Two Spartans, relay team qualify for NCAA outdoor track & field championships

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NSU Men’s 4×100 meter relay team. Image courtesy of NSU athletics

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NORFOLK STATE ATHLETICS RELEASE) – The Norfolk State men’s 4×100 meter relay team punched its ticket to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships next month by placing ninth at the NCAA East Preliminary Round meet at the University of North Florida on Friday night.

The quartet of Kai ColeAnthony FranklinBryan-Madison Ahouman and Keith Brown posted a time of 39.37 seconds, the second-fastest time in school history. The group finished fourth in its heat, but advanced to the national championship based on its time. The Spartans were the fastest of the teams that did not earn one of the top three automatic qualifying spots in the three regional heats.

“I’m real proud of our relay. They really did their thing today,” said NSU Director of Track & Field Kenneth Giles. “We made an adjustment on the third leg and that really paid off for us.

“They say they want to break the school record at nationals, and I think they can.”

The Spartans 4×100 relay team is just the second in NSU’s Division I history to advance to the nationals, behind only the 1998 team of current NSU assistant coach Malcolm Watts, Christian Williams, Claude Toukene and Joel Mascoll. The school record of 39.20 was set in 1996 by the team of Watts, Ramon Clay, Brian Lewis and Tim Montgomery.

The Spartan men just missed out on a second national qualifier on Friday night. Trequan Barnes clocked a personal-best time of 46.11 seconds in the 400 meters but finished one spot out of a nationals berth. He placed 13th out of 24 runners, with only the top 12 advancing.

“Tre ran a really good race, a personal-best for him,” Giles said. “I know he’s disappointed, but we’re pleased with how he represented the program this week.”

Two Spartan women wrap up NSU’s week at regionals on Saturday. Kiara Grant (100m) and Martha Bissah (800m) will look to secure their place at nationals, which take place June 9-12 at the University of Oregon.

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