The Florida A&M track team scored a number of impressive victories during the recent 60th annual Webster Surgical Center FAMU Relays.
The field was comprised of 11 collegiate and nine high school teams, as well as a number of unattached athletes. Southwest Dekalb High School dominated the high school ranks, but FAMU athletes won most of the glory in the collegiate contests.
First year head coach Darlene Moore was excited to see the strides made by both the men’s and women’s teams.
“Both team’s performances were just what I was looking for. The athletes all worked really hard, stayed focused and gave me 110 percent effort,” said Moore. “Although I have enjoyed the FAMU relays as an athlete in the mid 1980’s and as a visiting coach, my first relays as head coach here was a pleasant experience. We took steps in preparing for the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference outdoor championships.”
Rattler Shuaib Winters set the tone early with a first place finish in the first event of the relays, the 3000-meter run (10:19.39). Winters also went on to take first place in the last event of the first day as well, the 5000-meter (15:59.63). Adding to the difficulty was the downpour over the track during the final race.
“The rain keeps you cool, but other than that I don’t like running in it,” Winters told Florida A&M sports information. The two-day event was held on Friday and Saturday at the Robert “Pete” Griffin Track Complex.
Degion Craddock finished second in the 800-meter run (1:58.71), with teammate Lamere Buchan not far behind in third (1:58.76).
The men’s 4x 400 m relay placed second (3:30.88), while the lady rattler teams finished first (4:01.42) and third (4:25.33) in the women’s event.
Both the men and women’s 4×100-meter relay teams brought won their event. The men posted a time of 42.61, while the women finished in 48.05 seconds.
Ann-Marie Francis showed her versatility by finishing second in the javelin throw (39.30), and third in the 100-meter dash (12.52).
FAMU team members finished first, second and third in the men’s 110-meter hurdles ,with Demarius Carroll (14.80), Brandon Hartley (14.98), and Greg Bynes (15.14) respectively.
The other first place finishers were Willie Johnson in the men’s high jump with a height of 6’2″, Keelyn Fleming in the women’s 800-meter run (2:42.17), Brandon Hartley in the 400-meter hurdles (54.75), Tiffany Morrow in the triple jump (11.25 meters or 36′ 11″) and Conchita Russell in the 100-meter hurdles.
Latoya Wright added two second place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles (15.56) and 400-meter hurdles (1:05.17). Rounding out the second place finishes was Jeanette Hulse in the 400-meter dash (58.67).
During the event, organizers paid tribute to FAMU legends, James Ashcroft, Major Hazelton, Nathaniel James, and Eugene Milton, who were honored for their three Penn Relays 440-relay championships.
The team will be heading to the Morehouse College relays this weekend, where they will face top-notch division one opponents as well as premier division two talent.