Nakia Linson, who came on strong during the season and MEAC Championships, barely missed qualifying in the highly-competitive field in the 100m dash. The silver lining for Moore is that both of the athletes return for next season.
Moore was elated by both Linson and Jones' performances. "I was pleased with both of our ladies performances. Each year we look to show progress, and with this being my third year here, this milestone makes me excited that we're moving in the right direction.
The season has not been without its challenges, but the determination of Jones and Linson has helped turn the turmoil into triumph. Jones, was exhausted after her race, but conjured up the energy to finish the race strong. "I feel good now, because I knew it would be a tall challenge to make it to the next level. The closer I got to the race, the more I got motivated. I had a slightly injured hamstring, but I used my "crunk" music to motivate me for the race because it gets me hyped," Jones said.
Jones ran a 400m time of 53.76. She finished fifth in her heat, but 21st overall for the meet, which ranked in the qualifying times. She finished 1/100th of a second behind the University of Florida's Ebony Eutsey, and just in front of South Carolina State's Alexandria Jones. This was a turn of events since the MEAC championship two weeks ago.
Alexandria Jones outpaced Dynasty Jones in the MEAC Championship, with Alexandria running a time of 53.55, while Dynasty ran a 54.95. Moore said the difference was the final 100m of the race. "After the MEAC Championship, I rode Dynasty hard because I felt she could defeat Alexandria. During the conference meet, she got to the 300m mark and didn't have a strong finish. We worked hard on her finish since we returned, and today's result was a direct result in her hard work to improve her race," Moore said.
Linson performed well, running 11.9 in the NCAA Championship, after running 11.6 in the conference meet. A heavy headwind was part of the reason for the higher time. In addition, several of the top women sprinters in the country were competing in the meet. Three-time NCAA champion Kimberlyn Dixon of LSU, who has run U.S. Olympic-qualifying times this season, flexed her speed while coasting to the finish in the preliminary round. Linson still placed 35th overall, edging Tulane's Kasey Rogers for sixth place in her heat.
"I felt alright about my performance, I felt I could have done better. Everything happens so fast. This is my second time here. I plan on working hard this summer on my start to be a better runner this year. We had a few challenges in our conference championship this year, but we can't look back on that, we've got to get ready for next year," Jones said.
Moore returns a solid squad for next season and with a solid recruiting class, she looks to improve o her second place finish in cross country and her fifth place finish in outdoor track and field.
"Nakia and Dynasty are both very competitive athletes. Nakia was our co-MVP for the outdoor season and Dynasty's nickname is "Olympian," and she calls herself "Ms. 400 meters," and now we actually see why. This is just icing on the cake for our outdoor season," Moore said. "I'm encouraged by the fact that the last 100 meters of her (Jones) race had been the challenging part of her race, but we worked hard and she turned it into a strength. That is both validation that we can help our athletes improve and shows our other members of the track team that by working on their shortcomings, they can become better athletes," Moore added.