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Three A&T hurdlers, three A&T 200M sprinters head to NCAA Indoor Nationals

The Aggies 4×400 meter relay team will look to defend their 2021 National Indoor title.

GREENSBORO EAST – The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Athletics and Cross Country Committee has announced the entrants who will compete in the 2022 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The North Carolina A&T Aggies will send 10 student-athletes with perhaps a few alternatives for the men’s 4×400-meter relay.

The championships, hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will be held March 11-12 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala.

0344_RasheemBrown“We’re thrilled to be going, and we’re thrilled for the young men and women who have earned this opportunity,” said Duan RossDirector of Athletics Programs for NC A&T.

ESPN3 will broadcast the championships live beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Friday, March 11 and beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 12. A replay of the championship will begin at 9:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, March 13. on ESPNU.

Aggies to send world’s No. 1 men’s 400-meter runner to Alabama with junior Randolph Ross, Jr. His best time in 2022 was 44.83, recorded Feb. 11 at the Tiger Paw Invitational hosted by Clemson University. It was the sixth fastest time in college history.

0345_Leonard_Mustari
Ross Jr. is one of only two living men to rank in the top 7 all-time collegiate times in both the indoor and outdoor 400m.

While Ross Jr. is the only No. 1-ranked Aggie in their respective event, the Aggies will send two other nationally-ranked No. 2 athletes in the women’s 60 hurdles graduate Paula Salmon and first year 60H men Leonard Mustari. 0339_Paula_Salmon

Salmon’s No. 2 ranking is due to her recording the second-fastest time in college history (7.83) at the Tiger Paw Invite. She broke her personal best (PR) three times this season and, as a result, broke the school record three times. Salmon is also the Big South Conference champion in the event. LSU’s Alia Armstrong (7.81) is the number one seed heading into the Indoor Nationals.

Mustari is one of the two fastest U20 60H runners ever. He equaled the U20 record when he ran a 7.55 at the Tiger Paw Invite on February 11.

Sophomore Javonte’ Harding, meanwhile, is ranked third in the men’s 200. Harding ran a 20.33 to Clemson’s Bob Pollock on Jan. 28. 0347_Daniel_Stokes

He faced current Georgia No. 1 200m runner Matthew Boling at Tiger Paw. Boling was first in 20.41 and Harding was second in 20.43. Joining Harding in the 200M is senior Daniel Stokes. This season and in his career, his best time is 20.75 at Tiger Paw.

There will also be a female Aggie running the 200. Graduate Symone Darius heads to Alabama with an additional men’s 60H in senior Rasheem Brown. Darius and Brown arrive at the Big South Event Championships.

Darius won the 60M in 7.34 last week at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, NC, and Brown won the 60H running a PR 6.73. 0349_Harding

Then there are the reigning national champions in the 4×400 meters indoor relay. Three of the four defending 4×400 National Champions are back at Ross Jr., Stokes and Graduates Elie Young. Senior Akeem Lindo is planned to replace Trevor Stewartdiploma.

0350_Symone_Darius“We all want to prepare to compete at the highest level,” Ross said. “We are preparing for this like any other race because we are always preparing to be the best. It’s not just any other race, it’s the national championship, but we can’t We’re playing against the best, but if we stay focused and grounded and do what we do best and compete at the highest level, I feel good.”