Field Day Invitational brings campus competition

Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor

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Sophomore Tucker Smith was one of many Berry Track and Field athletes recognized at last year’s Berry Invitational. This year will include the team’s Pack the House event, senior day festivities, and Berry’s annual field day for the campus to compete in, during and after the collegiate events. Photo courtesy of Rhett Butler.

The Berry Track and Field team is hosting their 4th annual Berry Field Day Invitational meet Friday and Saturday. The meet will host 24 other colleges and universities. Saturday is also the team’s Pack the House and senior day festivities.

Going back into Berry’s history, an annual “Field Day” campus wide track meet would be held, where dorms would compete against each other in a track meet and the winners could be awarded bragging rights, similar to the bragging rights of the Mountain Day Olympics. The categories consisted of both male and female dormitories, Student Government Association organizations, sports teams and faculty and staff. 4x100m relay race would be held after the completion of collegiate relays on Saturday. An “alumni mile” will also be held for former Berry Cross Country and Track and Field student-athletes.

For the meet this year, collegiate races and events will be from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Dickey Field and Clark Track.

The team last competed at Auburn University at their 2019 Tiger Track Classic, with most of their competition consisting of NCAA Division I competition. Senior Alexa Bilsky earned her seasonal personal record of 40.23m in the javelin to earn fifth overall out of fourteen Division I throwers. She is now on top of the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) for the event.

Freshmen Jordan Wilson and Kelvin Wilson also stood out in their events and both went 3-4 in their men’s 200m heat. Senior Jed Woodward also advanced to the finals of the men’s shot put in his event.

In preparation for this weekend, Jordan Wilson shared his excitement for this weekend’s invitational and what he is looking forward to.

“I’m looking forward to see Berry come together and have fun,” Wilson said. “It’ll be interesting to see who the fast people are on campus. I just want to build on last weekend’s performance by practicing hard so I can be able to run fast and put on a show for all my friends that don’t usually get the opportunity to see me run.”

He discussed how it felt to compete against other Division I athletes and the way he was able to mentally block out the fact they’re just athletes there to compete like he was.

He described it as a confidence booster to know he had the ability to compete and win against athletes of their level and caliber.

His teammate Kelvin Wilson gave his accolades to Jordan and said that their races pushed each other to be their best.

“Running with teammates such as Jordan was great competition and he helps push me,” Wilson said. “When we go to invitationals like this, you see a lot of other big schools staring at us. It was fun to show them that even though we’re Division III, we can still put up good numbers and times.”

Wilson is able to see these last few meets as a way to put up strong numbers before the conference championship. He said that with his position in the conference, in particular to the 200m, he is looking to push towards his personal record, to improve his lane placement.

Woodward shared his emotions towards being able to compete after coming off of an achilles injury from the past two weeks, as well as his optimism towards home meets.

“I’m looking to just go out and have fun” Woodward said. “I have a great support group of friends and family that try and come to all the home meets, and having them there really helps me relax to compete to the best of my ability. With conference coming up fast, I’m just trying to get a far throw out there to try and widen the gap between me and the other two guys who are right behind me in the rankings.”

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