Courtesy of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Feb. 19, 2023 – Sunday was the opening day of the 2023 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Virginia Beach Sports Center, and the defending men’s and women’s champions are already on top of the board.
Defending women’s champion Howard holds a 21-19 lead over second-place Morgan State in the team standings with just two events scored so far. Delaware State is third with 18 points.
On the men’s side, defending champion Norfolk State leads with 31 points, with Howard sitting in second with 18.
Norfolk State swept the 5,000-meter races, with both cross country individual champions taking gold in their respective events. Mercyline Kimaiyo took the first event title of the meet in running a 17:47.82 to win her race, while Gidion Sigei took the men’s race in 14:43.08.
The Spartans swept the podium in the men’s 5,000, with Regan Kimtai in second and Brian Rotich in third.
Morgan State’s Tia Jackson took the women’s long jump with a distance of 5.94 meters (19 feet, 6 inches), leading the Bears to a 1-2 finish as Inara Shell came in second (5.77 meters | 18 feet, 11.25 inches).
The men’s long jump went to Howard’s Sean Wray; both he and North Carolina Central’s Jaelyn Blanc leaped 7.33 meters (24 feet, 0.75 inches), but the tiebreak went to Wray to give the Bison their first gold medal of this year’s championship meet.
Through four events in the men’s heptathlon, Norfolk State’s Rayquan Smith leads the way with 2,710 points, a narrow edge over Howard’s Eric Brown (2,663) and Ezekiel Hawkins (2,507). Smith won the heptathlon shot put (13.16 meters), while also finishing second in both the 60 meters (7.02) and long jump (6.68 meters).
The preliminaries of the women’s 200 meters saw Howard claim six of the eight spots in Tuesday’s final – led by Jessica Wright’s MEAC-best 24.05. Bison also finished third through seventh in the prelims: De’ja Dade, Kaya-Rae Dunbar, Kiya Lawson, Tiffani Rae Pittman and Lamaria Washington.
Coppin State claimed the other two final spots, with Latifa Ali second in 24.08 and Kimani Alphonse eighth.
Noxroy Wright of Coppin State posted the fastest preliminary time in the men’s 200 meters, going in 21.42. He’s joined in the final by fellow Eagle Carl Drakes (21.66), while Howard (Jermanie Byrd, Dylan Gaines) and South Carolina State (Kristopher Brown, Waddell Rembert-Jett) also qualified two for Tuesday’s final.
Tuesday’s action begins at 9 a.m. with the conclusion of the men’s heptathlon. The women’s pentathlon begins at 9:20 a.m., and running events begin at 12 p.m. with the prelims of the women’s 60-meter hurdles.
For more information, visit the Championship Central page.