EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T track and field received more good news this week. In addition to putting together an excellent women’s and men’s recruiting class, the Aggies had nine of its indoor athletes earn 12 All-American accolades from the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
On the men’s side, senior Abbas Abbkar (800m), senior Jaylan Mitchell (60m), freshman Randolph Ross (400m, 4×400), Akeem Sirleaf (4×400), Trevor Stewart (400m, 4×400) and Elijah Young (4×400) earned the honor for A&T.
Normal policies dictate that All-America honors are awarded based on classifications of performance at the NCAA Championships. Due to the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, the NCAA Division I Track & Field Executive Committee adopted the following criteria:
- Based on the post-medical scratches startlist for the national championships posted on Wednesday, March 11 at 9:24 p.m., local, the following will be recognized as All-America for the 2020 indoor track & field season:
- Individual events: ALL student-athletes listed on the startlist for the anticipated event.
- Relay events: The four student-athletes per anticipated relay who produced the performance that was declared and accepted into their event. Those listed as alternates will not be recognized.
- There will not be a distinction of “first-team”, “second-team”, or “honorable mention” to these recognitions.
Thus, a total of 671 honors were handed out to 119 different institutions on Tuesday.
Ross and Sturgis lead the way for the Aggies. Ross had the best 400m time in the world, a 45.44 ran at Texas Tech. Ross’ 4×400 team had the second-fastest time in the nation, a 3:04.78 ran by Ross, Stewart, Sirleaf and Young.
Before the season ended, Sturgis had the second-fastest 60m time in the nation, a 7.15 ran at the University of Kentucky on Jan. 10. She was ninth in the nation in the 200m after running a 23.02 at the University of Arkansas.
Salmon and Akobundu were tied for 10th nationally in the 60mh at 8.08. Salmon ran her 8.08 at Arkansas in February and Akobundu record her time at Virginia Tech in January.
Stewart, a national runner-up in the 400m at the 2019 NCAA nationals, was 12th in the nation in the 400 when the 2020 indoor season came to an end as he posted a 46.07 at the 2020 MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Abbkar, a graduate of transfer out Savannah State, had his best 800 time occur at the JDL DMR Invitational in February, a 1:48.76.