Both the men and women’s track teams took first place in the 63th annual Florida A&M Relays on Saturday at the Robert “Pete” Griffin track.
This meet marked the first time the teams were able to compete on the new track since undergoing renovations last spring.
Head men’s track coach Wayne Angel was pleased with his athletes’ performances but understands that there is still room for improvement.
“We had a solid performance all around,” Angel said. “Our field events are an area we can work on. Our sprinters are young and our hurdlers are getting there. But I think this was a good performance, and when it is time for the MEAC (Championship), we will be able to put a pretty good team out there.”
Head women’s track coach Darlene Moore said the Lady Rattlers made some strides.
“It was outstanding,” Moore said of their performances. “The ladies are on road to having a very successful outdoor track and field season. We have been working hard all season, but to come out here and run on this new track in front of our home crowd made it that much better.”
Sophomore distance runner Cynthia Chelelgo led the way for the Lady Rattlers, finishing first in the women’s 3000-meter run with a time of 9 minutes, 21.79 seconds
Junior sprinter Shawanna Steplight placed first in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.56 seconds.
“We performed well with us just coming off indoor season and all,” Steplight said. “I would have to say today was a good opener for us. I didn’t even think the track was going to be ready. Us being able pull that off was big.”
The 4×100-meter relay team – Steplight, senior Nakia Linson, junior Jasmine Smith and freshman Raven Diggs – also took care of business for the Lady Rattlers, finishing in first with a time of 45.61.
For the men, junior sprinter Dennis Pugh led the way for the men in the 110-meter hurdles, taking first place with a time of 14.41 seconds.
But the men saved the best for last as their 4×400-meter relay team – Pugh, senior McDaniel Olivier, junior Isaiah Smith and junior Roman Skovronski – just edged out Team Swill for a first-place finish with a time of 3:13.05.
“That 4 x400-meter relay was a big win for us,” Skovronski said. “We had to adjust to the time changes and some of us running races we are not accustomed to running, but we went out there and did what we had to do to get a win today.”
The track teams will return to action March 21 in the Florida State University Relays at Mike Long Track.