Kheir leads the way for Rams third-place finish

Kheir leads the way for Rams third-place finish
April 28
04:25 2016

Photo by Craig T. Greenlee

Lead-off runner Jenele Terry of WSSU bolts out of the starting blocks during the 4×100 relay at the conference championships



Winston-Salem State’s women fell short in their bid to capture a team title at the CIAA outdoor track and field championships held last weekend in Charlotte. Even so, that doesn’t mean that the Rams, who finished third in the final team standings, came away empty handed.

Middle-distance runner Fawzia Kheir turned in WSSU’s best individual performances of the meet. Kheir, who joined the team in January after transferring from Norfolk State, won the 3,000-meter run, finished second in the 1,500 and was third in the 800. In the process, she set school records for all three races and ran a leg on the 4×400 relay that placed fourth.

Those were some tough runs,” said Kheir. “But I believe in my coaches and my training. With me being a senior, I just want to give it all I’ve got. What I want now is to better my qualifying time for nationals. My main goal is to make it to nationals, be an All-American. I want my season to end at the nationals.

“But what happened today has made a big impact. I came here and set three school records and had PRs in all of my (individual) events. So, I know that I’m working hard and I know that nothing can beat God, so the determination is always there.”

The 3,000 quickly turned into a two-person affair between Kheir and teammate Domtila Kiplagat, who separated themselves from the rest of the pack during the early stages of the race. With a little less than two laps to go, Kheir pulled even with Kiplagat and they ran stride for stride down the straightaway.

Over the final 400, Kheir pushed the pace to take an eight-meter lead that she would never relinquish. Kheir crossed the finish line in 10 minutes, 42.35 seconds and Kiplagat was the runner-up at 10:48.21.

“I hate the 3,000, or any race that’s longer than the 800,” Kheir confessed. “But it’s not all about me. I do it for the team.”

Kheir battled Fellan Ferguson of Johnson C. Smith from start to finish in the 1,500 (she ran 4:41.20). But in the end, Ferguson won by a margin of a little over two seconds. The 800 had a similar outcome to the 1,500, but Kheir was rewarded for her efforts. Ferguson won in 2:07.47, but Kheir’s time of 2:11.74 met the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA Division II outdoor nationals next month.

The CIAA championships could very well be the breakthrough experience that WSSU sprinter Ty-Leah Hampton had been expecting. Hampton more than held her own against the league’s elites last weekend. Not only did she win medals in the 100 and 200, but she also posted career-best times in both events.

Hampton relied on furious bursts in the final meters of both races. She was second in the 200 (24.01 seconds) and third in the 100 (11.86). Her times at the CIAA meet further enhance her chances to advance to the Division II nationals as a provisional qualifier.

“Things went really great for me today,” said Hampton. “I kept telling myself that I was going to get what I wanted (my fastest times) and I did it. I’m extremely happy and satisfied with my performance. Right now, I just want to keep lowering my times and go to nationals and win.”

With a lot of help from Kheir and Hampton, the Rams finished with 138.5 points in the chase for the conference team title. Johnson C. Smith scored 165 points to win the trophy and Saint Augustine’s was second with 156.

On opening day of the championships, WSSU got a huge boost when freshman Halvandra McNeill won the javelin with a throw of 117-feet, 6 inches.

Other noteworthy performances were turned in by Rachel Bonum (second in the high jump); Tametris Morrison (second in the 400-meter hurdles); Lyssa Wallace-O’Neal (third in the shot put); Rikera Waters (third in the discus); and the third-place 4×100 relay team (Jenele Terry, Hampton, Aaliyah Craft and Maya Grier).

“With Fawzia and Ty-Leah, we had some great individual success at the (CIAA) championships,” said coach Inez Turner of WSSU. “It was such a joy to see things happen with new school records being set. What more can I ask for?

“Now that the championships are over with, we’re going to concentrate on some individuals to help them qualify for nationals. I just want to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us. This has been a blessed season.”

About Author

Wali Pitt

Wali Pitt

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors