NEWS
February 6th, 2013

NCAA DI TRACK and FIELD INVITATIONAL FEB 8-9

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SPIRE INSTITUTE HOSTS 3rd ANNUAL NCAA DIVISION I TRACK AND FIELD INVITATIONAL

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SPIRE Institute will host the 2013 NCAA Division I National Track & Field Invitational on February 8-9.

The meet will be held in SPIRE’s 240,000 sq. ft. indoor Track & Field Complex, 1822 South Broadway, Geneva, Ohio. According to Olympic Gold Medalist and founding member of SPIRE’s Athlete Leadership Board, Michael Johnson, SPIRE’s complex is one of the best in the world.

Meet Schedule:

Friday events begin at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday events begin at 10 a.m. 
See entire schedule here on page 3 of the Participants Guide.

Tickets:

Adults - $10.00
Seniors 65 and over - $5.00
Students - $5.00
Children 5 and under, Active Military - Free

2013 Invitational field to include:

Ohio State University, Penn State, University of Michigan, Southern Methodist University, Purdue University, U.S. Naval Academy, University of Pittsburgh, George Mason University, Cornell University, Michigan State University, University of Pennsylvania, University at Buffalo, Akron University and Kent State University.

The top three Canadian track & field programs will also be represented including Western Ontario University, University of Guelph and the University of Toronto.

Highlights:

Stephanie Kalu (60m) SMU.  She is currently ranked 10th in the NCAA at 7.37 and will have her hands full against Funmi Alabi of Pitt and Morolake Akinosun of Illinois.  On the men's side Miles Lewis of Buffalo heads the field at 6.75.

Ashley Spencer (400m) Illinois, one of the fastest women in the country over 60m, 200m and 400m and will be the top seed in the 200 and 400m.  Other top NCAA ranking runners in that race include Cierra McGee of George Mason and Dynasty McGee of Penn State.

Not to be out-done, the men tout a field including Brady Gehret, 400m Olympic Trials finalist, David Verburg of George Mason who is currently #4 in the US, Stephon Pamilton of Illinois who is #20 in the US and Brandon Bennett-Green of Penn State who is 22nd in the US.

Five women in the field have run sub 2:07 in the 800m including Samantha Murphy of Illinois, Rachel Aubry of Guelph and Rebecca Addison of Michigan. 

Four men have run under 1:50 in the 800m including returning champion and facility record holder David Mokone of Western Kentucky, Joe Banyai of Michigan State and Gabriel Genovesi of Akron.

Both the women's and men's Mile is loaded with talent.  The women are led by Leah O'Connor of Michigan State and the men by sub 4:00 miler Tony Jordanek.

Meredith Wagner of Ohio State leads the women's 5k, while the men will have a competitive race with Zach Ornelas (Michigan), Terefe Ejigu (Eastern Michigan) and Joseph Chebet (Western Kentucky) will battle it out over the distance.

Cindy Ofili of Michigan leads 5 women who have run sub 8.30 in the 60 hurdles.  Vanier Joseph of Illinois leads 4 other men who are ranked in the top 25 in the U.S.

One of the most exciting races of the weekend could be the closing event.  In the women's 4x400m Relay Penn State, Pitt, George Mason, Illinois and Michigan State will all be going for a National Qualifying time on SPIRE's lightning fast oval.  Penn State will also be one of the teams to watch on the men's side but they could get strong challenges by Pitt, George Mason, Illinois, Western Kentucky and Michigan. These relays might just be the best races of the weekend.  

In the field events, East Carolina's Tynita Butts is one of the top jumpers in the U.S. and she leads a great field of women jumpers who have all cleared over 6' including local athletes Dior Delophont from Kent State and Katrina Rettburg of Youngstown State.  The men's high jump is just as packed as an amazing group of 14 jumpers competing here have cleared 7'0 or better and all will be vying for the win.  Montez Blair of Cornell and Maalik Reynolds of Penn, both 7'5 jumpers, head the list.

Cornell also boasts another top field eventer in Stephen Mozia who is sitting #3 in the U.S. at 65'3 in the Shot Put.  He won't be all alone, as Cody Riffle of Michigan (#6 in the U.S.) is right behind behind him at 65'2.  

The men's weight throw boasts 4 of the Top 10 NCAA throwers competing against each other.  Micah Hegerle of Minnesota has thrown over 70' while Ethan Dennis of Michigan and Jon Lehman of Minnesota are just under that distance and ranked 3rd and 4th respectively in the US.  

The men's facility pole vault record could be in jeopardy as 5 men come in with personal bests over the mark.  This group is led by Jason Wurster of Toronto and Matt Bane, both 17'8 vaulters.  

The women’s shot put and weight throw will be led by Dani Bunch of Purdue who currently sits 12th on the NCAA list at 54'9 in the shot, and 68'11 in the women's weight where she is 8th in the US.   

SPIRE’s Indoor Track & Field Complex plays major role for athletes attending SPIRE Academy.  SPIRE began its high school and post graduate boarding academy in the fall of 2012. SPIRE’s nationally renowned coaches offer training programs in track and field, swimming, track, volleyball and basketball. SPIRE Academy is the world’s premier destination for high school and post graduates seeking to optimize athletic, academic and leadership abilities. SPIRE’s unique program delivers customized training, competition, athletic development with Michael Johnson Performance and Sports Psychology with Jack J. Lesyk, Ph.D., CC-AASP. In addition, the integration of nutritional guidance, character building and blue chip education with Andrews Osborne Academy enhances the opportunity for athletes to reach their full potential on and off the track. The Academy offers residential semesters, weekend training sessions as well as a full schedule of summer camps; and features the most diverse and inclusive collection of athletes assembled on one campus.

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About SPIRE Institute SPIRE Institute, in Geneva, Ohio, integrates sports and education, training and wellness with a focus on the development of the whole self.  It features 750,000 sq. ft. of Olympic grade facilities under roof, acres of outdoor fields and a multi-sport stadium complex. In September 2012, it launched SPIRE Academy, a high school and post graduate residential sports academy. SPIRE Academy and its nationally renowned coaches also summer and holiday camps, and weekend training sessions in track & field, volleyball, swimming, basketball and soccer (with more sports to follow).  Junior athletes train alongside collegians, professionals, wounded veterans, Olympians, Paralympians and masters level athletes. SPIRE features athletic development programs with Michael Johnson Performance, mental skills training with Jack J. Lesyk, Ph.D., CC-AASP, sports medicine, nutrition and wellness programs, and a variety of customized high school and collegiate academic options. SPIRE can simultaneously host clubs, leagues, tournaments and championship events, in multiple sports, no matter the weather or the season.

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