March 21, 2013
The Vanderbilt track and field team will open the 2013 outdoor season with the annual Black & Gold meet on Friday and Saturday, March 22-23, at the Vanderbilt Track. Action begins at 4:00 p.m. on Friday with the hammer, shot put, triple jump and men's pole vault. Friday's track events begin at 6:00 p.m. with invitational fields in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters.
Saturday, action starts at 10:00 a.m. with field events (discus, javelin, high jump, long jump and women's pole vault). A full slate of track action begins at 11:00 a.m. and culminates with the 4x400 relay scheduled to begin just after 5:00 p.m.
The field for the meet is one of the deepest in recent memory, with Louisville, Michigan (women) and Ohio State (men) making trips to West End. It also marks the first chance for the Commodores to compete outside this spring.
"We just got off spring break, so we're getting back into the swing of things," Assistant Coach Clark Humpreys said. "It's probably our best competition ever here, in terms of a home meet, with Michigan, Ohio State and Louisville."
Things will start off with a bang on Friday with the invitational fields in the 1,500 and 3,000 meters, two events in which Vanderbilt should be well represented. Kristen Findley, Sara Barron and Lily Williams are entered in the 1,500, while Liz Anderson, Allie Scalf, Grace Orders and Hannah Jumper will run the 3,000.
Saturday's action will be highlighted by a group of freshmen running in the 400 meter hurdles for the first time. Skyler Carpenter, Faith Washington and Jennifer Cannon will run in the event.
"We're going to have bunch of freshman running in the 400 hurdles for the first time this year. They're going to be a little bit raw, but that will be exciting," Humphreys explained. "We're hoping they're big contributors this outdoor season."
For the first time in recent history, the meet will also conclude with a 4x400 meter relay.
"I'm definitely ready to see our 4x400 relay," says Humphreys. "It's the first outdoor 4x4 we've had in a few years and I think we've got a really competitive group, so I'm excited to see that."
As for athletes to watch as the outdoor season beings, Humphreys looks to Liz Anderson, who took the indoor season off after some nagging injuries from cross country, and Kristen Findley who fell just shy of advancing to the NCAA Outdoor Championships a year ago.
"We didn't see any action from Liz Anderson during the indoor season, so seeing where she's at will be nice," Humphreys said. "Kristen Findley had a great outdoor season last year and we're looking for her to continue that this year."
"Brionne and Ellie will be off this weekend," Humphreys explained. "They're training through the weekend because they had a little longer indoor season with the Last Chance meet and Brionne at (indoor) nationals."
Humphreys does expect Williams to compete at the same level she did during an indoor season which saw her clear six feet and earn All-America honors, finishing 12th in the nation at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"Brionne has been to the outdoor nationals each of the last two years and we're looking for her to take that next step to nationals," Humphreys said.
This weekend's meet takes place at the Vanderbilt Track, located along Natchez Trace. Parking is available in the Medical Center lots across Natchez Trace from the track. Admission is free.