May 19, 2008
Albany -- The Albany State men's and women's track teams have an early morning wake up call Tuesday morning, as the Rams will be on the road at 5 a.m. for the NCAA Division II National Championships in California.
The men have four runners qualified in six events, including the top-ranked 4x100 meter relay team (39.90 seconds), and Gary Martin is ranked #1 in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.31 seconds.
The Lady Rams are coming off a sixth place finish in 2007, the best in school history.
They're looking for an even better showing this year, with Roxie Griffin ranked #1 in the 400 meter dash, and is second in the 200.
Teammate Tamika Kinchen was the top-ranked runner in the 800 meter run for most of the year.
The ASU men had the second-ranked 4x100 meter team last year, but had problems on the exchange, leading to a disappointing finish, and will look to correct those mistakes this year.
"We're definitely motivated from last year," says Rams coach Marvin Oliver. "It's actually the same team, which was not the problem. The problem was getting the stick around. The guys we have are dedicated, and they've done it throughout the year."
Women's coach Ken Taylor says, "We've got the opportunity to perform even better than we did last year. We just got to keep the ship upright, represent the institution well, and do some great things, while we're at it."
Competition in the NCAA Division II National championships begins Thursday morning at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.
The ASU men finished 11th last year, and their best finish is 5th overall.