Outdoor Track Heads To Local Meet
ALBANY, N.Y. – With the inaugural UAlbany Spring Classic looming, the University at Albany outdoor track program is sending a small contingent of athletes across town to compete in the Upstate Classic at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, April 12. The athletes not competing will stay behind and enjoy a week off of competition in preparation for the big home invitational next weekend.
Originally, there was no meet scheduled for this weekend. Everyone on the team would have had the weekend free from competition, to recover from early season meets and to prepare for the home invitational next weekend. But the coaches decided to have a handful of the athletes compete this weekend, to get some extra work in.
Some athletes are competing in their primary events. Brianne Bellon is entered in the 800, for example. Kathryn Fanning is entered in the 1,500 and the 800. But both women are also entered in the 4x400 relay, for the additional workout. Other athletes, like Veleisha Walker, are competing in secondary events. Walker is entered in the shot put and discus, despite being a javelin thrower who recently set the school record in the event.
The entries reflect similarly on the men’s side. The men are once again running a 4x100 relay to lock down consistency between the runners and gain more experience and comfort in the event. Some athletes, like Jonathan Santana and Taariq Jones, are entered in their primary events. In Santana’s and Jones’ case, that event is the 400. Santana will also run on the 4x100 relay, but his workload is different, for example, than Kareem Morris’ workload, who is only entered to compete in the 4x100 relay.
Even at this point in the season, different athletes are in different spots and need to work on different things to ensure success later in the season when it counts. Participating in a meet on short notice, as is the case this weekend for the UAlbany squad, is an effort in addressing those needs in a live competition setting.
The Danes were originally going to send a small contingent of athletes to the Mt. Sac Relays in California next Thursday, but that trip was ultimately removed from the schedule. The removal of that meet, however, allows all of the UAlbany athletes the chance to compete in the first big home invitation UAlbany will hold on its brand new track. The UAlbany Spring Classic will be held at University Field on Saturday, April 19. The Upstate Classic will begin tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.