2017 ATLANTIC 10 INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

RICHMOND, Va. – The VCU Track and Field team will head to the George Mason Field House in Fairfax, Virginia for the Atlantic 10 Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, Feb. 17.

The competition will feature two days of action.  The meet opens with the multi events on Saturday at 9 a.m. and the running preliminaries beginning at 2 p.m.  Action will continue on Sunday, featuring the finals of the field events starting at 9 a.m. The finals of the running events will commence at 11:45 a.m.
 
Head coach Jon Riley sees the Championship as an opportunity for his staff and athletes to capitalize on what they have done all season.

"The sports performance staff, athletic trainers and coaches have done their job preparing the athletes for this weekend. We've calculated points and strategically put athletes in events that give us the best opportunity to win. Now the athletes must trust their training and go out and perform at a level equal their seasons best without getting uptight."

The women's squad has three athletes ranked first in the Atlantic 10. Sophomore Latrice Morris leads the conference in the 60-meter run with a time of 7.67 seconds.

Junior Nichelle Scott currently holds the top time in the 800-meter run. She posted a time of 2:09.68 seconds at the Villanova Invitational, putting her at the top of the Atlantic 10 leaderboard while also breaking the school record in the event. Scott also holds the second-fastest time in the league in the 1,000-meter run.

Leading the way in the field events for the Rams is junior Taylor McCormick. McCormick has had the top mark in the triple jump (12.28 meters) since her performance ETSU Invitational vaulted her to the top of the league.

Hurdles, jumps, and multis coach Tom Sage says his group may come out and surprise some people.

"I'm excited about my group's potential in this championship setting. We have been working all year towards this and the last week or two I've seen some amazing things happening. I won't be surprised, but I'm sure more than a few competitors will be."

Sprinters Kareem Payne, Jamik Alexander, and Ian Davis look to improve upon already strong performances this season. Payne found his stride at the Villanova Invitational, finding the top of the A-10 leaderboard in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.84 seconds. Alexander holds the second-fastest time in the event

Junior transfers Bigal Harrison and Devon Thompson have made an impact early for the Rams.  Harrison holds the Rams' top time in the 400-meter run at 48.61 seconds. Both are members of the Rams' top 4x400-meter relay team alongside junior Nicholas Buckingham and sophomore Kahlil Shepard.

Senior Calvin Wood and junior Bismillah Alidost lead the way in the distance events. Wood leads all Rams in the 1,000-meter run and the mile, while Alidost holds the top line in the 3,000-meter run.

The field events are headlined by Racheed Davis and Shawn Scornaienchi.  Scornaienchi's top mark of 14.59 meters in the shot put, posted at the Darius Dixon Memorial Invitational, ranks third in the Atlantic 10. Davis ranks sixth in the A-10 in the triple jump, leaping to a mark of 14.37 meters at the Dixon Memorial Invitational.

Coach Riley feels his team has put in the work all season and is now ready to reap the benefits.

"We've deposited blood, sweat and tears, now it's time to withdraw success."