The middle-distance runners will be the focus this weekend for the track and field team, as the Lions head to George Mason University for their second meet of the outdoor season.
"This is our best opportunity for our 800- and 1,500-meter kids to qualify for the regional meet," head coach Willy Wood said. "It's conducive to that. The reason we have it on our schedule is to give those kids a chance."
Some of the team's best runners are in the mix this weekend in those two events: sophomore Olivia Sadler, juniors Dan Everett, Brendon Fish, and Dan Nestor, and seniors Trina Bills, Harry McFann, Johnny Gregorek, and Danika Simonson.
NCAAs are still far off, but the Light Blue needs to pick each meet carefully to give its runners the best chance to qualify. Wood said the invitational at George Mason has steadily grown over the last few years as more schools started to see the faster times from their runners.
"Over the last three or four years, it's just been a phenomenal event for us for the middle-distance events. They run them late in the evening," Wood said. "We've had so much success over the last few years in terms of getting national qualifiers, and it's a relatively close trip."
This meet also has optimal conditions: "no wind, perfect weather, and we can bring rabbits down," Wood said, rabbits being the track world's word for pacers.
The first event gets going at 10 a.m. Saturday, and the 800-meter finals start at 7 p.m.
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