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Troy Pollard won the 400m in the Gator Invite.
Troy Pollard won the 400m in the Gator Invite.
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Courtesy: Florida A&M Sports Information
Rattler Track Team Strikes At Gator Invite
By: Florida A&M Sports Information  
GAINESVILLE, FL - (Jan.17) The Florida A&M Men's track team embarked on Gainesville for the Gator Invite indoor track meet and came away with several promising results. He coach Wayne Angel is building the squad to a total team after his first full year at the helm and several first-year athletes proved themselves on today.

One of the runners Angel knew he would have to depend on this season is freshman Troy Pollard. Pollard is a California junior college state champion from Minnesota, who showed he was as good as advertised as he won the 400m dash in a time of 48.42. He would place third in the 200m dash, coming in at 22.48. Newcomer Dennis Pugh came in fourth place in the 200m run in 22.67. Lee Williams took the No.10 spot, running 23.45 to complete the trifecta of Rattlers in the top 10.

Angel was pleased to see that Pollard has been able to adapt his successful high school career to a solid college start. "You never know. When you have a transfer to come in as decorated as Troy, the best way to find out if it translates to the collegiate Division I level is to put them in a race against solid competition, as was present today," Angel.

Sophomore Elias Chesire cruised to a victory in the mile run. He finished in 4:23.40, just ahead of senior teammate Lamere Buchanon, who ran 4:24.59 time. Dieumy Duclos finished seventh in the race (4:35.34), while Robyel Kidane took ninth place (4:41.05). Cheshire has qualified for the MEAC championships in both the 3000m and mile run in just two events this season. The reigning MEAC Most Outstanding Athlete for cross country, looks to maintain his dominance in the conference in distance running.

Dual sport athlete Williams, who is also a member of the Rattler football team, took fourth place in both the long jump and triple jump. He leaped 13.92m (45-08.00) in the triple jump and 6.44m (21-01.50) in the long jump.

Corey Jones, also a newcomer to Angel's squad, took seventh place in the 55m dash. He blazed the distance in just 6.56 to get a Top 10 finish.

Another on the Rattlers' new sprinters, Jabrelle Crawford, ran 51.44 in the 400m dash to finish 14th, while heptathlete Jean Leon grabbed the No.16 spot in 52.73. Leon would also place ninth in the long jump at 6.0m (19-08.25).

Veteran McDaniel Olivier got a fifth-place finish in the 800m run, finishing that race in 1:56.98. Isaiah Smith would round out the team with a 1:58.88 finish, which was good for the No.10 position.

Dennis McGee finished fourth in the shot put. His toss of 14.39m (47-02.50) was a crucial throw in a packed field of throwers. He would also take eighth place in the weight throw at 13.10m (42-11.75), just ahead of teammate Xavier Mackey's 12.29m (40-04.00).

Angel was pleased with the overall performance of the team.  "I think there were some solid performances today. (Troy) Pollard, (Elias) Cheshire and Dennis McGee had admirable shwings today. We have a young team and we're trying to get better. Each week we're making an improvement, so at this point I'm pleased with our progress," Angel said.

The Rattlers will get back to the track on next Friday, Jan.25 at the Rod McRavey Invitational (E.J. Nutter Field House) in Lexington, KY.

The following represents the updated list of track athletes who have qualified for the MEAC Indoor Championships:

60m dash/Triple Jump: Lee Williams

400m dash: Troy Pollard
800m run: Lamere Buchanon

800m run: Troy Pollard/McDaniel Olivier

Mile run: Kevin Marindich/Elias Chesire/Lamere Buchanon
3000m: Dieumy Duclos/Robyel Kidane

Shot put/Weight throw: Dennis McGee

Heptathlon Leon Jean

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