The men’s and women’s track and field teams will hit the road this weekend for their second meet of the season. The women are heading to Happy Valley for the Penn State National Invite and the men are off to North Carolina for the North Carolina Invite.
The women look to continue to make their mark as one of the nation’s best at Penn State on Friday and Saturday. The team is lead by two seniors, 10-time All-American Dominique Darden and the ‘Canes’ one-mile record holder Melanie Schultz.
“These are two established runners that are working hard toward making the national team once their time here is done,” Head Coach Amy Deem said.
The ‘Canes also feature talented freshmen on the roster like Pavi’Elle James.
“I still think it’s too early to tell which [freshman runners] are going to excel,” Deem said. “They are still adjusting and it’s only the second meet of the season. I expect us too run well; it’s a fast track and I’m anticipating low numbers.”
The men’s team faces a familiar situation in North Carolina on Friday and Saturday. For the first time this season, the Hurricanes are putting out a full squad of 15 runners. Included in this bunch is Tim Harris, who is one of the few who participated in last week’s meet; where he clocked the day’s best 800-meter run at 1:50.67.
“He’s still young [sophomore] but very talented,” said Head Coach Mike Ward. “Coming out of high school he was one of the best and will be interesting to see what he can do in the future.”
The men suffered a significant loss this off-season when sprint runner Terrell Walden tore his ACL.
“As of now we don’t have anyone that can fill his place.” said Ward.
It will be interesting to see some new faces running this year, like football stars Lance Leggett, Khalil Jones, Derron Thomas and Andrew Johnson. Johnson is the only one of the group that has already run this year.
“UNC doesn’t really have a fast track,” Ward said, “but it will be interesting to see what our runners can do and I expect us to be competitive with the other ACC teams.”