Elon Track and Field to Open Indoor Season at Liberty Kickoff

ELON, N.C. – The Elon women’s track and field team will begin 2012-13 indoor competition this weekend at the Liberty Kickoff on Saturday, Dec. 1, inside the Tolsma Indoor Track Center in Lynchburg, Va.

“This is a great starting point for everybody,” said Phoenix head coach Mark Elliston. “This is the perfect for the coaching staff, and the athletes, especially the newer ones, to figure out what to expect to prepare for the season.”

Last Time at Liberty Kickoff
This will be the seventh consecutive year that Elon has opened its indoor campaign at the Liberty Kickoff. Last season, the maroon and gold swept the podium in the 400-meter dash with returners Bria Bell and Veronica Luedke claiming second and third, respectively. Elon also captured the title in the 4×400 meter relay with Bell and Luedke as a part of that team.

In Competition This Weekend
Along with Bell and Luedke, other sprinters expected to compete this weekend are returners Kayleigh Birks, Cara Hughes, Kaitlin Mallinson and Janelle McNeil. Newcomers Marie Borowycz, Jennifer Esposito, Sydney Griffin, Simone Jackson, Jennifer Pash and Bria Turner will also look to make an impact in their first year with the program.

Elon also returns SoCon indoor pentathlon champion Louise Prevoteau and will be joined by freshmen Samantha Brown and Ellie Sheffield in the multi-event competition.

In jumps, McNeil, Borowycz, sophomore Hayley Laird and freshman Megan Kirschling are slated to compete for the Phoenix; McNeil and Borowycz in the long and triple jump with Laird and Kirschling looking to make a statement in the high jump. Melinda Hersey will be the lone pole vaulter for the Phoenix this weekend.

On the throwing side, returner Charlise Morgan looks to build off an impressive sophomore campaign where she finished runner-up and set a new school record in the weight throw in the SoCon Indoor Championships. Birks and junior transfer Kimberlyn Holt will also look to provide great performances for the maroon and gold.

“(Charlise) has had a good fall of training,” said assistant coach Michael Gusbeth. “I expect her to improve her shot put marks again this year as well as weight throw. I think both her and Kimberlyn will have a great year.”

Elliston is in his seventh season at the helm of the Elon track and field program. The Phoenix will look to improve off of last year’s fifth place finish in the both the SoCon Indoor and Outdoor Championships.

“I think overall it’s going to be a good indicator of where we are now and what we need to work on,” said Elliston. “But I think we will have a few of (the girls) do really well.”

The Phoenix distance runners will not compete this weekend after completing its cross country campaign, but is expected to return for the Phoenix’s next meet, the Wake Forest Invitational, on Jan. 19 in 2013.

Looking Ahead
Along with the Wake Forest Invitational, other notable indoor meets for the Phoenix include trips to Penn State (Jan. 25), Virginia Tech (Feb. 15) and two more trips back to Lynchburg for the Liberty Open (Jan. 25) and Liberty Quad (Feb. 8). The 2013 SoCon Indoor Championships is scheduled to begin on Feb. 23-25 at Winston-Salem, N.C.