RICHMOND, Va. - During any sport's season there are many peaks and valleys throughout the year.
Teams try to peak as close as they can toward the end of the season. The VCU track team is doing just that, as they head into the CAA Championships Friday and Saturday at Sports Backers Stadium.
"We talk all year about putting deposits into the account and making a withdrawal at the right time," Head Coach Jon Riley said. "This is the time, this is the meet we work for all year long."
The Black and Gold head into the annual event coming off of one of the most successful previous weeks in school history with solid performances at both the Vanderbilt Invitational and the JMU Invitational. VCU had three athletes named to the conferences weekly awards, for the first time in program history.
DeAngelo Wilson, was named CAA Track Athlete of the Week for the second time in as many weeks. Wilson won both the 100 and 200-meter dash at the Vanderbilt Invite. He also helped anchor teams to second place finishes in both the 4x100 and 4x400. Seniors Kyle Jones and Antonio Norvell, members of those relay teams, will also be relied upon to score some points in the sprint events.
The Rams will also look to get solid times out of Walid Berkhedle, who won the 1500-meter on the same track, earlier in the season during the VCU Invitational.
"Our guys are a group that is pretty experienced and we'll need those veterans to be true leaders this weekend if we're going to compete for a conference championship," Riley said.
Quina Fortune, the reigning CAA track Athlete of the Week, will lead a strong group vying for the CAA title. Fortune is coming off another strong week, with wins at the Vandy, in the 200-meter dash posting a time of 23.38. Fortune helped lead the 4x400 relay team that broke an 18 year school record this past weekend with a time of 3:46:70.
One of her relay teammates, Dionna Hayes, provides the Rams quite a 1-2 punch in the sprints as the freshman is a constant threat in both the 100 and 200m.
Julie Anyaugo had another record-breaking week in the discus. For the third time this spring, Anyaugo, set the school record with a throw of 157'8," over the season she has increased the school record by over 23 feet.
She leads a talented group of field athletes, who come off of a good weekend at the VCU Invite a few weeks ago. The Black and Gold had victories at that event from Jennifer McAvoy who won her first collegiate event in the triple jump. Junior Ali Morris also had a good weekend at the VCU Invite, winning the high jump.
"We've made great strides over the past few years, but we need to continue that progress now more than ever, if we want to accomplish our goal of winning a conference championship," Riley said.
VCU, and the rest of the CAA open up the CAA Championships at Sports Backers Stadium on Friday morning at 8:30.