ATLANTA (March 22) – The full Georgia Tech track squads will be in action for the first time this outdoor season at the 57th annual Coca-Cola Florida Relays, Thursday through Saturday at Gainesville, Fla.
Tech took a limited contingent to the Auburn Springtime Invitational last weekend but still came away with first place finishes by sophomore Aaron Sink (Raleigh, N.C.) in the 400-meter hurdles and freshman Keith Schuler (Florence, Ky.) in the long jump, while sophomore Mishanta Reyes (Bronx, N.Y.) and freshman Jessica DeFreitas (Lanham, Md.) finished one-two in the women’s long jump.
“Georgia Tech is the only school, other than Florida, that has attended the Florida Relays every year since its inception,” said Tech men’s head coach Grover Hinsdale. “It’s always enjoyable because it’s a great facility and great competition.
“This will be our first outdoor meet with the entire team, but if the weather cooperates, it’s not too early to post some good performances.”
Hinsdale looks for a strong showing from junior Clayton Porter (Chesapeake, Va.) in the high jump in his first competition since earning indoor all-America honors. Other top performers for the men’s team include senior all-America Michael Johnson (Littleton, Colo.) and sophomore Bryan Swarn (Englewood, Colo.) in the 400 meters; freshman Brendon Mahoney (Cumming, Ga.) in the 800 meters, junior Chris Sinotte (Warwick, R.I.) in the javelin; and senior Malcolm Leason (Wilmington, Del.) in the triple jump.
Women’s head coach Alan Drosky was impressed with the performance of DeFreitas, who finished second in the long jump and 100 meters in her first outdoor meet.
“Jessica DeFreitas had a very good meet,” said Drosky. “She ran 11.95 in the 100 meters, which is a good time in any conditions but especially since it was cold and windy.”
Sophomore Sara Pardue (Aurora, Colo.), an indoor all-America in the 800 meters, will compete outdoors for the time in the 800 meters and relays. Senior all-America Becky Megesi (Jonesboro, Ga.) will run the 1500 meters and relays. Other standouts who will compete for the first time outdoors include sophomore middle distance runner Nicole Campbell (Ventura, Calif.) and junior sprinter Alisha McClinton (Baltimore, Md.).
In the hurdles, Reyes, senior Ayana Grant (Oakland, Calif.), junior Nikole Jeffery (Lithonia, Ga.) and sophomore Tosan Osaigbovo (Marietta, Ga.) look to build on strong performances last weekend.
“The hurdlers had a good meet for the first time outdoors, with all four placing in the top six,” continued Drosky. “There is a big adjustment for hurdlers when they go from indoors to outdoors, so that was a good performance in their first meet.”