The Sandhills Community College men's and women's track and field teams picked up a first place, two seconds and a third at North Carolina A & T's Aggie Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Greensboro.
Over 40 colleges plus unattached athletes, including some former Olympians, competed in the first home meet of the season for the hosts.
It was the third meet of the spring for the first-year program of the Flyers. Based upon the first two, Coach Jef Moody's men's squad is ranked No. 6 in last week's NJCAA Division III national poll and the Lady Flyers are ranked No. 7. Rowan Gloucester (NJ) is No. 1 in both rankings.
"It's good to be ranked," Moody said during a workout at Pinecrest High School on Monday, but I don't take much stock in the rankings. If we show up at the nationals to race and compete, we will do just fine."
Daniel Taylor got the Flyers off to a good start by winning the 5,000 meter run on Friday by more than 10 seconds over the second place finisher with a time of 15:28.59. Teammate Andrew Bowen finished sixth.
In the 3,000 meter steeplechase on Saturday, the Lady Flyers' Sara Lindell was second and Isaiah McGilvary was the runner-up in the men's race.
Tyrese Kelly took third place in the long jump on Friday with a season-best mark of 7.01 meters and finished seventh in the triple jump on Saturday.
Other Flyers finishing in the top 10 in their events included Alex Worley, eighth in the men's javelin, Enya Dewars, ninth in the women's 1, 500 run and John Grimm, ninth in the men's 1,500.
"This wasn't a normal college meet," Moody said. "The competition was exceptional."
The Duke Invitational this Friday and Saturday is the last meet before the NJCAA National Championships at Mohawk Valley CC in Utica, N.Y. on May 10-12.
Taylor in the 5,000 and 10,000 meter runs, Bowen in the 10,000, Kelly in the long jump, triple jump and high jump, and Worley in the decathlon have all qualified for the national meet for the Sandhills men.
Anjel Rowe in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles, Claudette Smith in the 400 hurdles, Emily Doorey in the discus and heptathlon, and Lindell in the steeplechase have all qualified for the Lady Flyers.
A member of the Flyers' cross country team last fall, Smith, a product of Grace Christian, had never tried the hurdles until this spring. She knocked 14 seconds off her time from the first meet to the third. Her time on Saturday puts her in eighth place on the list of qualifiers.
"I never really thought I would learn to jump the hurdles," she said on Monday. "Qualifying was the last thing I expected. I'm just really proud I was able to finish it."
Among those within striking distance of qualifying results are Lawrence McGilvary (400), Daniel Hagen (800), Grimm (1,500), Dewars (1,500) and Isaiah McGilvary after Saturday's second place finish in his first 3,000 meter steeplechase. Dewars improved her time by 12 seconds at A & T.
"That's our "last chance" meet," Moody said of the Duke Invite. "I'll get to see how they perform under pressure. I want to say this. They are a hard working bunch."