Clayton State indoor track & field to open season Saturday in Birmingham
MORROW, GA – The Clayton State women's and men's track and field teams will open their ninth indoor season on Saturday (today) in Birmingham, AL.
The squads will open the season in the Panther Icebreaker Meet, hosted by Birmingham Southern at the city's Crossplex facility. The Crossplex is in its second year and is a 750,000 square foot multi-purpose athletic facility that contains a 6-lane, 200m hydraulic-banked Mondo track, as well as a natatorium.
"The main purpose of us competing in this meet is to see where are sprints and field event people are at this time following weeks of fall training," said head coach Mike. "The distance folks have completed cross country and we have a good idea of their fitness and competitiveness, but our pure track kids need a good test before the holidays. I also want our folks to get a chance to compete in the facility that will host our national meet in March. For some of our kids, this will be the first time competing indoors."
In 2012, the women's team set four team indoor marks with Paige Galvin setting the 3,000m record. The team will be led by seniors Galvin (Posen, Ill., distance), Monique Belmudes (Temecula, Calif., middle distance) and Jasmine Madison (McDonough, Ga., sprints and jumps).
The top newcomers include: Jessica Matthews (freshman, Monroe, Ga., sprints and jumps), Shanice Walker (freshman, Statesboro, Ga., sprints & hurdles), Ashley Hightower (freshman, Atlanta, Ga., sprints), Taylor Galvin (freshman, Posen, Ill., distance) and Breann Goodmon (junior, Bakersfield, Calif., throws).
"I'm really looking forward to seeing where our ladies are at this point in their progress," said Mead. "I'm particularly interested in Jessica Matthews who could jump a NCAA mark in her collegiate debut in the triple jump. Everyone has worked hard, but they need to see how they stack up against competition."
On the men's side, the squad set six team indoor marks in 2012 with Azcue factoring in on four of them. The team will be led by veterans Azcue (senior, Zizur Mayor, Spain, middle distance), Shelby Russell (senior, Oklahoma City, Okla., long sprints) and Charles Anderson (junior, Pittsburgh, Pa., middle distance).
The squad's top newcomers include: Ciaran Lane (junior, Dunganan, Ireland, distance), Job Kemboi (freshman, Eldoret, Kenya, distance) and Erin Young (freshman, Tifton, Ga., sprints).
"We are going to be a very young squad, but we have potential in some of our guys making NCAA marks during the season," said Mead. "The efforts in this meet will establish a benchmark when we resume the schedule in January."
After Saturday's meet, the teams will return take off for the holiday and return to action on January 20th in a meet in Winston-Salem, NC.