigh, NC) to win the women’s 4×100 relay, while Belle placed third in the high jump.
Amenze Uhunmwangho (Sr./Ebo, Nigeria) was victorious in the triple jump. Shamia Lassiter (Sr./Chesapeake, VA) was second behind Belle in the 100 hurdles and Shakera Hall (Jr./Bridgetown, Barbados) placed sixth in the event.
Hunter was third and Barker was sixth in the 400 dash. Brooks placed fourth and Jena Alston (So./Blythewood, SC) was seventh in the 100 dash.
Mylene Cannon (Jr./Dallas, TX) was fourth and Hall fifth in the 400 hurdles. Brooks was fourth and Hunter eighth in the 200 dash. The Lady Falcons’ quartet of Hunter, Livingston, Barker and Belle finished second.
The Falcons and Lady Falcons will compete again next weekend in the prestigious Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa. The dates are Thursday, April 28, through Saturday, April 30.