The Oglethorpe women's track and field team returns for the start of their spring season this weekend at the Emory Crossplex Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama. The season will last all the way until at least the SAA Track and Field Championships in Conway, Arkansas, April 26 and 27, with several competitors likely looking to qualify for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in late May in Geneva, Ohio.
The Stormy Petrels come off a seventh-place finish at the conference championship in 2018, and will return three All-SAA performers from that squad. Senior Arielle Shaw earned All-SAA second team honors with a leap of 37 feet, 2.25 inches in the triple jump at the conference meet while also earning coaches' All-Region accolades. Junior Kayla Trice won a pair of SAA titles in 2018, taking the 100-meter dash in 12.34 seconds and grabbing the long jump with a leap of 17-6. Senior Nicolette Andrey earned All-SAA honorable mention for her part in the 4-by-100-meter relay squad that finished third with a total time of 49.84 seconds. Shaw and Trice were both on that relay team, as well.
The Petrels welcome back 10 returners to their squad from the 2018 season, as well as six newcomers. Kara Jones and May Mizell join Shaw and Andrey to form the senior class, with Trice the lone junior. Vivian Manso, Sydney Payne, My'Chel Robinson, Courtney Stuart and Lenice Tyrell will form the sophomore class.
The indoor season already got underway with the BSC Panther Indoor Invitational in Birmingham on Nov. 30. The women's squad didn't place at the event, but Payne competed in the shot put and recorded a personal-best throw of 33-8.75, putting her seventh among Division III athletes at the event. After Sunday's Emory Crossplex Invitational, the Petrels will compete in a pair of meets in Sewanee, Tennessee, on Feb. 2 and 15 as well as the Southern Indoor Challenge back at the Birmingham Crossplex on Feb. 11. The NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships will take place March 8 and 9 in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
As the calendar turns to March, the Petrels will begin to focus on their outdoor slate, which gets started on March 2 with a trip to Mount Berry, Georgia, for the Victor Icebreaker Duals. It will be the first of two outdoor meets at Berry, with the other coming April 12 and 13. The remainder of the March schedule will be taken up by the Southern Invitational in Birmingham March 8 and 9, the Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational March 14-16 in Conway, South Carolina, and a pair of meets at Emory over two weekends from March 22 to 30. The Mountain Laurel Twilight Invitational in Sewanee will round out the regular season on April 19, leading into the SAA Championships the following weekend.