May 1, 2014
The Vanderbilt track team is taking a short trip this weekend, but the Commodores are hoping the results will go a long way.
Making the roughly 180-mile journey to Knoxville to compete in the Tennessee Challenge, the Vanderbilt representatives will be looking to improve their seeding for the SEC Championships and also hoping to secure several more NCAA first-round qualifying times and distances.
The Commodores will be joined at this weekend's meet by Auburn, Kentucky, Lipscomb, ETSU, MTSU and the meet's host, Tennessee, along with numerous other schools.
"This is a good-sized meet with excellent quality," said Vanderbilt head coach Steve Keith, "and it should serve our needs."
This will be the Commodores first action since competing in the Mt. SAC Relays and the Long Beach Invitational in California two weeks ago. The team was off last weekend for final exams.
"We'll be busting the rust, so to speak, (this weekend)," said Keith.
Understandably, Keith said the members of his team have "been in other places" mentally in the past few days while concentrating on finals. Now, though, it's back to business.
"This will be a very simple, focused group trip," said Keith. "(The girls have set a lot of) individual goals for this weekend."
Keith said the trip to Knoxville will be a good chance to gain some confidence heading into the SEC Championships that start in two weeks in Lexington, Ky.
"There are a lot of moving parts that we'd like to see get synchronized," said Keith. "We are anticipating some good surprises (in Knoxville)."