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Fritz Grant Classic off and running

  • Andretti Bain is one of two senior athletes competing today. Bain, along with Latoy Williams are hoping to run under the Olympic qualifying time at the meet.

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: May 12, 2012

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Quartermilers Latoy Williams and Andretti Bain will line up in a stack field today at the 5th annual Fritz Grant track and field invitational, sponsored by Florida’s Natural.

The 400 meters (m) race is the feature event for the one-day meet, set to take place at the Thomas A Robinson stadium. Both Williams and Bain are hoping to run under the qualifying mark for the upcoming Olympic Games. The meet, which is in honor of veteran coach Fritz Grant will start at 10 a.m.

Grant said: “The field in all of the races is pretty stack, but the invitational 400m for men is loaded. We have elite athletes like Latoy and Andretti who are looking to run under the Olympic standards this weekend, and the junior boys who are trying to qualify for the summer meets.

“I expect that this is going to be a fast race. We have Leslie Neymour who ran around 47 seconds. Then there is Blake Bartlett and Andre Wells. So the field is very stack field in the 400m. This is an opportunity for persons like Andretti to run at least 45.60 seconds or 45.50 seconds. We are also looking forward to see what Latoy will do. I know he will do.”

According to Grant, Shaunae Miller has signed up for the open 400m. If she does step into the blocks, when the race is called, it will be the first open 400m for her. Since the start of the track and field season, Miller focused on the sprint events. She has even tried her hands at the shot put event, setting a new high school record in the private school sector.

Miller won the silver medal, in the 200m, at the recently held CARIFTA Games. She has a personal best time of 51.84 seconds in the one lap event. The young quartermiler has already ran below the standards set for the Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games will be held in London July 27- August 12.

“These our some of our elite athletes who will add the experience factor to the races they have all agreed to participate in,” said Grant. “So the experience taking on the youth should bring excitement. It is also a preview to the championships that are fastly approaching. I see it as a prelude for the junior and senior nationals meets. We are looking to see some outstanding performances. We hope that this meet provides an opportunity for the athletes to qualify. Like I said, both Andretti and Latoy are trying to hit the qualifying standards for the Olympic Games. So this is an opportunity for them to step up and execute their race.

“It will also give them that opportunity to see what all they need to do coming into the local championships, which is just about a month and couple weeks away. Everyone is running fast. It is going to be very exciting. The month of May is fine tuning for some of the athletes.”

Grant thanked the sponsors Florida’s Natural and ASA H Pitchard for their support over the five years. He invites family and friends to attend as some outstanding performances from the elite and junior athletes are expected.

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