WASHINGTON - The American University track and field team will split during its second meet weekend of 2018, with a small group heading to New York City for the Dr. Sander Invitational Armory Challenge on Friday while the rest of the team will be featured in George Mason's Patriot Games on Saturday.
The Armory Challenge will open events for the weekend Friday morning, starting with the women's 3,000-meter run at 10:30 a.m. featuring freshmen Nadia Stratton and Shelbi Wuss. Wuss has led the way so far for the pairing, starting with a fifth-place finish in the 3000m at the Navy Lid-Lifter Meet in December (10:29.04). She improved on that time with a sixth-place crossing during the Terrapin Invitational (Jan. 20), pacing in at 10:16.61.
Stratton wasn't far behind at the Navy Lid-Lifter, crossing in seventh overall for her only 3000m of the season so far (10:38.71). She dropped down to the mile at the Terrapin Invitational where she timed through in 5:25.47 for 11th overall.
Events at The Armory will continue with the men's and women's 800m run, featuring seniors Liam Purdy and Brianna Belo. This will be the first 800m of the season for Purdy, who closed last season with the infamous single-shoe title run at the Patriot League Indoor Championship, crossing with the third-fastest time in program history (1:53.25).
Belo also holds a spot in the AU record book for the 800m after she marked in with a new school record last season (2:11.41). She was only three seconds off that time at the Terrapin Invitational, where she claimed third overall in 2:14.67.
Sophomore Arianna Lopez will be the sole AU representative in the mile run. She is coming off her first mile of the season at the Terrapin Invitational (5:19.87).
The men's and women's 5000m runs will close out the day's events in New York City, starting with junior Adriana Hooks in the women's race. Hooks had her first and only 5000m of the season during the Navy Lid-Lifter Meet in December where she paced through in fourth overall (17:42.31). Hooks holds the second-fastest time in program history from last season (17:13.73).
Senior Alaeldin Tirba will the last to take the track on Friday in the men's 5000m. This will be only the second indoor 5000m in Tirba's career after he opened with a 14:55.27 performance at the Navy Invitational in December.
All seven Eagles will make the quick turnaround on Saturday to rejoin the rest of the team at George Mason's Patriot Games. Included among the entries for Saturday's events is AU record holder junior Trevor Patton in the long jump and All-Time Top Ten performers junior Matthew Rainey, junior Chia-Ry Chang Urena, junior Kassidy Ayres and junior Sammie Paul.
For the latest on AU Track & Field, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.
#AUTF SCHEDULE - DR. SANDER INVITE (Friday)
10:30 a.m. - 3000m Run, Women (Nadia Stratton // Shelbi Wuss)
11:15 a.m. - 800m Run, Women (Brianna Belo)
11:30 a.m. - 800m Run, Men (Liam Purdy)
12:15 p.m. - Mile Run, Women (Arianna Lopez)
9:35 p.m. - 5000m Run, Women (Adriana Hooks)
9:55 p.m. - 5000m Run, Men (Alaeldin Tirba)
#AUTF SCHEDULE - PATRIOT GAMES (Saturday)
Men's Long Jump (Trevor Patton)
12:50 p.m. - Mile Run, Women (Kassidy Ayres // Nadia Stratton // Shelbi Wuss)
1:10 p.m. - Mile Run, Men (Caleb Brown // Matthew Rainey // Alaeldin Tirba)
2:00 p.m. - 400m Dash, Women (Chia-Ry Chang Urena // Sammie Paul // Lucia Rose)
3:00 p.m. - 500m Dash, Women (Emily Houghton)
3:30 p.m. - 800m Run, Women (Brianna Belo // Arianna Lopez // Sammie Paul)
3:40 p.m. - 800m Run, Men (Faolan Coogan-Pluck // Justin Dignan // Liam Purdy)
3:50 p.m. - 1000m Run, Women (Adriana Hooks // Jude Mabone // Kaitlyn McTernan)
4:00 p.m. - 1000m Run, Men (Jim Belfatto // Chris Tibbetts // John Pagliaro)
4:10 p.m. - 200m Dash, Women (Chia-Ry Chang Urena // Grace Goulding // Emily Houghton)
4:35 p.m. - 200m Dash, Men (Trevor Patton )
5:00 p.m. - 3000m Run, Women (Katelyn Deibler)
5:25 p.m. - 3000m Run, Men (Gerard D'Ambrosio III // Ben Doiron // Max Lustig)