Sunday, July 31, 2016

Howard University Track Program Inks Six Newcomers

WASHINGTON, D.C. --  The Howard University track and field program inked six additions, as announced by head coach Marc Harrison on Friday. Sydney Benson, Jason Butler, Alyssa Rishell, Oluchi Ike, Alexis James and Queen Divine will join the Bison for the 2016-17 season.

"This was a very productive year for us in recruiting," Harrison said. "These new Bison bring a new level of expectations for the program. They will continue to exhibit the rare combination of academic and athletic excellence that exists in my program. We are blessed to have them join the family."

Sydney Benson | Harper Woods, Mich. | Grosse Point North HS
A four-year letterwinner at Grosse Point North as a member of the track and cross country teams…A three-time MVP…She was a four-time All-Mac and All-Region selection…Received All-State honors in the 4x800 and All-America recognition in the 4x400 relay…Graduated with high academic honors…Scholastics honorable mention and MIPA Award recipient.

Jason Butler | Sicklerville, N.J. | Timber Creek HS
Lettered two years and served as team captain at Timber Creek...Earned First Team All-Olympic Conference honors…Helped his 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams to New Jersey Group 3 State Championships…A three-time 4x400 state champion…Also nabbed a state championship as a member of the football team…National Honor Society member.

Alyssa Rishell | Montgomery Village, Md. | Watkins Mill HS
A four-year letterwinner and two-year captain of the outdoor and indoor teams at Watkins Mill, she was the 400m Regional Champion in 2014 and 2015…Helped her 4x400 relay team to a regional championship in 2015…During the indoor season, she was the 500m Regional Champion as a junior and county champion as a senior…Took home the 800m indoor regional title in 2016…Was a member of the three-time 4x400m regional championship team, which also claimed the county crown in 2015…Part of the 4x800 relay team that clinched the 2015 regional championship…Also served as the captain of the women's soccer team during her junior year.

In the classroom, Rishell was an honor roll student and received the Alpha Phi Alpha Youth Achievement Award from 2010-2016…Member of the National Society of High School Scholars and National Science Honor Society…IBCP candidate and Achieving Collegiate Success and Excellence (ACES) member.

Oluchi Ike | Upper Marlboro, Md. | Charles H. Flowers HS
Garnered All-Met Honorable Mention recognition while attending Charles H. Flowers…Was named the MVP of the 2016 indoor season…Claimed the indoor state championship in 800m…Took home the regional championship in the 500m, 800m, 400m and 300m hurdles…Helped her indoor and outdoor squads to the 2016 state, region and county championships…Is the school record holder in the outdoor 800m and indoor 400m and 400m hurdle races…Honor student that graduated in the top five-percent of her class.

Alexis James | Cheverly, Md. | Elizabeth Seton HS
Lettered in all four years as a member of the track and field team at Elizabeth Seton…Received All-Met Honorable Mention recognition…Was named the co-captain of the varsity squad…Holds the school record in the 800m...Tabbed as the valedictorian of her 2016 class…Earned the school's Student-Athlete Award and Math Achievement Award…Member of the National Honors Society.

Queen Divine | Mead, N.J. | Montgomery HS
A three-time MVP of the track and field team at Montgomery…Won the sectional and county championships in the 100m hurdle…Was an All-Area selection in the 100m hurdles.

By Candace Johnson, Assistant Director of Athletic Media Relations

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