Feb. 7, 2013
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NASHVILLE -- The Vanderbilt track and field team will head to the Samford Multi and Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., this Friday and Saturday, February 8-9. It is the final scheduled meet before the 2013 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
For Head Coach Steve Keith, it provides an opportunity to fine tune some things and let people race at perhaps some shorter distances to get ready for the SEC meet.
"Some people may race down a little bit just to get a little speed work in or get a little variety," Keith said. "Also a chance to hit some marks that will place them in a good spot for SEC. Three weeks in-a-row is a challenge so some kids who maybe did four events will only do two. We want to stay in that competitive rhythm."
The Commodores will also be racing on a banked track for the third time this indoor season, as the SEC Championships will be held on a banked track at Arkansas.
"It's important for us to get a feel for it, but we should very comfortable by the time conference rolls around," Keith says.
One of the highlights of the indoor season has been junior Brionne Williams. The high jumper is a native of neighboring Hoover, Ala., and will have the opportunity to compete in front of family and friends while she looks to improve on the ninth-best height in the nation.
"You always want to see kids improve, but we're looking more for where she is mentally," Keith explained. Williams' current top mark is 1.83 meters (six feet) and is good enough to be among the 16 national qualifiers for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Other events to watch will be the 3,000 meters, the mile and the 800 meters.
"Jordan (White) and Lily (Williams) in the 3K will be a good race," Keith said. "Sara (Barron) and Kristen (Findley) in the 800 should be very interesting."
For many of the runners, the goal is to improve times enough that if the SEC Championship splits into multiple fields, they will be in the fast heats."
Action will begin on Friday with Janetra Gleaves competing in the pentathlon, the first multi-event for a Commodore on the season. All other action takes place on Saturday.