The men’s track and field team began the season on a high note, and judging by its performance during the Ed Temple Classic on Saturday, it is showing no signs of descending.
Florida A&M walked away from the Gentry Center in Nashville Tenn. garnering first-place finishes in five events and qualifying eight athletes for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Indoor Championship in the process.
Head coach Wayne Angel said he was pleased with the way his team competed and that they are right where they need to be at this point in the season.
“At this part of the season, we’re moving in the right direction,” Angel said. “As long as no one gets hurt, I think we’re going to be fine come conference time.
“I think by next week in Birmingham we’ll have our entire compliment in terms of team qualified. Then we just have to refine it in other areas.”
Steve Emere leaped to a first-place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 52-06.00.
Emere would later capture first place in the 55m hurdles in a time of 7.28. Elijah Owens followed closely behind at 7.54, which was good for fourth place.
Distance runner Shuaib Winters Blazed to a first-place finish in the mile run in a time of 4:18.00.
“The momentum we have going is definitely a confidence booster”, said Lamere Buchanan, who trailed not too far behind Winters in the mile for a fourth-place finish (4:21.51).
Winters, who credits his team’s performance to “hard work,” would also go on to win the 3000m run in a time of 8:38.00.
“This is simply the result of hard work and determination. We all clicked really well and helped motivate each other,” Winters said. “And I feel like I’m on track to do some big things this season. I faced some pretty good athletes.”
In a collective effort, the Rattlers won both the 4x400m relay (3:10.11) and the distance medley relay (10:28.38).
In the 800m run, Degion Craddock came in at 1:53, which was good for second place. Deji Owolabi (1:54.62) and McDaniel Oliver (1:57.65) placed fourth and seventh respectively.
Owens would later place second in the 400m dash in a time of 47.80. Derrick Morgan finished closely in third, which was good for a time of 48.02, while Jean Leon finished in 16thplace (50.00).
In the high jump, Willie Johnson and Bryan Tyms both secured a leap of 2.04m, good for a third-place finish. Leon would finish in 17thplace with a leap of 1.71m.
Xavier Mackey took 11thplace in the shot put with a toss of 13.00m. He would later place seventh in the weight throw, matching his shot put toss.
FAMU will return to action on Jan. 13, as they will travel to Birmingham, Ala. to compete in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Invitational.