BSU Outdoor Track & Field Squad Gears Up For New Season
By Auburn Mann
Coming off of a decent indoor season, Bowie State's outdoor track & field team has high hopes for the upcoming season. At the conclusion of the past indoor season, the men's squad placed second with an overall score of 94 points in the CIAA championships in Newport News, Va., and the women ranked third with 78 points at the meet. This year a few of the high, triple and long jumpers, Sean Johnson, Aaron Johnson, Artavius Williams, William Bailey, even qualified for the NCAA Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., from March 10-14, where Aaron Johnson received All- American Honors for his High Jump Performance. Under the guidance of head coach Michelle Latimer these running Bulldogs are preparing to take the title of CIAA champions.
According to Latimer, the team is also trying to get more of its athletes to place for the nationals in June in Charlotte, N.C., at Johnson C. Smith University. With the BSU's track team historically being strong in middle distance and jumping events they are anticipating team captains Jamin Gallmin, Darren Williams, Shamika Patton and Lakisha Carney to lead the way. Gallmin who specializes at the 800- and 400-meter distances plans to drop times for both as he currently runs a 1:52 for the 800 and 49.21 for the 400 and to contribute to a record for the 4x800 relay. Patton, who trains for the 400, 800, and a few long distance races, also plans to drop a few seconds off her times of 58.00 for the 400, 2:23 for the 800, and in collaboration with her teammates aspires to set a personal records on the 4x400 relay.
There are also high hopes for those in the other event categories, too. These events include the short sprints, such as the 100- and 200-meter dashes. In terms of the grueling long distance events, women's miler Brittany Williams is hoping for a competitive season. On the men's side, Daryl Sanders hopes to be competitive in the mile and 1500 events. As far as the field events, for the men, Bailey and Sean Johnson are covering the long and triple jumps. For the women's side, Carney and Kayla Campbell are throwing the shot put and Angelique Henderson is long jumping.
The key meets of this upcoming season include the Shamrock Invitational that ran from March 18-20 at Costal Carolina University in Conway, S.C.; the Aggie Relays at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, N.C. on April 2-3; the Penn Relays on Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (where last year the men's 4x400 relay ran a time of 3:14.81 qualifying them for nationals) from April 22-24. And, of course, the highly anticipated CIAA Championships to be held in Petersburg, Va., in April followed by the NCAA Nationals qualifier May 7-8 in New York City, and the season ending NCAA Division 2 National Championships at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., from May 27-29.
"This season is expected to have better results than this past indoor season largely due to the return of many athletes lost to injury or academic issues," Latimer said. However, it's the eve of a brand new season, with a restored and fully stocked team for Bowie State.
"We will progress as a team, unit, and family," team member Ennis said, reflecting the Bowie State values of faith and excellence, and setting up the conditions for a triumphant season.