Junior Shuaib Winters capped a strong cross country season with an MVP-like performance at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships at Maryland Eastern Shore Satuday.
Winters highlighted the event, coming in first place with a time of 24 minutes 34 seconds in the 8k and won the men’s individual MEAC championship. He also won most outstanding male performer.
“The foundation that he has built will lead into a successful track season for him,” men’s head coach Wayne Angel said.
Winters led the men’s team to a fifth place finish with a team total of 85 points.
Lamere Buchanan ran to an 11th place finish, posting his best time of the season with 26:04.
Their times allowed both he and Winters to earn All-MEAC honors.
“I’m happy and excited for FAMU and it lays a solid foundation for the future,” Angel said.
Winters shined the brightest on a day where most of the men set their personal record (PR). He broke the MEAC, course, and school records.
He won the race decisively with the second place finisher 100 meters behind him.
“Knowing that Shuaib still has untapped potential and gets the chance to qualify for nationals in two weeks makes me extremely proud,” Angel said.
For coach Angel, he continues his streak of having a conference champion every year of his coaching career.
“I’m just happy I can keep that record going,” Angel said. “I’m thrilled and proud of this team. Coaching them has been a pleasure.”
The women provided steady numbers as they finished eighth overall with 177 points.
Claricia Golden was the top finisher for the women, coming in 17th, with a time of 19:29.
Chandelic Jackon finished 20th, with a time of 19:40.
The loss of Stephaun Martinez was a major factor.
Down one runner and a second runner injured, the women fell short of their goal to finish in the top four.
“Although we planned to finish in the top four, the injury bug bit us. It was extremely hard to make up for the loss of two members of our personnel,” women’s head coach Darlene Moore said.
“Finding out Stephaun couldn’t participate a week prior to the championship was a harsh blow to the team,” Moore said.
She said she hopes the experience for the young team will lead to a better finish in the upcoming indoor season.
“By the ladies being freshmen, even with preparation, they didn’t know what to expect,” Moore said.
“By getting their first championship under their belt, the ladies will be more prepared come indoor and outdoor season.”
The aggression of the participants was obvious from the start of the race.
“According to my athletes this was the most aggressive race they have been a part of all season long,” Moore said.
There were steps in the right direction for the women’s cross country team, who still has plenty of time to get where they want to be.
“The ladies put forth a grand effort in representing the university. Three young ladies had season personal records. I was very proud of the ladies in such a contested race,” Moore said.