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Charlotte Track & Field kicks off indoor season

 


CHARLOTTE, NC– Charlotte’s track and field teams kick off the season this weekend, with three separate events scheduled. The team kicks off the competition by traveling to the Liberty Kickoff. This event will be focused on combined events, with competitors taking part in the heptathlon and pentathlon on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, Nick Shaker will compete in the 5K at the Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener at Boston University. The team closes out the weekend competing in the JDL Early Bird Invitational at Winston-Salem on Sunday. This will be the team’s first chance at competition during the indoor season, with the next chance not coming until January 13 when they travel to Blacksburg, Virginia for the Virginia Tech Invitational. Coach Olesen is excited to start another year with the program and get some early returns from the training.

“This time of the year, we trained all fall through our preseason,” said Coach Olesen. “There’s been a lot of development and volume, so I think everybody’s ready to break it up a little bit. They have trained and we are ready to compete.”

Charlotte regains most of its scoring from last season, while the team regains most of its depth from last season’s championship teams. The team has also brought in a lot of new talent that should help the team maintain its consistently high level of performance. Coach Olesen is excited about what this depth could mean for the team this season.

“We really didn’t lose a lot of points from last year, if you look at some of our results from our championship last year, as most of our draft comes back,” said Olesen. “In addition, we added a lot of extra depth this year, with a lot more depth in the men’s sprint squad and other event areas. On the women’s side, we added a number of key players in all different event areas. Based on last year’s results and a deeper and stronger roster this year , we are very excited about our opportunities this year to compete for more championships.”

To kick off the week, the team travels to Lynchburg, Virginia for the Liberty Kickoff. This event will focus on combined event athletes. This is important as most competitions do not offer this event category, so it will be critical for these athletes to gain as much experience as possible from this competition to help them as the season progresses.

“It’s a complicated weekend. It’s not unusual for us to split the team, but to do it three ways is a bit unusual,” coach Olesen said. We will be very busy to kick off the season. The first meeting at Liberty will focus on combined events, so Pentathlon and Heptathlon. We are lucky to get this opportunity. It has been several years since we were able to find a combined December event meeting. It’s a little early and they still have a lot of work to do, but these events aren’t offered at every track meeting we go to. So to get the opportunity here and one more meeting before the conference championships will allow these athletes to get more experience and prove what they can do so they can make that travel squad.

Nick Shaker will participate in the Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener in Boston. Scudder is coming off a strong cross country season where he was the individual champion at both the NCAA Southeast Regional and Conference USA Championships. Scudder was the first male runner in school history to win an individual championship at a regional championship, and the first Charlotte runner to win a regional championship since Caroline Sang won on the women’s side in 2017. This race will be a great way for Nick to continue the strong form he finished the cross country season with.

“Nick’s situation is a little different,” Olesen said. “Nick is still running hard from the cross-country season, so it’s a trend to go to an indoor race very early in December while you’re still in cross-country form and go to an indoor qualifier. That’s really his goal while he’s in Boston It was very successful last year with Paul Ardondowho ran a very fast 5K at the same race last year.

Finally, the team closes out the weekend in Winston-Salem with the JDL Early Bird Invitational. This meeting will be used to help the team get into the league mood and see where the team stands after the preseason. Coach Olesen hopes this meeting can be used as a way for the team to see where it stands after all of its preseason training.

“This competition will be used more like the people going to Liberty in that we are trying to strip some of the rust from fall training and get some feedback on where people are from their training before we go into winter break,” said Trainer Olesen . “We’re always surprised, we have some increased intensity at the end of fall training. Sometimes we go to one of these first meetups and we’re surprised where people are ready to do well, even if we’re just using it to get ready for the rest of the season.”

To keep up to date with the results in Liberty, you can follow live results here. Stream Nick Scudders race in Boston where you can go FloTrack or follow live results here. Finally, to follow the live results of the JDL Early Bird Invitational, you can click on the link here. Stay tuned to Charlotte49ers.com for more updates on the team throughout the weekend and follow the teams on Twitter @CharlotteTFXC and on Instagram @charlotte49ertfxc for updates.

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