Commodores head to NYC

Jan. 31, 2013

Meet Central -
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The Vanderbilt track and field team will look to build off an impressive performance at the Indiana Relays this weekend when it travels to New York City for the Armory Collegiate Invitational.

Held in uptown Manhattan Friday and Saturday, February 1-2, the meet features over 100 collegiate programs and will provide a great measuring stick for Head Coach Steve Keith's program.

"I've been to this meet before when I was at Alabama and they do a great job," Keith said. "This is a nice midseason focus for the kids at a great facility with great competition."

Keith is anxious for his athletes to get back to action right away after a meet in Bloomington that saw school records and several personal bests.

"The kids had a lot of enthusiasm (in Indiana)," Keith said. "They've got a lot of enthusiasm and they weren't intimidated at all, and that really showed at Indiana. They're super excited about going to New York and having the chance to see a bunch of different schools they don't usually see."

So far this indoor season, junior high jumper Brionne Williams and freshman middle distance runner Sara Barron have recorded the most impressive marks.

Williams has been between 5'11" and six feet at every meet this season, while Barron set a school record in the mile at the Indiana Relays last week and is expected to run in the 800 meters this weekend.

"Brionne has really been a nice steady development and that's really a lot of credit to (assistant coach Clark) Humpreys," Keith said.

While Williams has developed into a contender for the NCAA Championships, Barron has emerged during her freshman year. Keith feels that shows the progress the program has made.



"Sara Barron, as a freshman, continues to raise the bar," Keith says. "Brionne has been knocking on the door, while on the other side of the coin, you have a fearless freshman who if you tell no, you'll see something different."

As for athletes who could have a break-out weekend in the Big Apple, Keith points to two of the same events.

"Hannah Jumper is really ready to run a good mile," Keith explained. "Ellie Tidman is absolutely ready in the high jump to get up into the 5-11 range. Hopefully she can manage the emotions and the psychological side of trying to get excited while still maintaining a rhythm."

Other big events on the weekend will be Barron in the 800 meters, Jordan White in the 5,000 meters and Allie Scalf and Amira Joseph in the 3,000 meters.

Keith is anxious to see how is team performs in New York, but also happy for the student-athletes, many of whom will be visiting New York City for the first time.

"Everybody had good races last weekend and enthusiastic workouts Monday and Tuesday," Keith said. "It's a great facility with great ocmpetition, so it's really all you could ask for. Then all of a sudden you find yourself a couple blocks north of Times Square and south of Central Park, so if that doesn't open your eyes, I don't know what will."

Tentative Vanderbilt Events

Friday, February 1
60 meter hurdles (collegiate)
200 meters (collegiate)
1,000 meters (championship)
5,000 meters (championship)
60 meter hurdles (championship)
Distance Medley Relay (collegiate)
Long Jump (collegiate)
Pole Vault (collegiate)
High Jump (collegaite)

Saturday, February 2
3,000 meters (collegiate)
Mile (collegaite)
800 meters (collegiate)
4x400 Relay (collegiate)
Mile (championship)
High Jump (championship)

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