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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (February 20, 2024) – South Carolina State scored in a total of 13 events Tuesday – the final day of the three-day MEAC Indoor Track and Field Championship – picking up 30 more points in the men’s competition and 27 additional ones in the women’s division.

The SC State women were fifth in the eight-team event, compiling 45 points, while the men amassed 54 points to finish sixth. Both totals were short of goal (80 points for the men and 60 for the women but were the most for both SC State teams in several years.

The host Norfolk State men tallied 178 points to win their third straight title ahead of Howard, who compiled 109 points. The Howard women also made it three in a row as they totaled 204 points to 188 for runner-up Norfolk State.

On Tuesday, top performers for Coach Donald Cooper’s team in the women’s competition were Cameran Gist, who finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 12.23 meters, a personal record (PR) for the Lady Bulldog sophomore, recording eight points for her team; Angelica Frederick, fourth in the 200 meters in a time of 24.15, a PR for her; the 4x400m relay team (TyQwasia Williams, Frederick, Debrielle Williams and Maya Smith), third in a season-best time of 3:48.34; Sydney Cooper, fifth in the pole vault with a leap of 2.40 meters; and Makylah Jones, sixth in the 800 meters in a PR time of 2:18.22;

Leading the way for the men were Javon Brooks and Isaiah Vertus, third and fourth, respectively, in the 400 meters. Brooks covered the course in a time of 47.55, while Vertus was clocked at of 47.57, both PRs. Teammate Jacob Alexander also scored in the event, finishing in eighth place. Vertus suffered an injury at the start of the 200 meters where he had established a PR (21.55) in the prelims on Sunday. His conditioned is being evaluated.

Also scoring for the Bulldogs on Tuesday was the 4×400 meter relay team (Brooks, Alexander, Jaden Barker and Jameli Thomas who filled in for Vertus) in a season-best time of 3:12.87; Kenton George, sixth in the pole vault (3.80m); Jonathan Williams, sixth in the 60m hurdles (8.37); Jalen Alleyne, seventh in the event (8.39); and Thomas, eighth in the event (8.51).

“The meet was full of excitement,” Cooper said, who is in his second season at the helm. “Congratulations to Howard and Norfolk State on their championships. Those are two well-managed programs with great support.

“I was pleased with the way our teams fought from the beginning to the end,” continued Cooper.” my staff did a great job keeping everything running smoothly throughout the event, and we had lots of individuals that stepped up and gave us a presence in events that were not our strong suit. Many of them were ranked outside of the top eight for scoring but they came up huge for us.”

Cooper also said he was looking to the future.

“We have a solid core of young athletes that believe in what we are doing,” he said, “so we expect to continue to develop and get better, but the future of the program will be decided by the type of support that we receive going forward.”

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