PRINCESS ANNE, Md. ? The fruits of a laborious 2014 Outdoor Track Season are about to pay off for a number of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), when they travel to Jacksonville, Fla. for the NCAA Eastern Preliminaries.
Beginning on Thursday, this three day event will feature eight Hawks competing in a variety of events, with most Hawks running, jumping or throwing in multiple events.
The contingent of Hawks consists of seven men and one woman went to great lengths to earn the right to compete this weekend. In order by class, they are: Seniors Gayon Evans (Clarendon, Jamaica), Javon Spencer(Montego Bay, Jamaica), Aaron Chatmon(Waldorf, Md.), Rico Taylor(Silver Spring, Md.) and Ramone Waite (Kingston, Jamaica); Junior Dillon Simon (Pottersville, Roseau, Dominica); and freshmen Orwell Maylor (St. Catherine?s, Jamaica) and Jared Kerr (Brampton, Ontario, Canada).
Evans is the lone woman to represent the Hawks, and she deserved her place on the team because she goes into the tournament with the highest ranking of any individual Hawk. A time of 23.08 seconds in the 200 meter dash at the
MEAC Championships ranks her sixth among all Hawk qualifiers in the event. Evans is also ranked 20th in the100 meter dash with an 11.47 second time. In addition to these qualifying times, Gayon had a spectacular season where she earned the fastest times among all Lady Hawks in the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes and helped to earn the fastest time in the 4x400 relay. Her efforts made her an MVP for the women?s outdoor track team and a finalist for UMES? Female Athlete of the Year.
Spencer qualified for three events, which is tied for the most of any Hawk attending along with Aaron Chatmon. Along with the two relay races, Spencer currently ranks 42nd in the men?s 200 meter dash. His time of 21.13 seconds was earned at the VertKlasse Meeting in North Carolina this past April. Spencer finished third during that meet. Chatmon will join Spencer in the relay races, and will run individually in the 400 meter dash.
The holder of the top five times in the event, his best finish was a 46.90 second time at the MEAC Championships which earned him third place in the race earlier this month. The performance gives Aaron a 27th place ranking for the NCAA Preliminaries. Chatmon also competed in the 200 meter dash and 800 meter run this season, and was honored by the school for having a perfect 4.0 GPA this year, graduating with a degree in general studies two weeks ago. Maylor excelled all season long in the 400 meter hurdles, and earned qualification with a 34th place ranking. His time of 52.12 seconds also earned fourth place at the MEAC Championships. One of two freshmen to make the squad, Maylor also assisted in relays throughout the season. Taylor qualified for the 4x100 relay race and the high jump. Already the owner of the school?s high jump record, which he set in 2012 as a sophomore, Taylor?s jump of 2.11 meters at the MEAC Championship earned him first place during that meet, ranking him 28th among all competitors in the high jump at the NCAAs.Kerr continued his successes from the indoor season in the long jump and the triple jump during the outdoor season, and it paid off with a long jump qualification.
The ranking of 35th in the long jump is part of a long list of honors for the freshman, who earned his ranking with a jump of 7.44 meters. Jared was also named Men?s Rookie of the Year for the indoor and outdoor season, and qualified for the World Junior Championships in Oregon this coming July for the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 52.69 seconds. Simon, who is the counterpart to Evans? successes for the men?s side, reaches the NCAA?s in two events?the shot put and discus. A throw of 18.64 meters ranks Dillon 20th in the shot put and a toss of 56.48 meters in the discus ranks him 23rd.
Simon was also a finalist for the UMES? Male Athlete of the Year and won the MVP for Men?s Field during both the indoor and outdoor season. In addition, his discus toss reset his own school record, which was previously listed as 53.85 meters, giving Simon three combined school records between the two track seasons. With a 40.28 second time in the 4x100 relay and a time of 3:08.18 in the 4x400 relay, the men?s relay teams rank 22nd and 17th, respectively. Ramone Waite will be the only Hawk competing in relays without earning additional individual qualifications, while Spencer and Chatmon will join Waite in both events. Rico Taylor will run in the 4x100 race and Orwell Maylor will run in the 4x400 race.
In terms of this weekend?s schedule, field events will start Thursday at noon while track events begin at 4:30 with Maylor competing in the 400 meter hurdles, concluding on Saturday night with the relay races. North Florida University will play host to the meet, taking place at Hodges Stadium.
Tickets can be purchased thru the University of North Florida either in person, online or by calling (904) 620-2473. Game day tickets will also be available beginning one hour before the scheduled start time of the meet. Fans can also follow along with the meet at flashresults.com where results will be posted in real time.
Combined with the results of the NCAA West Preliminaries at the University of Arkansas, the top times will head to the University of Oregon for the second and final round of the NCAA Championships in mid-June.