Track & Field Set to Take On 52nd Annual Colonial Relays

Track & Field Set to Take On 52nd Annual Colonial Relays

WASHINGTON – The American University track and field team is sending seven athletes down to Williamsburg, Va., this weekend for the 52nd Annual Colonial Relays, hosted by William & Mary on Friday (March 31) and Saturday (April 1).

AU is one of 65 colleges and universities across all three NCAA Divisions set to compete at Walter J. Zable Stadium throughout the two-day meet.  Included among those 65 are two fellow-PL competitors with Bucknell and Loyola Maryland, along with local competitors George Mason, George Washington, Georgetown, James Madison and Maryland.

The Eagles will have an early start on Friday with sophomore Trevor Patton set to take the runway in the championship field for the men's long jump at 10:30 a.m.  Patton is coming off a near-personal record (PR) performance last weekend after he hit a wind-aided 6.85m (22-5.75) jump to place first at the Navy Invitational.  Patton currently holds the No. 3 mark in school history for the event with his wind-legal PR of 6.83m (22-5) from the 2016 season.

The Eagles' schedule will continue with the evening session, starting with the men's 800m run at 5 p.m.  There, junior Liam Purdy will look to continue his winning streak, which started back during the indoor season with his back-to-back Patriot League titles in the 4x800m relay and 800m run.  Purdy enters the weekend after a pair of PR's, starting with his 3:51.53 winning effort during the 1500m at the Maryland Invitational then the 1:52.93 career best at the Navy Invitational.  

Sophomore Matthew Rainey will join him on the line, bumping down to the 800m after a second-place finish in the 1500m during last weekend's Navy Invite (3:54.24).

Rounding out the individual events for the men will be junior Alaeldin Tirba, who will retake the track in the 1500m after putting down a winning effort last weekend at Navy. 

Junior Brianna Belo and sophomore Adriana Hooks will be the sole AU representatives on the women's side, with Belo also looking to hit back-to-back event victories in the 800m run.  Belo just missed on her school record mark (2:08.23) from last season, finishing in 2:09.67 at the Navy Invite.  

For Hooks, this is a return to the site of one of her top career performances after she highlighted the 2016 Colonial Relays with the fifth-fastest 5000m time in school history, 17:10.46.  This weekend will also mark her first 5000m appearance since the Patriot League Indoor Championships, where she placed fifth overall with the No. 2 time in program history at 17:13.73.

Four men will return to the track on Saturday, as Tirba, Purdy, Rainey and sophomore Ben Doiron take on the 4x1500m relay.

For the latest on American Track & Field, stay tuned to and follow the team on Twitter @AU_TrackXC. 

10:30 a.m. – Long Jump, Men (Trevor Patton)
5 p.m. – 800m Run, Men (Matthew Rainey, Liam Purdy)
5:30 p.m. – 800m Run, Women (Brianna Belo)
7:15 p.m. – 1500m Run, Men (Alaeldin Tirba)
9:20 p.m. – 5000m Run, Women (Adriana Hooks

3:10 p.m. – 4x1500m Relay, Men