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Track: Freshmen to get first look at Cajun track during meet

The Louisiana Classics annually provides UL’s track and field team with a chance to perform on its home track and in front of hometown fans.

This year, though, being at home means even more to a large contingent of the Cajuns, many of whom will be in home meet competition for the first time in their careers.

"We’ve got one of the biggest squads we’ve ever had," said Cajun track coach Lance Veazey, "and a lot of them are freshmen. They’ve never competed out here on this track, so it’ll be an experience for them."

Veazey is hoping it’s a good experience when the Cajuns welcome most of the state teams for the meet, which gets underway at 7 p.m. today with competition in the men’s and women’s 10,000-meter events.

The bulk of the meet is Saturday at Cajun Track, with field events beginning at 11 a.m. and running events beginning at noon.

Teams scheduled to take part include Northwestern State, La. Tech, UL Monroe, Grambling, McNeese State, Southern, Southeastern La. and Nicholls State along with Albion (Mich.) College.

"It should be a good meet," Veazey said. "Since a lot of teams will be outdoors for the first time, a lot of them will have their athletes stepping up in distance, and that usually makes for good races."

The Cajuns, for once, will have an outdoor meet under their belts after competing in the NSU Relays in Natchitoches 10 days ago.

"We got the chance to shake off some of the indoor dust," Veazey said. "We got the stick around in all the relays there, so that was good for an early meet."

The Cajuns’ freshman group has several athletes to watch, including sprinter Justin Arceneaux and middle distance runner Stacey Fuller on the men’s side and sprinters Constance Robinson and Jazmin Greer on the women’s squad.

Arceneaux, a former state sprint champion at Northside High, finished second in the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships in the 55-meter (6.36) and was also fourth in the long jump. He’ll likely run the 100-meter and legs on the 4×100 and 4×400 relays, the latter his first outing in that event.

"He had some very good performances late in the indoor season," Veazey said. "Stacey is so versatile and can go in so many events, the 400, the 800 and the relays, so we’ll have to see where we’ll use him."

Robinson and Greer will both run the open quarter as well as the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.

"The great thing about all of them is that they’re freshmen," Veazey said. "They all have a world of potential."

Tonight’s 10,000-meter events will likely draw a larger-than-normal field, because of the early-season slot and to allow schools to post times in the event before warm weather arrives. UL distance coach Tim Lemaire said that four or five UL women and at least three Cajun men will run the 10K tonight.

"It’s a chance to give us an idea of times," Lemaire said. "You want to get an early time for conference rankings, and we’ll get an indication of how some of our times stack up in the conference."

Louisiana Classics Meet


At Cajun Track, UL

7 p.m. Women’s 10,000-Meter

8 p.m. Men’s 10,000-Meter

11 a.m. Men’s Javelin

11 a.m. Women’s Long Jump

11:30 a.m. Women’s Hammer

12:30 p.m. Men’s Hammer

12:30 p.m. Women’s Javelin

12:30 p.m. Men’s Long Jump

12:30 p.m. Women’s Pole Vault

2 p.m. Men’s Discus

2 p.m. Women’s Shot Put

2 p.m. Men’s High Jump

2 p.m. Women’s Triple Jump

2:30 p.m. Men’s Pole Vault

3:30 p.m. Men’s Triple Jump

3:30 p.m. Men’s Shot Put

4 p.m. Women’s Discus

4 p.m. Women’s High Jump

Noon Women’s Steeplechase

12:15 p.m. Men’s Steeplechase

12:30 p.m. Women’s 4×100 Relay

12:40 p.m. Men’s 4×100 Relay

12:55 p.m. Women’s 1500-Meter

1:10 p.m. Men’s 1500-Meter

1:25 p.m. Women’s 100-Meter Hurdles

1:40 p.m. Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles

1:55 p.m. Women’s 400-Meter

2:05 p.m. Men’s 400-Meter

2:15 p.m. Women’s 100-Meter

2:30 p.m. Men’s 100-Meter

2:45 p.m. Women’s 800-Meter

3 p.m. Men’s 800-Meter

3:15 p.m. Women’s 400-Meter Hurdles

3:30 p.m. Men’s 400-Meter Hurdles

3:45 p.m. Women’s 200-Meter

4 p.m. Men’s 200-Meter

4:15 p.m. Women’s 5000-Meter

4:40 p.m. Men’s 5000-Meter

5 p.m. Women’s 4×400 Relay

5:10 p.m. Men’s 4×400 Relay