Gainesville, FL- Olympic hopefuls, state champions from Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina, and age group stars ranging from 5 to 77 years old highlight over 600 entrants in the inaugural 16 event Gainesville Sports Commission Indoor Track and Field meet scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2008 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on the University of Florida campus.
The meet kicks-off with the field events beginning at 9AM. Johnta Griffin (Tallahassee, FL), an All-ACC performer, Stoney Burns (Orlando, FL), the 2007 2A Florida State triple jump champion (47-09.75), Chelsea Taylor (Salem, SC), 2007 South Carolina 3A State Pole Vault Champion, Kelly Schiefer(Gainesville, FL), 2006 3A Florida State Pole Vault Champion, Madison Lamar (Sale City, GA), Georgia Independent School Association 1A State Pole Vault Champion, Shadayzha Bullock(Gainesville, FL),2006 AAU 2006 Shot Put National and National record holder, Jade Stokes(Savannah, GA), 2007 AAU Junior Olympic Shot Put runner-up and Andrew Lahaye(Lake Brantley, FL), 2007 Florida 4A State Pole Vault runner-up and 15-00 performer, highlight the field of entrants.
In race walk action, 2007 AAU National Champion Tariq Khalil(Savannah, GA) Shidel Williams, 2007 AAU National runner-up, and USATF honoree, Maite Moscoso,(Altamonte Springs,GA) highlight top entrants.
The sprint and hurdle races should be sizzling. Chalonda Goodman (Newman, GA), the National Outdoor High School 100 meter dash champion, Brianna Nelson(Greenville, SC), South Carolina high school champion and national 400 meter runner-up, Alycia Prior(Jonesville,GA), 2008 LSU High School Invitational 55 meter dash runner-up, Tatiana Fisher(Orlando, FL), Florida Class 3A 100 meter dash runner-up, Adrianna Hill (Panama City, FL), PB of 25.03 and 58.75, Dariel Jackson(Satellite Beach, FL), PB of 24.69, Jenea Todd(Gainesville, FL), PB of 59.53, 11 year old, Mahagany Lanier (Statesboro, GA), 26.38, Anjoure Teele(Orlando, FL) ,2007 3A FL State fourth place 100m hurdles and third place 300m hurdles finisher , CJ Lockhart (Bunnell, FL), 2007 4A Florida High School State 400m Champion, Joshua Edmonds(Jacksonville, FL), 2007 AAU 400m 3rd place finisher, Ryan Howard(Niceville, FL), 2007 FSU Relay High School Champion and PB of 48.60,Deangelo Cherry(Jonesville, GA), LSU Invitational 55 meter runner-up and 10.32 and 21.40 performer, and Malcom Beyah(Chamblee, GA), 10.68 and 21.46 performer, are top entrants in the 55 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter dashes. The sprint events will also feature 4 x 200m, and 4 x 400 meter relay.
In distance events, Kayla Hale(Melbourne, FL), 3 time Florida State 1A Cross Country Champion and six time cross country and track champion,Brittany Koziara(Orlando, FL), Foot Locker National Cross Country qualifier, Devin Spoerle(Titusville, FL),2007 2A Florida State Cross Country Champion, Juliana Stern(Satellite Beach, FL) ,2007 3A Florida State Cross Country Championship third place finisher, Mary Carleton Johnston, Alabama 5A State 1600m and 3200m State Champion, Kyle Cooke, 2007 Florida 1A State Cross Country Champion, and Jamia Hutto(Orlando, FL), three time 3A Florida State Champion are top entrants in the mile and 3 kilometer runs.
The mile run will also have a great field. 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 High School indoor mile record of 4:09.51 set in 2003. Former All-American and University of Florida 1500m record holder (3:38.57) will provide the pacing duties. 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. There are four others entered with personal bests of 4:15 or better.
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.
Olympic hopefuls, Xavier Carter and Novlene Williams will be on-hand to sign autographs and give away track cards to athlete and spectators. Xavier Carter is one of the most decorated collegiate track and field athletes in history. At the 2006 NCAA Championships, Carter, competing for LSU, won four events, tying legendary Jesse Owens 70 year old record of four titles set in 1936. Carter went on to sign with NIKE in the most lucrative deal in track and field history. Carter owns the third fastest time in history in the 200 meter dash, 19.63 seconds set in the summer of 2006. He is considered to be a top contender for a berth on the USA Track and Field team bound for Beijing, China in August. Carter is now based out of Gainesville, FL and is trained by UF Coach, Michael Holloway.
Novlene Williams, a native of Saint Ann, Jamaica, is a former University of Florida track athlete and Olympic and World Championship medalist. Williams owns two World Championship medals and two Olympic medals. At last year's World Championships, Williams earned a bronze medal in the 400 meter dash running a 49.66 second time. She is favored to repeat as Olympic medalist at the Beijing Olympics in August. Williams was a five-time All-American while at the University of Florida.