THURSDAY, MAY 10, 2007
Track and Field begins Atlantic Sun Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday

May 10, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After two weeks of solid training, the JU track and field team will look to make its practice pay off when they travel to Johnson City, Tenn. for the Atlantic Sun Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday.

The Dolphins, who won second consecutive A-Sun Indoor Track and Field title on Feb. 17, are looking for their second consecutive outdoor championship after winning the event last season in Clermont, Fla.

"Each year the competition within the conference has been getting stronger," said JU head coach Ron Grigg. "The overall team title should be very close and we know we have the talent to be in contention, but must perform well to compete for the win."

At last year's outdoor track and field championship, the Dolphins trailed Gardner-Webb entering the final day but used their speed to finish with 45 points ahead of the Bulldogs to clinch the title. The win gave the Dolphins both the Indoor and Outdoor titles that season.

Janita Ocana earned "Most Outstanding Track Performer" after winning the 100 (11.88) and 200-meter dashes (24.00). Ocana also finished second in the long jump at 19'9.5" and claimed all-conference honors in the triple jump, finishing second with a jump of 36'11.5".

Natasha Harvey won "Most Outstanding Freshman Performer" by setting a school and A-Sun championship record in the long jump at 20'9", the fifth best jump in the country at the time and the second best jump in the region. She also won the 100 (14.06) and 400-meter hurdles (1:101.49) and also anchored the winning 4x100 relay with a Tissilli Rogers, Simone Clark and Ocana. She also earned all-conference honors in the triple jump after finishing third with a leap of 36'8.25".

Prior to this season's A-Sun outdoor championships, sophomore Janel Grooms broke the school record in the 800-meter dash, while Harvey won the long jump to help the Dolphins fare well at the UCF Golden Knight Twilight in Orlando, Fla. on April 28.

Grooms broke the school record in her first attempt at the 800-meter dash with a time of 2:11.92 to finish as the top collegian (second overall). On April 21, she posted a regional qualifying time of 58.86 to break the school mark in the 400-meter hurdles at the LSU Alumni Gold.

Harvey won the long jump by over two feet with her second consecutive regional qualifying mark of 20'6.5" (6.26m).

The two-day A-Sun Outdoor Track and Field Championships are set to begin with the men's and women's heptathlon at 8 a.m. CST on Friday.