Two former ECC track standouts were recently inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Track & Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Alleyne Francique (Class of 2000) and Melaine Walker (Class of 2004) are the first ECC student-athletes to ever be inducted into any NJCAA Hall of Fame, said Essex Track & Field Coach Michael Smart.
“Our Coaches Association is proud to honor Melaine and Alleyne, who by their deeds as student-athletes have made our sport so great,” said Smart, who is NJCAA Track & Field Coaches Association President. “The accomplishments of these student-athletes show how vital NJCAA track & field is to the track & field collegiate and international community.”
The induction ceremony was held March 8 in New York during the association’s Indoor Track & Field national championship. “This is a great milestone for the College, and especially for Melaine and Alleyne,” he added.
At the national meet, the ECC women finished third out of 29 schools, while the men’s team came in 10th also out of 29 schools.
While at ECC, Alleyne won national titles in the 400 and 600 meter runs and as a member of the 4×400 relay team. After graduating from Essex, he attended Louisiana State University where he won the National Collegiate Athletic Association title in the 400 meters. Alleyne competed for Grenada in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He served as flag bearer for Grenada in the 2004 Olympiad. He is currently an assistant track coach at Texas A&M University.
Melaine’s ECC career featured winning six national titles and earning 10 NJCAA All-American honors. She then transferred to the University of Texas where she was a six time Big 12 Conference champion. Running for Jamaica, Melaine competed in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. In the 2008 games, she struck Gold by capturing the 400 meter hurdles title in record time. She was recently inducted into the University of Texas Women’s Athletic Hall of Fame.