For the 10th time in program history and first time since 2005, the Howard University women’s cross country team won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title.
The Bison competed against Norfolk State University, Delaware State University and North Carolina Central University at the meet hosted in Smyrna, Delaware. The women’s team won in a complete team effort, placing five of their six athletes in the top 10 of the matchup.
Melanie White, a fifth year senior from Orlando, Florida, led the charge finishing in the third place spot with a time of 18:48.6, pushing herself to her limit after an injury earlier in the season.
White shared how she worked through her injury. “I have been dealing with symptoms of quad tendonitis, but my coach and I were very intentional about saving my effort for championships. The weeks leading up, we decided it was best to go light and then I would run the best I could.”
White wasn’t the only Bison who fought to ensure the championship. Camille Egbula, a sophomore public relations major from Simpsonville, South Carolina, finished with her best time of the season at 19:05.0 and placed in fifth.
Egbula was elated about her performance. “It was a really great feeling and also a relief. This season has had some challenges, so I’m just happy I was able to peak at the right time to help win the championship,” she shared.
The competition was very strong in this matchup. Norfolk State finished with three runners in the top five, led by Mercyline Kimayio who finished with a time of 18:02.3, which was the fastest time in the MEAC this season.
White spoke on what she thought pushed the women’s cross country team past this competition. “Persistence in effort. A lot of my teammates ran significantly faster than they did in the first race this season. It really shows that we have been putting in work during training to improve this season,” she said.
As the season progressed, the amount of energy and effort drastically increased amongst the women’s cross country team, leading to the results seen during championships. With overall team performance and coaching by the meet’s award winner for MEAC Outstanding Coach, Wesley Stephans, the women’s cross country team prevailed through tough competition in order to achieve the MEAC title once again for the first time in 17 years.
Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett