Charles Grethen is looking for his second consecutive win in the 800m at the VT Elite Meet.
Feb. 6, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Following a weekend off, the Bulldog track and field teams return to the road and travel to Blacksburg, Va., on Thursday night for this weekend's Doc Hale VT Elite Meet.
The meet begins on Friday at 5 p.m. with the men and women's long jump and the women's mile. Events continue through the men's pole vault (7 p.m.) and men's 200-meter dash Open (8:30 p.m.).
Saturday's action is scheduled to start with the women's high jump and pole vault at 11 a.m. and will wrap up with the men's 4x400 relay Invitational at 3:40 p.m.
Twenty-six Bulldog men and 24 Georgia women are scheduled to make the trip to compete at Virginia Tech's Rector Fieldhouse. Sixteen of the 50 traveling are in their first indoor collegiate track and field season.
Florida and Kentucky are joining UGA from the SEC at the meet while Duke, Maryland, Miami, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech will be representing the ACC. East Carolina is also expected to be competing.
Georgia's third meet weekend of the indoor season comes three weeks before the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas. Head coach Wayne Norton knows the importance of this regular season meet to his teams' postseason chances.
"It's very important that we are sharp and competing at a high level even though we had the last weekend off from competition," said Norton. "That week was not a rest week; it was supposed to be a training and sharpening week without a step back or regression when we return to the track. The good thing is that we still have another weekend after this one to make final improvements if we don't get everything done that we want to this week."
The Bulldogs are no strangers to the meet. In fact, more than 20 marks on Georgia's all-time top-10 indoor lists were established at Virginia Tech.
"For about 10 years, we have been using the Virginia Tech meet and venue as a springboard for our teams as we move into the second half of the season," Norton said. "The familiarity with it and the time of year that it occurs has helped us to gauge our development and predict our success. As I said before, it's an important one for us."
Georgia is slated to have competitors in a majority of the meet's events, although several members of the team will be continuing their training preparations for next week's trip to College Station for the Texas A&M Invitational or to Seattle, Wash., for the Husky Classic.
Redshirt freshman Leontia Kallenou (high jump) is currently ranked second nationally with a mark of 6 feet, 2 inches and is one of the Bulldogs who will be out of the lineup.
"Although everyone is not competing this week, we are competing in all event areas so we need a good showing across the board," Norton explained. "It is the first meet of the season that we have jumpers, throwers, sprinters and distance runners at the same meet. Based on the training and racing schedule that our middle distance runners are on, that group should do well this week. The facility at Virginia Tech is a good one and the competition will be even better with some of the top SEC and ACC teams there."
Last Year At The VT Elite: Georgia had eight winners at last year's VT Elite Meet. On the men's side, Charles Grethen (800), the men's 4x400 relay team, Maicel Uibo (pole vault) and Nick Vena (shot put) finished first while Hilenn James (shot put), Chanice Porter (long jump), Shaunae Miller (200 Invitational) and Tynia Gaither (200 Open) took top honors in their events.
Grethen, a Bulldog 4x400 team, Uibo, Vena and Porter are all slated to defend their titles in those events this weekend.
Live results and recaps from the Doc Hale VT Elite Meet will be found at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.