Emory Track & Field to Open 2010-11 Season at Clemson this Weekend
The Emory University track and field team will kick off the
2010-11 indoor season this weekend, heading to Clemson University
for the Orange and Purple Winter Classic.
The Emory women will enter the 2010-11 campaign looking to follow up on their success from last season, when the team won its fifth University Athletic Association (UAA) Outdoor Championship, and finished second at the UAA Indoor Championships.
“One of the highlights for the women last year was obviously the win at the UAA Outdoor Championships,” said Emory head coach John Curtin. “We should feel real good about our chances again this year. We have got a great core group of kids back on the women’s side… I think we have got some great opportunities to do some special things indoors.”
Among Emory’s returning athletes is junior Lauren Attiah who was an all-American in the indoor triple jump and named the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) South/Southeast Region Indoor Field Athlete of the Year. The school-record holder in the triple jump is also expected to compete in the indoor pentathlon for the first time this season.
Also returning for the Emory women will be junior Alix Dyer, who was the UAA Indoor Champion in the 400-meter dash each of the last two seasons. Dyer also teamed with returners Melanie Levy and Kaele Leonard as part of the squads’ UAA Championship 4x400-meter relay team during the indoor season last year.
Newcomer Gabrielle Clark, who also plays tennis for Emory, is expected to be a factor for the Eagles in the short sprints, along with returning junior Hadiza Sa-Aadu, who was an all-UAA finisher in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes during the 2010 outdoor season. In the hurdles, junior Jasmine McCullough will return for Emory after earning all-UAA honors in the 55-meter hurdles last indoor season, while newcomer Morgan Monroe is expected to make an impact as well. In the field events, sophomore Theresa Ford looks to return strong after earning all-UAA honors and qualifying for nationals in the indoor high jump last season.
Rounding out the balanced Emory women’s attack will be their strong core of distance runners, coming off a successful cross country season. Headlining the group will be this year’s USTFCCCA South/Southeast Region Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year Tess Gallegos, along with all-region honorees Natalie Fenn, Melanie Frank, Sara Gelb, Sabrina Jeppsson, and Calley Edwards. Fenn, Frank, Gelb and Edwards each have recorded all-UAA honors during their careers.
Despite graduating a number of key contributors from last year’s squad, including all-American Alex Greenhouse, the Emory men expect to remain competitive on both the conference and national level as well this season. The Eagles finished third at both the indoor and outdoor UAA Championships last season, marking the fourth-straight top-three finish in each season for the team.
“We graduated a ton last year. It was one of our largest graduating classes that we have had in recent years, so we have some shoes to fill,” said Curtin. But, we’ve got some good people to step in.”
The Eagles are expecting sophomores Pat Lanter and Isaac Chambers to step up in the sprints this indoor season, after each earned all-UAA honors as part of Emory’s 4x100-meter relay during the 2010 outdoor season. Senior Everett Bryant was also part of the Eagles’ all-UAA 4x100-meter relay team, and will factor into the equation in the hurdles as well this season. Senior Jason Campbell, who has an all-America honor in addition to two UAA Championships and three all-UAA honors during his indoor career, will enter the campaign as Emory’s top mid-distance runner.
Emory’s pack of distance runners will be led by sophomore Stephen Ellwood, who claimed all-UAA honors as part of the Eagles’ indoor distance medley relay and a UAA Championship as part of the outdoor 4x800-meter relay team last season. Senior Kevin Lanza was also a member of last year’s UAA Championship 4x800-meter relay team.
In the field events, sophomore Nelson Nwannunu will aim to follow up a successful freshman campaign, during which he earned all-UAA honors in both the triple jump and long jump during the indoor season. Senior Brad Pruente will attempt to convert his success in the outdoor season last year (all-UAA recognition in the high jump and long jump) into indoor success, as will sophomore pole vaulter Tony Lombardo, who was an outdoor all-UAA honoree last season. Junior Ian Francis, who was the UAA Indoor Rookie of the Year in 2009, will look to be a factor in the jump events as well.
Returning for his 26th season at the team’s helm will be Curtin, who garnered the South/Southeast Region Women’s Indoor Head Coach of the Year honor from the USTFCCCA last season. Joining Curtin will be assistants Carl Leivers, Ross Smithey and Pedro Vasquez, who were each part of last year’s UAA Outdoor Women’s Coaching Staff of the Year, in addition to staff newcomer Madeleine Outman.
“We feel real good about jumping in at Clemson this weekend and seeing where we are,” said Curtin.
The Orange and Purple Winter Classic will be held Saturday, December 4th at the Clemson Indoor Track and Field Complex. The field events, slated for an 11:00 AM start, will consist of the shot put, weight throw, long jump, pole vault and high jump. The track events, scheduled to commence at 12:30 PM, will consist of the 800-meter run, 60-meter hurdles, 60-meter dash, 500-meter dash, 300-meter dash, mile run and the 4x400-meter relay. Emory’s distance runners, fresh off the cross country season, will not be competing this weekend as they continue to recover from the campaign.
Following this weekend’s meet, Emory will resume its indoor schedule on January 15th, 2011 at Appalachian State University’s Mountaineer Open. The Eagles will continue to compete weekly until the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships on February 26th and 27th at the University of Chicago. The Eagles will wrap up their indoor season on March 11th and 12th at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.