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Paine College Women's Track and Field Team Advances to NCAA Nationals

May 21, 2019

The Paine College Lady Lions embarked for Texas A&M University in Kingsville to compete at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships. They will go up against Division II schools across the nation. The Lady Lions Track Team is the only qualifying women's SIAC Team to compete in this year's Nationals. The championships will be streamed live on each day.

Sophomore Chayla Hobbs, Junior Yasmine Reynolds, Junior Jharna Alston, Freshman Jakaela Dungee and Freshman Destiny Walker will represent Paine College in the 4x100m relay and in the women's open 100m dash. Alston will be the lone Lady Lion to compete in the 100m dash. The prelims for these events will begin on Thursday, May 23 and the finals will be held on Saturday, May 25.

The Lady Lions qualified to compete in the nationals during the last qualifying meet at Mount Olive University on May 12th. The qualifying standards were met with the relay running 46.04. Ms. Alston returned one hour later running a personal best of 11.68 seconds in the 100m dash. It was her third time during the weekend running a national qualifying time in this event. Yasmine Reynolds also qualified provisionally in the 100m with 11.89 and in the 200m with a time of 24.17.

The Lady Lions have raised the bar and brought success to the program. The Lady Lions broke 12 school records this year on their way to qualifying for nationals and finished in the top 3 for the first time in school history tallying 111.5 points at the SIAC Championships. These five ladies were able to capture 5 out of the 6 conference championship titles also adding four top three finishes. Out of the 111.5 points, these five athletes tallied 76.5 of the points.

Commenting on the team's success, Head Coach Mike Hamer said they have a good mix of skill, positive attitudes, clear goals and support from College leadership. "We put in a lot of hard work and accept no excuses. We are also blessed to have Coach Antoine Thomas who has contributed to the team's success. He brought a tremendous amount of experience to the program having coached at his alma mater Albany State University for eight years."

"This is only the beginning for we will continue to build the program and make it a perennial powerhouse on the D2 level," commented Coach Thomas.

Athletics Director Selina Kohn echoed Coach Hamer's sentiments. "We are very proud of both our Women's and Men's Track Teams. They worked hard, they stayed the course, and excelled on and off the track. Many of our team members have grade point averages of 3.0 and higher." The Men and Women's Track Teams won the Team Leadership Award at the 2019 Paine College Athletic Banquet for academic excellence, athletic accomplishment and community engagement.

"Reflecting on an outstanding season, AD Kohn said, "Further, Coach Hamer has done an excellent job in preparing these student athletes for competition. Track is a very disciplined sport. The Lady Lions have indeed raised the bar, but we know they can go much higher."

"Although we have much to celebrate as we look back on the achievements of the season, we are eager to look ahead", said President Jerry Hardee. All of us take pride in knowing that Paine College will be well-represented at the 2019 Division II Track and Field Nationals in Texas. 

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