The Saint Augustine’s University men’s track & field team received a hero’s welcome on campus Tuesday, May 27, 2014.
Interim President Everett B. Ward and the campus community honored the Falcons, who captured the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championship over the weekend to match the NCAA Indoor Title they won in March 2014. The men’s track & field team is the two-time Division II national indoor and outdoor champion.
The ceremony took place in front of the Prezell R. Robinson Library on campus. A throng of supporters including faculty, staff and students in addition to a horde of media members gathered near the library steps and listened to Interim President Ward praise the track & field team, which is led by Athletic Director and Head Coach George Williams.
The legendary head coach, standing on the steps behind the podium with Interim President Ward and the track & field team, gave a brief speech before the team members introduced themselves. The celebration concluded with Interim President Ward receiving a championship hat and a championship watch from Coach Williams. Both the indoor and outdoor championship trophies were on display.
“The celebration was good for the student-athletes because they had never been honored like this before,” said Williams, the 2014 CIAA Athletic Director of the Year and 2014 four-time CIAA Coach of the Year who has guided the SAU track & field program to 35 NCAA Division II national titles. “It lets them know that somebody cares. It will encourage them to work even harder academically, athletically and live a controlled social life.”
Food off the grill was served following the championship celebration as team members mingled with the crowd. Ty’reak Murray (Sr./Portsmouth, VA), the 2014 Division II outdoor 110 hurdles and indoor 60 hurdles men’s national champion, was impressed with the event.
“I enjoyed the environment,” Murray said. “To actually go up there (on the steps) and be recognized was good.”
Roxroy Cato, the second-ranked men’s 400 hurdler in the world, says it was neat to see the track & field team highlighted for their accomplishments.
“To get the recognition was good,” said Cato, the 2014 men’s Division II national 400 hurdles champion. “I enjoyed the moment.”