Track & field opens season at Tom Jones Memorial Classic on Saturday
The Dolphins’ road to a fourth consecutive Atlantic Sun Indoor Championship begins Saturday when the JU track & field team opens the 2009 season at the Tom Jones Memorial Classic in Gainesville, Fla.

This is one of two regular season indoor meets that the Dolphins will participate in prior to the A-Sun Indoor Track & Field Championships on Feb. 20 in Johnson City, Tenn.

The Dolphins will have their work cut out for them in this first meet as they will be facing Florida, Florida State, Miami, South Carolina, Auburn, UCF and Florida A&M.

“Everyone is excited for the start of the new season,” said JU head coach Ron Grigg. “We have a nice mix of veterans and talented new comers that will be thrown directly into the fire.

“There will be four preseason top 20 teams from the SEC and ACC in the meet as well as many national and world class athletes. Our goals are to compete strongly and assess our current levels of achievement as we move toward the A-Sun championships one month from now.”

The Dolphins return 13 athletes from last year’s squad that won both the A-Sun Indoor and Outdoor titles for the third consecutive season. The group has combined to win 26 individual championships and 62 all-conference honors during their careers.

Leading the group of returners for her final year in a JU uniform is senior Natasha Harvey.

Last season, Harvey earned “Most Outstanding Field Performer” at both conference meets to help lead the Dolphins to their third consecutive title sweep. She also tallied her second straight All-America honor in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships and finished second in the same event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships to receive All-America accolades as well.

Harvey also competed for a spot on the USA track and field team in the long jump at the 2008 Olympic Trials. After the trails, Harvey finished second in the long jump for Team USA at the North American Central American and Caribbean under-23 Championships in Toluca, Mexico.

Also returning for the Dolphins is sophomore Unique Singleton, who earned “Most Outstanding Freshman Performer” at last season’s A-Sun Outdoor meet with gold medal in the 4x400-meter relay and a regional qualifying time in the 400-meters with a time of 54.55.