HBCU Track Stars for World Championships
An HBCU athlete’s hope for a medal on Team USA at the World Championships in Athletics this week (July 15-24) in Eugene, Oregon rests on the broad shoulders of one Randolph Ross Jr. The NC A&T junior and back-to-back The NCAA 400-meter outdoor champion is the only HBCU athlete on Team USA competing this week. But there are six other HBCU track stars representing their home countries.
Other HBCU Track Stars
They include sprinter Joseph Amoah who is coming off a stellar career at Coppin State. He will compete in the 100 and 200 meters for his home country, Ghana. Jessika Gbai, who ended her career this season at Howard, runs for her native Ivory Coast over 200 metres.
Jamaica will have former JC Smith Hall of Fame sprinter and hurdler Danielle Williams in the women’s 100-meter hurdles and Shawn Rowe, a former St. Augustine athlete, in the 400 hurdles. Lincoln, Mo. bred Yanique Haye-Smith will compete in the women’s 400-meter hurdles for her native Turks and Caicos Islands.
Grace Nwokocha, who has just completed an outstanding freshman year at NC A&T, will represent Nigeria. She won the 100 and 200 meters at her country’s national championships.
HBCU track star Randolph Ross Jr.
Ross is competing at this year’s worlds ranked tenth in the 400-metres. He ran a season-best 44.13 in winning the NCAA 400 Outdoors that season. He earned a spot on Team USA by virtue of a third-place finish in 44.17 at the USA Outdoor Championships in late June.
Ross’ time of 43.85 to win the 2021 NCAA 400 title is his personal best and was the fastest time in the world last year. The time is the 14th fastest 400 in history.
Ross, who has been the linchpin of A&T racing toward a national championship for the past two years, will join his father and A&T trainer, Duane Ross in Tennessee. Duane Ross was named to the role just before the NCAA Championships in June.
HBCU Track Star Danielle Williams
After battling injuries, Williams comes to this year’s Worlds in great shape. She has the highest ranking among HBCU athletes – eighth in the women’s 100 meter hurdles. His personal best is 12.32 seconds with a season best of 12.59. She made the Jamaican team after a third-place finish in 12.66 seconds at their national championships.
Williams won gold at the 2015 World Championships after a star-studded Hall of Fame career at JCSU. She dominated and transcended at NCAA Div. Level II.
For the Golden Bulls between 2013 and 2014, Williams won nine NCAA titles (eight individual and one relay), 13 CIAA championships (11 individual and two relay) and earned 13 All-America honors. She has been named the National Female Indoor or Outdoor Athlete of the Year three times by the USTFCCCA. She was a member of 2020 USTFCCA NCAA Div. 2nd Class of the Track and Field Athletes Hall of Fame.
Rowe has a personal best 48.83 in the 400 hurdles and posted a season best 49.37. He enters the competition ranked 36th in the world rankings.
Nzubechi Grace Nwokocha burst onto the scene for A&T in the 2022 outdoor season, winning the 100 and 200 meter titles at the Deep South Championships. She competed in the NCAA Outdoors Finals and placed sixth in both events.
Her winning times in the 100 (11.03) and 200 meters at the Nigerian Championships took her to the Worlds. She arrives with a personal best of 10.97 in the 100m which is 34th in the world ranking. His personal best of 22.11 in the 200m ranks 26th in the world.
Amoah, who ended her career at Coppin State this year, won the 100 and 200 meters at this year’s MEAC Championships. He will compete in the men’s 100m and 200m at the world championships. Amoah has a world ranking of 163rd in the 100m with a personal best 9.94 seconds. His best time over 200 is 20.08. He ran 20.78 this season and is ranked 50th in the world in the 200m.
Haye-Smith represented Jamaica until November 2018 before switching allegiance to the Turks and Caicos Islands. She represented Turks and Caicos at the 2019 World Championships. She has a personal best of 55.58 in the 400 hurdles and a season best of 56.72. She is 86th in the world rankings.
Gbai reached the NCAA 200-meter semifinals after winning the MEAC Championship for the Bison in 22.95. His personal and season best is 22.79. His time is ranked 87th in the world rankings.
Television coverage of the World Championships in Athletics
Full coverage of the 2022 World Championships in Athletics will be featured on NBCUniversal’s television networks and digital platforms. The event takes place July 15-24 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, as the United States hosts the outdoor championships for the first time.
NBC Sports will broadcast 43 hours from Eugene, with live afternoon and primetime broadcasts both weekends, highlighted by the men’s and women’s 100m finals (July 16-17) and 4x100m relays and 4x400m (July 23-24). Additional TV coverage will air on USA Network and CNBC. See the full program here.
All network and cable television windows will be simulcast via NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app, with NBC programming also available on Peacock. Additionally, worldwide coverage of all competition sessions will be streamed live on Peacock.