The University of Tennessee track and field team will be on opposite sides of the country at the same time this weekend.
After an outstanding performance at the Virginia Tech meet last week, where there were 18 personal records beaten and two MVP awards collected, Tennessee will be taking part in the Clemson Invitational in South Carolina as well as in the Husky Classic in Seattle, Washington.
Director of track and field and cross country Beth Alford-Sullivan will be traveling with two members of the Tennessee lineup to Washington.
The Husky Classic is a venue more heavily focused on the longer-distance running races, and Tennessee will look to make a name for itself in that respect.
“Our sprint core continues to evolve, but certainly has the ability to take another step forward, both on the men’s and women’s side,” Alford-Sullivan said.
Fifth-year senior Chelsea Blaase who has yet to compete this season will be making her debut in the same event that she won last year at the Husky Classic, the 5,000m run.
Blaase had previously won third place at the Indoor National Championships in the event.
With Blaase, sophomore Zach Long will be competing in the 3,000m run in Washington as well. He recorded a second-place finish in the same event earlier this year at the Indiana Duel.
This will be Tennessee’s last regular season competition and one of its final chances to polish things up, as the SEC Indoor Championships are only two weeks away.
This year, with all the personal records beaten and MVP accolades for Tennessee paired with a consistent progression towards success, the hunger for more is alive and well.
“We’re thrilled with the progression of the kids; we also need to step up our game,” Alford-Sullivan said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us to be competitive at the conference and national level.”
Tennessee is in for good competition this weekend as they face off against ACC and SEC foes such as Clemson and Texas A&M.
“The teams that are going to be there will give us the competition we need to finish out the season on a high note,” Alford-Sullivan said.
A majority of the squad will be in attendance this weekend competing in a variety of events.
Freshmen jumpers Marcellus Fletcher and Darryl Sullivan are among others to keep an eye on who may be able to breakout and make their mark.
Fletcher finished third at the Virginia Tech Elite Meet with a personal best of 15.01m in the triple jump. Meanwhile, Sullivan finished first among collegians in the high jump with a clear of 2.14m at the VT Elite Meet.
“Both can have performances that put them in fighting contention with the conference and national leagues,” Alford-Sullivan said.
With Christian Coleman now holding world records in the men’s 60m race, as well as Shania Collins grabbing MVP honors last week, it is safe to say the sprint core of Tennessee’s track and field squad could be something to keep an eye on as the SEC Indoor Championships near.