Trevor Stewart ran a blistering 43.70 second on the anchor leg and North Carolina A&T produced a stunning 2:59.21 to win the men’s 4x400m relay at the 2021 NCAA East Preliminary round track and field championships on Friday, May 28.
Stewart collected the baton for North Carolina A&T with a huge lead and could have cruised home, but the senior stayed aggressive throughout his entire leg to stop the clock in a world-leading time and also improved LSU’s five-year Hodges Stadium facility record of 3:02.26. The Aggies’ performance just missed breaking the NCAA outdoor 4x400m record, which is held by LSU at a time of 2:59.00.
Stewart was joined in the team by fellow senior Akeem Sirleaf, junior Daniel Stokes, and freshman Randolph Ross, Jr.
The time posted by the Aggies on Friday at the University of North Florida at the Jax Track at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., improved their own previous world-leading time of 3:00.23, set on March 27, at the 2021 Texas Relays in Austin.
In the race on Friday, Florida was a distant second to North Carolina A&T in that heat in 3:05.27, while Tennessee ran 3:05.39 for third place and also booked a place to the NCAA Championships next month.
Meanwhile, LSU qualified second quickest overall after winning its heat in 3:02.14, following a light delay. The Tigers, anchored by 400m hurdler Sean Burrell won comfortably over SE Louisiana which clocked a season’s best time of 3:04.88 with North Carolina getting third place with 3:06.83.
Heat two, which ended in darkness after the lights went out in the middle of the contest, was eventually won by Kentucky in 3:04.23 and the Wildcats dragged Florida State (3:06.96) and Alabama (3:07.88) with them to Eugene for the national championships.
The 2021 NCAA East Preliminary round track and field championships will continue on Saturday with the women’s second day of competition.