March 22, 2012
The Vanderbilt track and field team hosts the first of their home meets this weekend as nineteen schools come in to compete at the Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
Events kick off Friday night at 5:00 pm with the hammer throw, shot put, and triple jump events for both the men and the women. The teams resume Saturday at 9:00 am with more field events, before the track portion begins at 11:00 am.
The meet kicks off the Commodores' outdoor season with a combined effort, as both the men and the women will be competing in events; this is the first of five spring events that the men's cross country team will compete in during their "non-traditional" season. The men will run multiple events, led by Kyle Rewick.
"I think with everybody, track, field, and distance kids, it's `let's test our fitness and see where we are, and plan from there'," said head coach Steve Keith. "But they are all fit, they're all anxious and ready to go. It'd be nice to put some good marks up with the vaulters and jumpers and start off at a higher level than we have in previous years. I think that's everybody's goal."
The women are already well on their way, competing well in their indoor season, particularly in the high jump and pole vault events, along with several of the running events, and are hoping to jump into the outdoor season on a high note.
Brionne Williams and Meagan Martin set new personal and school records in the high jump and pole vault, respectively, pushing the bar in each meet. They'll look to continue the trend, with Erin Edmonds, Morgan Toone, and Alyson Hasty also looking to compete and improve in those events.
Meanwhile, the track women will kick their strides into high gear as they enter the outdoor season. During the indoor season, Jordan White, Louise Hannallah, Kristen Findley and Liz Anderson set new personal and school records. Anderson set a new school record in the indoor 3000 meter run with a time of 9:24.04 at the UW Husky Classic.
White had previously set the new school record at the Rod McCravy Memorial with her 3000m time of 9:37.06, beating Rita Jorgensen's 2009 time of 9:37.14. She went on to set a school-best in the mile event at the UW Husky Classic with her time of 4:46.71.
Heading into the spring, Keith is also looking forward to his freshmen Amira Joseph and Becca Chandler taking on the steeplechase--Allie Scalf's specialty. "It'll be a great opportunity for them to get their feet wet, literally," he said with a smile.
Scalf, a junior who redshirted during the fall, has been competing well so far this spring, including personal bests in the 5000 meter, 3000 meter, and mile events. She had a first place finish at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational in the 3000m with her personal best time of 9:53.55.
Close to 700 athletes will compete in the weekend's events. For a list of the schedule of events, click here; for a look at the heat sheets, click here.