A&T's Cambrea Sturgis and Kayla White will go head-to-head for a national title on Saturday night at the NCAA track and field championships in Austin, Texas.
Sturgis ran a personal-best of 22.51 seconds in the 200 meters semifinal Thursday night and White ran a 22.65, just behind her in the first of three heats, to claim two of the eight berths in the final.
White will go into the 200 having also contended for a national title in the 100, after her semifinal performance was second-fastest on Thursday night. White became A&T's first NCAA champion in March when she won the 200 meters at the indoor championships in Birmingham, Ala.
Sturgis and White are also part of A&T's 4x100 team that qualified for the final.
The top eight finishers in the sprints, hurdles and relays semifinals advanced to finals, ensuring they'll earn points in the team standings, and also clinched All-America status from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Meanwhile, A&T will put two individual men's athletes – Michael Dickson in the 110-meter hurdles and Trevor Stewart in the 400 – and its 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams on the track tonight in event finals.
Eight A&T men – Dickson, Akeem Sirleaf, Malcolm Croom-McFadden and Rodney Rowe on the 4x100 team; Stewart, Kemarni Mighty, Justin Hamilton and Akeem Sirleaf on the 4x400 team; plus Stewart and Dickson in their individual events – have secured first-team All-America.
Four A&T women have earned first team: The 4x100 team of Kamaya Debose-Epps, Tori Ray, Sturgis and White, with White also qualifying in the 100 and 200 and Sturgis for the 200.
A recap of Thursday night's semifinal events:
Women's 4x100 relay: Kamaya Debose-Epps, Tori Ray, Sturgis and White teamed to run a 42.95, a season-best and fifth-fastest in the field, to advance to the final at 6:32 p.m. EDT Saturday. High Point's Tamara Clark and her Alabama teammates finished in 43.17, good for sixth-best behind A&T and a berth in the final.
Women's 100-meter hurdles: Madeleine Akobundu ran a 13.20, 17th-fastest but not enough to reach the final.
Women's 100: White sprinted to an 11.01, second-best for the night, and advanced to her second final, scheduled for 7:22 p.m. Saturday. LSU freshman Sha'Carri Richardson led the semifinals with 10.99. Sturgis' 11.22 placed her 11th, just more than six-hundredths of a second short of advancing. Alabama's Clark was timed in 11.34, 15th overall.
Women's 400: Ray's 53.15 left her 14th-fastest, and she did not advance.
Women's 200: Sturgis' 22.51 left her third-fastest among the finals qualifiers, and White's 22.65 placed her seventh. Southern Cal's Anglerne Annelus led the semifinals with a time of 22.35. Clark finished ninth with a 22.80 and A&T's Debose-Epps (23.29) was 20th and missed the final. The final is at 8:07 p.m. Saturday.
Women's 4x400 relay: Ray, Sun-Sara Williams, Kristoni Barnes and Nilaja Florence were timed in 3:37.0 and missed the final in finishing 18th.
The schedule of tonight's men's finals involving A&T and area athletes:
8:32 p.m.: 4x100 (Dickson, Sirleaf, Croom-McFadden, Rowe).
9:12 p.m.: 110-meter hurdles (Dickson).
9:32 p.m.: 400 (Stewart).
10:25 p.m.: 5,000 (Greensboro's Ian Shanklin, N.C. State).
10:51 p.m.: 4x400 (Stewart, Mighty, Hamilton, Sirleaf).