WASHINGTON - The American University track & field team is opening the championship portion of its outdoor schedule this weekend as the Eagles travel to Easton, Pa., for the two-day Patriot League Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
The meet, hosted by Lafayette, will run on Friday and Saturday at the Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex.
The weekend will open Friday morning with the women's 10,000-meter run, featuring junior Adriana Hooks and freshman Shelbi Wuss. Hooks made her collegiate debut in the event earlier this season, running the third-fastest time in program history at the Raleigh Relays (35:45.81). That time also puts her at No. 2 in the current Patriot League rankings in the event. For Wuss, this will be her first start in the event after specializing in the 5,000m for the majority of the season.
Junior Trevor Patton will be the only other AU individual competitor on Friday in the men's long jump. Patton owns the No. 2 mark in program history in the event with his personal record (PR) of 6.86m (22-6.25) from last season.
The men's and women's 4x800m relays will close out events on Friday. The women's team currently leads the conference ranking with their 9:09.66 finish during the Penn Relays last weekend.
For the men's squad, this will serve as an opportunity for redemption after they just missed on repeating their title run by less than a second during the indoor season. The Eagles won back-to-back 4x800m Patriot League titles in the event during the 2017 indoor and outdoor championships and return all four legs from the 2017 outdoor title-winning squad with seniors Alaeldin Tirba and Liam Purdy, and juniors Matthew Rainey and Ben Doiron.
Among the highlights in Saturday's entries is senior Brianna Belo, who will look to claim her second career outdoor PL title in the women's 800m run. Belo, who edged under her own school record in the event earlier this season (2:07.52), won the 800m during the indoor championship meet in February with a 2:12.12 finish. She currently ranks first in the league with her PR performance during the Colonial Relays.
On the men's side, senior Liam Purdy also sits within the top-three in the Patriot League rankings with his 800m PR. Purdy bumped up to No. 4 in program history with his 1:50.93 performance from the Raleigh Relays.
In the men's 1500m run, junior Matthew Rainey is set up well for a podium finish, as he ranks second in the PL with his 3:45.70 performance during the George Mason Spring Invitational.
The weekend will conclude with the men's and women's 5000m runs. Hooks, Stratton and Wuss will all return on the women's side while the men's field will feature senior Alaeldin Tirba, junior Ben Doiron and freshman Max Lustig. Both Hooks and Tirba currently rank seventh in the league in their respective fields.
AUTF EVENTS SCHEDULE - SATURDAY
12:00 p.m. - 3000m Steeplechase, Women (Nadia Stratton)
12:30 p.m. - 3000m Steeplechase, Men (Max Lustig)
1:20 p.m. - 1500m Run, Women (Arianna Lopez / Jude Mabone)
1:35 p.m. - 1500m Run, Men (Matthew Rainey)
2:30 p.m. - 400m Dash, Men (Trevor Patton)
3:10 p.m. - 800m Run, Women (Brianna Belo / Emily Houghton / Kaitlyn McTernan)
3:25 p.m. - 800m Run, Men (Faolan Coogan Pluck / Liam Purdy / Chris Tibbetts)
4:35 p.m. - 5000m Run, Women (Adriana Hooks / Nadia Stratton / Shelbi Wuss)
4:55 p.m. - 5000m Run, Men (Ben Doiron / Max Lustig / Alaeldin Tirba)
For the latest on AU Track & Field, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC.