Southern grad sprinting toward national title

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 09:59 PM

He did it!

Durham’s Desmond Lawrence earned a shot at the NCAA 100-meter national championship.

Lawrence, who runs for N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro, qualified for the final Wednesday by running a personal-best 10.12 in the semifinal to finish tied for third. By earning a spot in the final, Lawrence, who graduated from Southern High School, became a first-team All-American, the first Aggie to do that in the 100.

If Lawrence wins his race tonight at 8 p.m., he would deliver A&T’s first national title in any sport.

Lawrence finished third in his heat behind Baylor’s Trayvon Bromwell (9.92) and USC’s Aaron Brown (10.10).

“My preparation for the race was good, so I felt good coming into the race,” Lawrence said. “The competition here helps me a lot. Once you get out into your drive phase, the guys to each side of you are going to push you to run faster. It gets pretty intense pretty fast.”

Lawrence led the race for the first 60 meters before Bromwell made his move into the lead.

North Carolina’s R.J. Alowonle on Wednesday ran 50.40 to qualify for the final of the men’s 400-meter hurdles

Duke senior Brian Atkinson concluded his college career Wednesday as a second-team All-American after placing 14th in the final of the 10,000-meter run.

Atkinson came in first among the four Atlantic Coast Conference competitors in the contest, crossing the finish line in 29:48.11.