The Robert Shumake/Cedric Walker HBCU Challenge is returning in 2016 after a 1-year hiatus! We look forward to again hosting some of the best HBCU teams and individuals from the Southeast and around the country, as we had previously for many years.
The 2015 edition of the meet was cancelled due to a severe storm in the Cary, N.C. area that shut down WakeMed Soccer Park and compelled a North Carolina Governor's State of Emergency declaration. Read about that HERE.
The NSAF has tremendous gratitude towards and appreciation for some of those who have been driving forces behind getting this event started and sustaining it:
The 2013 Challenge was special two years ago as we honored Mr. Walker (mentioned above, who passed in March, 2013) for his years of service to the Challenge, the Foundation and to our sport in general. The women’s race that year also included a guest competitor that drew much attention: 1984 Olympian and former 5,000-meter world record holder (on the track) Zola Budd-Pieterse, the native South African who now lives in South Carolina. She showed she was still an outstanding runner at age 47 with a 17:47.0 5k. Budd-Pieterse had accepted a coaching position at Coastal Carolina University.
The Alabama State women won their Challenge debut behind record-setting Paige Rankin, while the North Carolina A&T State men defended their 2013 title in a close battle with Morehouse College.
Rankin, a junior, ran 17:53.0 to beat Aurora Scott’s 2009 mark by more than 30 seconds to pace a 1-2-3 finish by the Hornet women, as they scored 24 points and dominated the field. Rankin was followed by teammates Artralia LeSane (18:03.7) and Shanita Wilson (18:57.0). Four-time defending champ Hampton U. had to settle for 2nd this time with 78 points, led by 4th-place finisher Ce’aira Brown at 19:07.9. Following in the 17-team battle were Coker (S.C.) College in 3rd with 170, Benedict (S.C.) College at 172, Winston-Salem State U. at 180 and NC A&T at 186.
In the men’s race, the defending champion Aggies tallied 39 points to edge Morehouse College by six. The Atlanta school was running the Challenge for the first time since 2009. Darren White (26:01.3) and Saeed Jones (26:21.7) led the winners with 2nd- and 4th-place finishes, while Dahir Mohamed paced Morehouse in 3rd with 26:08.7. Taking the individual title in his first Challenge appearance was Dessie Demlew of Benedict College, as he clocked 25:39.8 to triumph by more than 20 seconds. In the team battle, the 3rd- and 4th-place spots went to Virginia Union (73) and Alabama State (117).