|Seahawks Make Home Track & Field Debut|
By John Riemer
The meet begins with the Hammer Throw early Friday, followed by three other events,with the remainder of the competition on Saturday. Coach Jim Sprecher will honor this year’s seniors as well as the incoming class of the school’s Track and Field Hall of Fame in a special ceremony on Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
“We always look forward to competing at home and our alumni weekend,” said Sprecher. “It’s also our Track and Field Hall of Fame weekend, where we honor some of our greats from the past.”
Overall, 10 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams are scheduled to compete during the two-day meet. Warmer temperatures are expected and admission is free.
The Hammer Throw is the first event on Friday, starting at 11 a.m., and the men’s and women’s 5,000 meters concludes the opening day’s events at 5 p.m.
The second day kicks off at 10 a.m. with the High Jump, Triple Jump and Pole Vault. The Shot Put and Discus are also scheduled. The running events begin at Noon with the 4x100 Relay.
It will be a special day for 13 seniors competing in their last Seahawk Invitational, and they will be honored in the ceremony before Saturday’s events begin. The senior class features standouts Connor Brooks, Aerial Chatman, Dn Cherry, Anthony Colon, Dylan Skinner and Meena Reid. The group consists of All Conference performers, NCAA Regional qualifiers and owners of several top marks in the program.
Brooks, the indoor school record holder in the quarter-mile, was a member of the record setting 4x800 Relay at Penn Relays in 2012 and owns the ninth best outdoor 400m time.
Chatman, an NCAA qualifier in the Long Jump and Triple Jump, was the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) champion in the Triple Jump. The jumps specialist owns the third best mark in the Long Jump and second best mark in the Triple Jump in UNCW history.
Cherry excels in the Hammer Throw. She was an All-Conference performer in 2013 and owns the school’s fifth best mark.
Colon, a top hurdler for UNCW, was the 2013 CAA Champion in the 400m Hurdles. He owns the eighth best 110m Hurdle time and the sixth best 400m Hurdle time in the school’s history.
Skinner, a 2013 All-Conference 800m runner, headlines the mid-distance group. He has the fourth best time in the 800m for UNCW.
Reid, the top women’s sprinter, owns several school records. She has the school’s fastest time in the 100m and 200m and is a two-time CAA champion in the 100m and also won the 200m race once. Reid was a 2013 NCAA qualifier in the 100m.
“It’s one of the last opportunities for our seniors to compete in front of a home crowd and we’ll recognize them on Saturday,” added Sprecher.
The new inductees into the UNCW Track & Field Hall of Fame include Decathlete Ryan Blumenstein (2009), Hurdler and Jumper Aisha Jones (2009), Pole Vaulter Beth Grooms (2000), and Mid-Distance runner John Fernandez (1997).
The Seahawks return to the track March 20-22 when they compete in the CCU Shamrock Invitational at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach. The next home appearance for the team is March 29 when the Beaches Vs. Mountains meet is staged.
Men’s Teams Competing: UNCW, Barton, Campbell, Chicago State, Francis Marion, Morgan State, North Dakota, UNC Greensboro, UNC Pembroke
Women’s Teams Competing: UNCW, Barton, Campbell, Charleston, Chicago State, Elon, Francis Marion, Morgan State, North Dakota, UNC Greensboro, UNC Pembroke