EUGENE,OR (June 5)– Florida A&M was well represented on day one of the 2013 NCAA outdoor track and field national championships. Lady Rattlers competed in the 4x100m relay, while Nakia Linson competed in the 100m dash at Hayward Field.
In a field stacked with the best runners in the country, including Olympic-caliber athletes, the Lady Rattlers competed in the fastest events in all of college track and field. The strength of the FAMU Lady Rattlers this season has been their sprinters.
While they didn’t advance to the finals, making it to college track and field’s biggest stage was a feat within itself. Coach Darlene Moore said that fact was evident in the encouragement they received from fellow competitors. “We got a lot of support from other coaches who were impressed with the performances of our young ladies. It makes all the hard work to get here worthwhile when your peers recognize the level you’ve reached,” Moore said.
The 4x100m relay team had an uphill battle from the start, but rose to the occasion to take third place in their heat, that included two of the nation’s top teams in UCF and LSU.
On the first leg, Dynasty Jones, the lone senior on the team, was unable to make any headroom as the field took off from the start. On the second leg, Linson would make up ground improving the Lady Rattlers’ positioning. Jasmine Smith, the third leg, may have run the best leg of the race, as she pulled the Lady Rattlers into third position. Freshman Ashley Ivey had one of her best races, maintaining the Lady Rattlers in third, while fighting off competitors down the stretch.
The Lady Rattlers finished in 44.85, placing them 12th overall as a team. It also deemed them 2013 NCAA All-Americans. It was quite a feat, taking into the fact that they were ranked sixth in their heat coming into the race. To finish third in the heat was quite an accomplishment within itself.
The team overall was ranked 17th coming in in the relay, but finished 12th overall. “Even though we didn’t run our fastest time of the season, performing well against this level of competition will only make us better. To finish third in that heat, my heart goes out to these young ladies. They have done everything I’ve asked of them this year. My young ladies and I have spoken and we’ve committed to returning next year ” Moore said.
In the 100m dash, Linson held her own, without running her fastest time of the season. She finished fifth in her heat, but 17th overall. The junior from Tucker, Georgia will return to the track on June 6 at 7 p.m. EST to run the 200m dash. A free live webcast can be seen at www.NCAA.com.