The Jacksonville Athletic Club will bring nine of its athletes to North Carolina for the NCRunners Holiday Invitational. Coach Eli Sunquist and his group have been regulars at the JDL Fast Track in Winston Salem, North Carolina and like last year hope to have success while tuning up for the outdoor season.
"We go to this meet every December because all of these athletes have been training extremely hard since September, and this is a nice way to reward them for all of their hard work. The JDL meets are always run and managed extremely well, we are always looking for ways to provide different competition opportunities that these athletes would not normally have, and of course we hope for new personal bests."
Some of the top athletes competing for the JAC this weekend are:
Laine Roberts: Last year's top middle school pole vaulter in the country is now a freshman at the Bolles School. Roberts broke the FLYRA Middle School State Championship meet record when she cleared 10'08", but set the bar even higher clearing a PR of 11'0.75" in July at the JAC Final Countdown.
Caroline Johnston: The sophomore from Episcopal was ranked as the 3rd best freshman in the country for the heptathlon and will be competing in the 55mH, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault. She owns personal bests of 18'07.75" in the long jump, 33'08" in the triple jump, and 11'0 in the pole vault. Johnston was 3rd at the 1A state meet in the 100mH and 8th in the high jump.
Madison Murray: Murray a sophomore at Providence School was the top freshman in Florida in the high jump with a clearance of 5'05" at the JAC Combined Events Championships in July. During the regular season, Murray was 5th at regionals and 5th at Flo Golden South. In addition to the high jump, she will also be competing in the long jump, and 55mH.
Sunquist adds that the trip to North Carolina is also about exposing them to that next level atmosphere and environment.