CAC's Iddrisu repeats as national champ in women's 400
By ED PETRUSKA Contributing Writer Pinal Central
LUBBOCK, Texas — Shawkia Iddrisu of Central Arizona College held off a stiff challenge to repeat as national champion in the women's 400 meters at the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Iddrisu posted a time of 54.02 seconds to edge D'Jai Baker of New Mexico Junior College by five one-hundredths of a second in Saturday's final at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.
Cherisse Murray also joined the long list of CAC track and field national champions, winning the women's shot put with a mark of 52 feet, ½ inch.
The Vaqueras finished fifth in the team standings with 66 points. New Mexico had a first-place total of 120, which was 30 more than runner-up South Plains, Texas.
Central scored points in 10 of the 20 events, including 17 in the shot put.
Injuries to three key athletes – who did not even make the trip to nationals — cost the Vaqueras "30 to 40 points easily," CAC track and field director Tony Dougherty said.
"We went in a little gimpy, but our women did almost as well as expected with who we had," he said.
Four other Vaqueras placed in the top three. Taking second were Josephine Anokye in the 200 (23.73) and Nicolee Foster in the 600 (1:32.70). Finishing third were Renique Smith in the pentathlon (3,283 points) and Regina Yeboah in the high jump (5-7 1/4).
Fifth places went to Devia Brown in the shot put, Murray in the weight throw and the 4x400 relay team of LeMeyah Charlton, Anokye, Iddrisu and Foster.
Ikageng Gaorekwe was the top placer for the CAC men, finishing second in the 5,000 with a time of 15:05.31.
The Vaqueros scored in 13 of 20 events and took seventh in the team standings with 39.5 points. They compiled 10.5 points in the six field events and 10 in the two distance events.
"We're pretty well-rounded, pretty deep," Dougherty said. "Our men had a great meet."
South Plains finished first with 94 points, two more than runner-up Barton County, Kansas.
John Ngaruiya took fifth in the mile, and Luis Soto was sixth in the 800. Finishing seventh were Grayling Davis in the 400, Gaorekwe in the 3,000 and the 4x400 relay team of Veto Virgin, Tavian Ross, Tarique Moses and Davis.