Brown, Perkins Take Home Gold, Several Runners Have Best Showing
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – There are some smiles returning to campus radiating from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Track and Field squad following the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships at the Virginia Beach Sports Center.
Two student-athletes took home the gold for the Hawks, Janoi Brown in the 400m and James Perkins in the weight throw, as well as Brown aiding the 4x400m team that earned second place consisting of him, Ashane Beckford, Mehki Herring, and Adrian Dula.
“Overall, I am happy but not satisfied,” head coach Sharlene Milwood-Lee said. “We were dealt some tough blows this weekend, but the team was able to bounce back and compete. The score did not represent who we are and what we’re capable of, however – it’s a positive start and I am excited about the future.”
Perkins was the first podium finisher for the Hawks, dominating the weight throw at 17.55m, more than a half of a meter than the next best finisher. The mark was 4.05m further than in the same meet last season and he also set a personal record in the shot put at 15.61m, coming in fourth.
“James has been doing well all season and continues to improve,” Milwood-Lee said. “He came to the MEAC Championships with a goal and (he was) excited as well. He took care of business in the circle this weekend, I’m very proud of him.”
Brown’s first medal of the weekend was in the 400m where he ran a 48.33s in the finals after coming away as the top qualifier at 47.56s.
“Janoi has worked hard since I arrived on campus,” Milwood-Lee said. “There is so much more in him we have not tapped into, I’m excited to see where his ceiling will be.”
Not satisfied with just the 400m, Brown, alongside Beckford, Herring, and Dula finished second in the 4x400m with a 3:14.93s to bring more glory back to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
“(They) ran a season-best and placed second,” Millwood-Lee said. “I’m very pleased with how they can, they left everything on the track.”
While not placing, the women’s 4x400m team also had a much-improved showing, boosting their season’s best by seven seconds at 3:55.82s. The squad of Mackenzi Evans, Spencer Settle, Chloe Lucas, and Shy-Ann Campbell was able to overcome a baton drop during the race, making the mark even more impressive to the coaching staff.
“I believe they can run much faster,” Milwood-Lee said. “I am looking forward to the upcoming outdoor season.”
In the field, Mackel Pierrilus scored in two of the most technical events offered, the high jump and the triple jump. While not placing, Milwood-Lee could see what changes can be made and expects him to continue evolving as a student-athlete to make the podium.
“He still has work to do to polish up his technique,” Milwood-Lee said. “That’s when he will flourish in his events.”
Fellow jumper Caleb Goslee tied a personal best of 7.12m in the long jump and Lyric Kelly on the women’s side scored for the Hawks in the high jump at 1.47m, tying her career high as well.
“There are still some things to be worked on,” Milwood-Lee said of Kelly. “But I am excited about her future at UMES.”
Always improving for the Hawks in the circle is Indya Hansley, who took sixth in both the shot put and the weight throw, setting a new personal record in the weight at 16.61m – besting her 2022 MEAC attempt of 15.53m.
“She’s a hard worker in practice,” Milwood-Lee said. “She will continue to improve into the postseason.”
Other personal records on the day include Jazmine Thomas in the 60m (7.93s), Chloe Lucas in the 400m (57.42s), Mya Johnson in the shot put (10.17m) for the women, while Jonathan Brooks had his best long jump (6.73m) and Pierrilus in the triple (13.91m) for the men.
Although the conference championships have concluded, the Hawks still have those postseason hopes before the outdoor season begins. Still slated to be attended are the Christopher Newport Qualifier on Sunday, February 26, as well as the ECAC/IC4A Championships and NCAA Championships for those who have qualifying results of their events.
Follow the action on Twitter via @ESHawksTFXC.