NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola University of New Orleans men and women’s track team will begin their two meet indoor season Thursday afternoon at the Birmingham Invitational at 3 p.m.
The event is co-hosted by UAB, Samford University, and Birmingham-Southern College. It will be held at the CrossPlex, which is a new state-of-the-art indoor track stadium that features seating for 4,000 fans, a 200-meter hydraulically banked Mondo Super X track, eight-lane sprint track, and double runways and rings for all field events.
The Wolfpack last competed in an indoor track meet in 2010. Thus, the only two returning members with indoor experience are juniors Sarah Tortorich and Chris Graugnard.
On the women’s side, Sarah Tortorich and Raquel Derganz-Baker will take on the 200m and 400m events. In addition, Emma Larson and Elysia Pendezec will compete in the 800m race, while Elizabeth Gienger takes on the one mile race. Cross-country standouts Vanessa Righeimer and Denise Powell will translate their long-distance skills to the 3000m race. Finally, Harley Augustine will compete in the high jump, long jump, shot-put, and 200m race.
For the men, William Maye and Tucker Scott will run the 400m race. Mario Ramirez will take on the 800m, as Chris Graugnard will join freshmen cross-country standouts Dylan DiMartino and Michael Corso in the 3000m race. Finally, Carlos Flores will represent the ‘Pack in the shot-put.
The field of competition features 24 teams, ranging from familiar faces of Nicholls St. and conference foe Shorter to NCAA nationally ranked Southern Miss.
“I’m hoping to use the indoor season as a stepping stone for improving our performances for the upcoming outdoor season,” said Loyola head track coach Andy Canegitta. “However, there are some individuals on this team with the ability to qualify for Nationals (indoor), and I look forward to pushing them towards this goal as well.”
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