Competition And Service Part Of Track's Spring Break Week
March 3, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. – The Pepperdine men’s and women’s track teams compete at the North Florida Invitational this Friday and Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.
The North Florida Invitational is hosted by the University of North Florida and will be held within its brand new 9400 seat Hodges Stadium Track & Field facility. It opened in August of 2008 and is one of three IAAF Class II facilities in the United States.
The Waves will be entered in various events throughout the two days. Junior Jordan Wozniak (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge HS) and freshman Russell Mott (Golden, Colo./Colorado Academy) will both compete in the 800m and 1500m. Junior Derek Pesta (Gilroy, Calif./Gilroy HS) is scheduled to compete in the 1500m but a recent injury may prevent him from running.
Junior Aneasha Lawrence (Simi Valley, Calif./Village Christian) will lead the women’s squad as she competes in the 5000m and 1500m runs. Fresh off her school-record performance in the 100m hurdles two weeks ago at the Westmont Quadrangular, freshman Kelsey Ankoviak (Wheat Ridge, Colo./Wheat Ridge HS) will partake in the 100m hurdle and 400m hurdle events as well as the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays.
Running events begin at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.
In addition to the upcoming meet in Jacksonville, 24 members of the program partook in Project Serve at the Hope Children’s Home in Tampa from February 28 through March 2.
This was the fifth year that the Waves have incorporated community service into their track schedule. Founded in 1968, Hope Children's Home has rescued nearly 5,000 children between the ages of two and 18. Most of these children have been discarded, abused, unwanted, or orphaned.
Head coach Robert Radnoti and his teams have been touched by the relationships they have made over the years with many of the kids at Hope Children’s Home. This year the Pepperdine track program interacted with over 70 kids, forming relationships that will have a positive influence on the lives of the young children.
“It’s very special,” Radnoti said. “The kids there look forward to us coming back each year. It’s a real neat activity that we take pride in.”
The Waves thoroughly enjoyed their experience at Hope Children’s Home as they helped with manual labor around the facility, bonded with the kids and developed a better appreciation and understanding of their own lives.
Project Serve is an integral part of the track program’s commitment to living a Christian life and being there for others. Racing is secondary on this trip as the Pepperdine athletes align with their mission at Pepperdine to serve others in a leadership role.
“It was great,” said Radnoti. “The director spoke about the fond appreciation that they have for Pepperdine. It was among the best years that we have had with them. They enjoyed the love that we brought to the kids.”