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Indoor track and field season begins

The Blue Devils will head to Winston-Salem this Saturday for the JDL Fast Track Kick Off, their first meet of the indoor season.

This first experience is intended to be a low-key meet for the athletes, allowing those who have not had a chance to race on the track since last season to brush off the rust. The meet is also intended to provide some of the older runners, as well as those who are less experienced, to try out new events and see how their fall training has paid off.

“For [many] track and field people, you know, they haven’t competed at all since maybe last May or June,” director of track and field Norm Ogilvie said. “They’re just kind of remembering what it’s like to compete again. So it’s also a dry run for when the regular season which begins a week after Christmas.”

For the upcoming challenge, each event coach will only be taking those athletes who they want to observe. Associate head coach Shaun Wilbourne, who works with multi-event athletes and traveled to the Olympic Trials with senior Curtis Beach, will be taking sprinters, multi-event athletes and some pole vaulters.

Jumps and assistant coach Jan Ogilvie will be bringing some of her long jumpers, though juniors Tanner Anderson, who also traveled to the Olympic Trials, and Michael Krone will not be attending the meet. The contest will also feature Carl Heinz, a high school All-American, in the high jump.

Associate head coach Kevin Jermyn, who coaches cross country in the fall and then handles women’s distance for the track seasons, will be taking 10 runners to the meet, though senior Juliet Bottorff, who took the 10km title at the NCAA Championship in 2011, and some of her more experienced teammates such as Madeline Morgan will not be racing.

“I’m really looking forward to it, and many of the girls that have an opportunity to race are really excited to get on the track and show off some of our speed and things we’ve been working on in the fall,” graduate student Cydney Ross said. “It’ll be a great opportunity for us to get out there and have some fun and race.”

For men’s distance, the meet will prove a chance for “up-and-coming” runners to race in the half-mile event and four underclassmen will also have their chance to compete in the 4x800m relay, Norm Ogilvie said. Sophomore Brian Schoepfer will have the chance to race in the 3km for the first time and classmate Nate McClafferty will race the mile.

“[This meet is] great for coaches,” Ogilvie said. “We get a lot of information from it and it gives us some idea of who we’re going to take to the first meet in January.”

After their debut in Winston-Salem, the Blue Devils will participate in the Dick Taylor Invitational at Chapel Hill.

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