After performing at an elite level in the Carolina Challenge and the South Carolina Invite, the Rattlers are back again, facing fierce competition. The Florida A&M track and field program will head to the Midwest to participate in the Windy City Invite. This invitational event dates back to 2022, a relatively new one. The track meets are from (Feb.9th-10th) in Chicago, Illinois.
Once again, this is the first time in program history they’ll be participating in the Windy City Invite. Outside of Florida A&M, Howard University will also be competing. These are the only two HBCUs in this meet! Many Power Five schools will make an appearance. Schools like Michigan, Purdue, Notre Dame, and many other Power Five Midwest schools.
With so many heavy hitters in this meet, the Rattlers are used to this! A couple of FAMU athletes recently stood out and broke a few records that lasted since 2009 at FAMU. Lacie Deboskie broke the women’s 800-meter record at 2:11.17 seconds, and Kimeone McLeod broke the 60-meter hurdles record at 8.35 seconds. Deboskie, McLeod, and other FAMU athletes plan to keep competing at a high level in the Windy City Invite. In this meet, FAMU will only bring 18 athletes, nine boys and nine girls.
The track and field and cross–country program director, Garfield Ellenwood II, spoke about what it means to be invited to this invitational and be one of the two HBCU schools in this meet.
“It means a lot to us. Feels like we’re being recognized. We are appreciative of this opportunity, and it allows us and the Midwest to see what we can offer at Florida A&M,” Ellenwood II said.
Joseph DeRosier will be premiering in the 60-meter hurdles and possibly either the 60-meter dash or the 200-meter race. DeRosier relayed a goal in mind and plans to accomplish it at the meet.
“My goal is to at least run a seven-seven or seven-six in the 60-meter hurdles to qualify for nationals,” DeRosier said.
Tionna Brown is premiering in the 60-meter dash and the four-by-four. Brown shares her preparation and mindset for this upcoming meet.
“All I’m focusing on is execution. I know that I have the talent; I just have to execute and do the best that I can,” Brown said.
The Rattlers go to the windy city to face stiff competition, but they plan to continue competing at an elite level and leave no doubt!