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.

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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.

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