The indoor back-to-back track events continue as the Florida A&M track and field program will head to Columbia, South Carolina, to participate in the Carolina Challenge. The Challenge is a two-day event on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 19 – 20), which starts at 10 a.m. on Friday. The Carolina Challenge started in the 2018-2019 track season, and now it’s an annual event that South Carolina University hosts and sends invitations to other Division I schools.
This is their first time participating in the Carolina Challenge in Florida A&M track and field program history! This is a huge test for the Rattlers, as the field includes up to 20 Division I and mid-major schools. Some competing schools are North Carolina A&T, Georgia State, The University of Tennessee, and Coastal Carolina, just to name a few along with other respected schools.
Many standouts in the UAB meet finished high in their respective events. Nya Blocker, Kirk Dawkins, Rori Lowe, and Breanna Brown-Marshall are athletes to look out for this weekend. These athletes and many others plan to build upon their previous meet to make some noise in the Carolina Challenge.
The track and field and cross-country program director, Garfield Ellenwood II, was pleased with his athletes’ performance in their recent meet. Ellenwood II expresses his excitement to build upon their last meet and to compete in the Carolina challenge for the first time in program history!
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to go and to be able to compete with the nation’s best! We’re looking to build upon what we had at our first meet. Looking for everyone to reach personal goals, reach personal best, and win. Win to win,” Ellenwood II said.
After participating in the previous meet running the 400-meter, Rori Lowe is premiering in the 60-meter dash at the Carolina Challenge. Lowe shares her excitement for this upcoming meet and what she expects from herself.
“I’m excited to open in the 60 meters. I’ve been doing a lot of film work, just trying to critique and see what I need to work on for my block starts. I’m excited to go to South Carolina to have some good competition and see what I can do,” Lowe said.
After having a great meet at the UAB, athlete Lacie Deboskie will open in the 800 meters. Deboskie discusses her mentality heading into her opening and competing against other Power Five schools.
“I want to focus more on my first lap since I’m opening in the 800 meters. I’m very excited about the performance I’m going to put out. Just using my training, trusting my training, trusting myself, trusting my coaches, and just putting it all out there,” Deboskie said.
This is a tall task for the Rattlers, but they plan to let their presence be known in the Carolina Challenge!