Tennessee’s track and field team has another busy week as it prepares for the Seminole Invitational.
With the last week being devoted to training, coach Beth Alford-Sullivan said the team is ready to get back and compete.
Alford-Sullivan said having a weekend off in April was beneficial and the team put in good work.
“To have a weekend in April where we can actually get some good work done, we had that and that’s in the books,” Alford-Sullivan said.
Tennessee was actually scheduled to host the Tennessee Relays this past weekend but cancelled the event due to renovations being made to Tom Black Track. The renovations should be completed over the summer.
Coming off the bye week, Tennessee will take a full roster to Tallahassee, Florida. Alford-Sullivan is looking for continued progress and improvement in the field events and relays.
“I would like to see our relays to continue to evolve,” Alford-Sullivan said. “I would like to see our field events take another step forward on their attempts and performances. We really have the expectation that we could be difference makers in all our field events.”
Two weeks ago at the Florida Relays, the men’s 4x100 relay had troubles getting the baton around the track cleanly and did not post a time. While the 4x1 had problems the other relays, 4x2 and 4x4 for both men and women, performed well.
Alford-Sullivan said that the members of the 4x1 worked hard during the week to clean up the problems they encountered and doesn’t expect any issues to occur going forward.
“It’s a tough event,” Alford-Sullivan said. “People don’t really understand how perfectly it has to flow to get that stick around and get it around fast.”
The speed of the 4x1 and those running it poses a great challenge. To make a hand off, each runner must match the other’s speed. The outgoing runner must match the speed of the incoming runner while reaching back for the stick.
“It takes a maximal effort each time,” Alford-Sullivan said.
Coming off Indoor NCAA National Championships in the 200 meters, Christian Coleman and Felicia Brown will again race in the 200. This weekend will be the first time each runner has run in the 200 since winning national titles back in March.
Coleman is currently No. 4 nationally in the 100 meter and Brown is No. 20.
The Seminole Invitational is an all-day event April 15 and 16 in Tallahassee.
While the Vols put in a lot of work this weekend, they reunited as well.
Tennessee hosted its first official alumni weekend. Over 200 alumni returned for the event which featured a special ceremony for the 1981 AIAW National Championship team and former head coach Terry Crawford.
“It was absolutely outstanding,” Alford-Sullivan said. “We honored coach Terry Crawford from the 1981 team but the focus of the reunion was to have a track and field reunion.”
Crawford was honored with a special plaque that will hang on the wall of Tom Black Track.
With the reunion Tennessee was able to honor the past and tradition of the track and field program.The current members of the track program were able to meet and talk with the alumni and discuss the history of Tennessee track and also receive words of wisdom.
“The message (current athletes) hear over and over is that it goes by very quickly and to value the opportunities that are presented to you,” Alford-Sullivan said. “Also, I think the message given back to the alumni was very much that you’re still a very strong piece of what we’re trying to do. That you’re the foundation.”