DENVER – Under the direction of second-year head coach Chris Sandefur, the Johnson & Wales University track and field team begins its 2018-19 indoor season Friday at the Mines Alumni Classic & Multi in Golden, Colo.
This is the first season for the program as an NCAA Division III provisional member; however, the SCAC does not sponsor indoor track and field, only the outdoor season in the spring. The Wildcats will compete in five indoor meets throughout the state of Colorado, wrapping up with the Air Force Open in Colorado Springs on Feb. 15. The team will then begin the outdoor season March 17 at the CSU-Pueblo Early Bird Invitational.
"Our overall goal is to get ready for (the SCAC) outdoor conference (championships on April 27)," Sandefur said. "So we're looking to just keep building off of our fitness during the indoor season and setting ourselves up for a really good outdoor season."
The JWU Denver men's team hopes to continue the success the squad enjoyed during the fall cross country season when they finished third as a team at the SCAC conference championships. Senior Alberto Rodriguez, an NAIA national qualifier in the 800-meter run a year ago, holds multiple school records and is certainly a name to keep an eye on. Fellow senior Alan Almeida, the program record holder in the 200 and 400, is another Wildcat to watch.
Junior Rachel Seligson will help lead the JWU Denver women's team after a top 24 individual finish at the SCAC cross country championships in the fall.
"She's going to blow her times out of the water that she ran last year," Sandefur said of Seligson. "She came in and dropped three minutes off her 5K this cross country season, so I'm expecting her to really excel this year during track season and build up into a good outdoor season using this indoor season to help gain some fitness."
Junior Rebecca Brock, the school record holder in the 800, is another Wildcat primed for success who Sandefur says has had a great preseason so far.