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MT T&F back to Tennessee State

Rutto set to compete in Camel City Elite Races

January 31, 2014 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's and women's track & field teams make their second trip to Tennessee State in as many months to compete at the TSU Invitational Saturday, while Eliud Rutto will compete in the Camel City Elite Races in Winston Salem, N.C.

The Camel City Elite Races are part of the Hilton Garden Invitational on the JDL Fast Track with Rutto competing as one of eight total runners. The field is comprised of professionals and Olympians along with collegiate runners that are trying to improve their chances of qualifying for the NCAA Indoor National Championships, which take place March 14-15 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Among the professionals and Olympians is Nick Symmonds, who won the silver medal at the 2013 Moscow World Championships. Symmonds boasts the best seed time of 1:42.95 and is the top seed in the eight-man race.

Joining Symmonds is Casimir Loxsom and Mark Wieczorek. Loxsom earned a silver medal in the 800-meter at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada and has a personal-best time of 1:45.28. Wieczorek competes as a professional and is a two-time Olympic Trials Qualifier, first in 2008 and again in 2012.

The TSU Invitational will feature numerous teams from the Ohio Valley Conference, but MT is the only Conference USA school in attendance. The Blue Raiders start the all-day event at 8 a.m. with the women's and men's mile run.

"Going to TSU, we are pretty well settled in for what we are going to do for the C-USA Indoor Championships," said Head Coach Dean Hayes. "We want to stay in shape and be prepared for the C-USA championships."

Also starting at 8 a.m. is the pole vault, which will lead into 10 separate field events before starting the full schedule of running events at 10:30 a.m. The meet schedule has a limited number of distance events with the distance medley relay following the 55-meter hurdle and 55-meter dash preliminaries. The 5,000-meter will follow the 200-meter race and concludes the distance events for the invite.

Middle Tennessee found success last week in Nashville at the Vanderbilt Invitational and looks to continue its increasingly good performances at TSU. C-USA Co-Athlete of the Week Emmanuel Tugumisirize will forgo his 400-meter event and test the 200-meter. Tugumisirize broke a 13-year old school record last week by setting a new time of 46.05 seconds in the 400-meter, which also ranks third in the NCAA this season.

Along with Tugumisirize, Tahir Walsh had the best performance of his young career, setting new personal-best times in the 60-meter (6.83) and 200-meter (21.76) dashes. Walsh is set to compete in the 55-meter dash along with senior Kenneth Gilstrap.

The women's squad found equal success at Vanderbilt with 16 new personal-best times and distances being set. Shaina Johnson set a career-best time in the 400-meter with a time of 55.81. Along with Johnson, Crystal Gray (57.60) and Chelsea Caldwell (59.18) also set new times in the 400-meter.

Freshman jumper, Barbara Vilson will compete in the triple jump and high jump at TSU. She and sophomore Pershawna Williams set new personal-best heights in the high jump last time they competed at Tennessee State. Both Williams and Vilson cleared 1.73 meters.

Results are to be posted following the conclusion of the meet and a full schedule is attached.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.