Gainesville, FL- Several state champions and competitors ranging from 8 to 64 years old highlight over 200 entrants in the inaugural 16 event Gainesville Sports Commission Indoor Track and Field meet scheduled for February 2, 2008 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the University of Florida campus.
On the girls youth side, ages 0-18, Foot Locker National High School Cross Country qualifiers, Kayla Hale(Melbourne, FL) and Brittany Koziara(Orlando, FL), 2007 2A Florida State Cross Country Champion, Devin Spoerle(Titusville, FL) and 2007 3A Florida State Cross Country Championship third place finisher, Juliana Stern(Satellite Beach, FL) are scheduled to square off in the girl’s 3k. Hale, a high school junior and two time national qualifier, has won the state six state championships in track and field and cross country and boasts personal bests of 4:57.98 for the 1600 meter run and 10:37.59 for the 3200 meter run.
Hale is also entered in the mile where she will face three time 3A Florida State Champion, Jamia Hutto(Orlando, FL). Hutto’s best for the 1600m is 4:56.96 and has 2:14.07 speed in the 800m run.
Sophomore Briana Nelson (Greenville, SC) will bring the speed that has led her to two state 400m South Carolina High School championships to the sprint events. The 2007 Nike Outdoor National runner-up in the 400 meter dash has personal bests of 24.53 for 200 meter and 53.74 for 400meter and will be competing in the 55m, 200m and 400m dashes. Nelson was the second fastest freshman and tenth fastest in the nation last year in the 400m. Competition is expected to come from Adrianna Hill (Panama City, FL), PB of 25.03 and 58.75, Dariel Jackson(Satellite Beach, FL), PB of 24.69, and Jenea Todd(Gainesville, FL), PB of 59.53.
In the younger divisions, 11 year old, Mahagany Lanier(Statesboro, GA) will bring her 26.38 200m to the speedy O’Dome track in the 55m dash.
In the hurdles, 2007 3A FL State fourth place 100m hurdles and third place 300m hurdles finisher, Anjoure Teele(Orlando, FL) will compete in the 55m hurdles. Teele is the top 3A Florida returnee in the 110m hurdles and 2nd fastest in the 300m hurdles from last year’s 3A state championships.
In the pole vault, 2007 SC 3A State Champion, Chelsea Taylor (Salem, SC) and Kelly Schiefer(Gainesville, FL), 2006 3A Florida State Champion, will enter as the meet’s top entrants. Taylor and Schiefer boast bests of 10 feet 06 inches. Four time Georgia Independent School Association 1A State Champion, Madison Lamar (Sale City, GA) will another top entrant in a competitive pole vault field.
In boy’s competition, 2007 4A Florida High School State 400m Champion, CJ Lockhart (Bunnell, FL) will compete in the 400m and 4x800m relay. Lockhart’s personal best of 47.27 was second best performance by a sophomore last year. He was also a member of the Flagler Palm Coast state champion 4 x 800m team and team champions.
Jones High School senior Stoney Burns (Orlando, FL) highlights jump action. Burns, the 2007 2A Florida State triple jump champion (47-09.75), will compete in the long jump where he placed 4th at last year’s state championships. Burns’ best is 23-02. In the older age group, 32 year old Oscar Robinson (West Palm Beach, FL), will be the top entrant. Robinson has posted a mark of 25-03 in outdoor competition.
The premier track event will be the mile where Joseph Franklin (Tallahassee, FL), the 1600m Florida State record holder, 4:08.84, and 6 time state champion in track and cross country, will be vying to break Ryan Deak’s Florida indoor mile record of 4:11.75 set in February 9, 2003. Franklin had the second fastest junior 1600m and 16th fastest mile last year. He ran 4:14.82 for the mile at the prestigious Reebok Jr. Mile Invitational in Boston, MA, to place eighth on January 26. He is one of the most highly sought after track prospects in the country. Former All-American and University of Florida 1500m record holder (3:38.57) will provide the pacing duties. Stroup is coming off a 1:51.44 800m effort at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational at the O’Dome this past Saturday. Also entered is Neil McDonagh(Isles of Palms, SC), a former All-ACC performer for Georgia Tech who has run 3:46.15 for 1500m.
Also scheduled is the LifeSouth Five Points of Life Mile Run. Participants in the program will be able to log one mile on the O’Dome track as part of their 26.2 mile training program which ends on February 17, 2008 with the Five Points of Life Marathon.
The Gainesville Sports Commission Indoor Track and Field Meet is a USATF sanctioned event.
The GSC is hosting the meet in conjunction with the Gainesville Striders and Global Track and Field Association, Inc.
Sponsors of the meet include the Gainesville Sports Commission, Half Mile Timing, National Scholastic Sports Association, MF Athletics, and the Global Track and Field Association. The meet is partially funded through an Alachua County tourism grant administered by the Gainesville Sports Commission and is sanctioned by USA Track and Field.
The Gainesville Sports Commission is the 20-year-old nonprofit sports committee responsible for many tourism-generating sports events during its history including the FHSAA Florida Football Finals, FHSAA Track and Field Championships, The Outback Gator Bowl, Florida Sunshine State Games, Florida Law Enforcement Games, AAU Florida Track and Field Championships, US Synchronized Swimming Age Group Championship, and US Cycling Espoir Nationals. The GSC also helps other organizations host sports competitions that have a tourism component. These events bring more than 30,000 room nights and 48,000 visitors to the community each year.
The Gainesville Striders organization is the local youth track and field group that consists of nearly 60 kids that annually fairs well in state and national AAU competitions. The Striders are coached by GSC board member, Larry Holsey.
Global Track and Field Association, Inc. (GTFA) is a newly formed organization of track and field coaches and officials whose purpose is to assist amateur track and field athletes who participate in State, National and International competition in track and field, race walking, long distance and cross country running events. One of their key objectives is to promote development of adequate facilities for track & field across America through a grant and scholarship program.
Entries will be accepted online at http://www.coacho.com/cgi-bin