Tech Track and Field Takes High Hopes to 2003 ACC Indoor Championships

Feb. 20, 2003

ATLANTA – With a combined 17 performances ranked among the Atlantic Coast Conference’s top three this season, the Georgia Tech men’s and women’s track and field teams are poised for a big weekend at the 2003 ACC Indoor Championships, which open Friday at the University of North Carolina’s Eddie Smith Field House.

Tech’s women enter the meet as the defending champions, after capturing the program’s first track title a year ago. The men are seeking their first league crown after placing third in 2002.

The meet opens Friday at 11 a.m. with the men’s long jump and shot put, as well as the women’s high jump. Saturday’s action opens 10 a.m. with the men’s weight throw and is scheduled to conclude at 4:30 p.m. with the women’s 4×400-meter relay. Live results will be available at http://www.flashresults.com/unc.

The Yellow Jacket men enter the championships with conference-leading marks in three events. Leading the way for Tech will be juniors Brendon Mahoney, who owns the league’s top time in the mile (4:06.55), and Kyle Rabbitt, who ranks as the ACC’s best in the 3000 meters (8:11.98). The Jackets also enter with the conference’s top 4×400-meter relay (3:13.05).

Mahoney, who won the 800 meters at last year’s meet, ranks third in that event (1:51.02), while Rabbitt also stands second in the 5000 meters (14:14.48). He has set school records in both the 3000 and 5000 this season.

Tech should also expect big things from sophomore sprinter Dennis Davis, who ranks among the league’s top three in both the 60 (6.83) and 200 meters (21.69). Senior Chris Crawley (long jump) and sophomore Ian Brewer (weight throw) have also posted top-three performances. The Jackets also have great depth in the jumps, with seven top-10 performances.

The Yellow Jacket women are led by freshman Chaunte Howard, who ranks first in the high jump with a mark of 5’11.25″. She has jumped nearly four inches higher than her nearest competitor this season. Other top field event performers will be sophomore Shanta Smith, who stands second in the triple jump (41’11.25″), freshman Jessica Graff, who ranks second in the pole vault (12’11.50″). Both have set school records this season.

Tech should also be strong in the sprints, as junior Amandi Rhett, who earned All-ACC honors in three events a year ago, ranks second in the 60 (7.41) and third in the 200 meters (24.25), while senior Jessica DeFreitas stands third in the 60 (7.49). Sophomore Dana Rogers ranks third in the 60-meter hurdles (8.55).

The Jackets rank second in the 4×400-meter relay and also have great depth in the jumps with seven top-10 performances.

The top three finishers in each event and relay winners earn All-ACC honors. The Jackets had eight men and eight women earn such accolades a year ago.

Tech’s women hope to win back-to-back titles for the first time in program history, while the men are aiming to top Clemson, which has captured the last six titles.

-GT-

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