CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte track and field program concluded the early signing period with 11 early signees set to join the teams next fall.
The men will add six to the squad, with four specializing in distance and one on jumping events. The women welcome five, with three expected to compete in distance and two will focus on sprinting, one each as a long and short sprinter.
"I'm very pleased with our early signing period successes,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Robert Olesen said. “Combined with our current class of newcomers, these early signees exhibit talent levels and potential commensurate with what we've identified as necessary for Conference USA scoring.”
The men and women’s cross country teams will deepen their rosters after both having successful seasons under second-year cross country coach Alex Gibby. These athletes will also compete in the spring in distance and mid-distance events during the track and field season.
Olesen works primarily with jumps, Gibby focuses on distance events, Coach Ray Brewer, currently in his seventh year at Charlotte, handles long sprints and hurdles, and adds one athlete to his focus group, while Coach Andrew Kaschak, in his fifth season with the 49ers, supervises short sprints.
Olesen expects to add even more depth to his program, citing the later signing period that takes place in April of 2016.
“We will continue to work with and evaluate prospective student-athletes that have elected to commit in the later signing period and identify new ones as the track season gets underway in order to fill out the remainder of what is shaping up to be another exciting recruiting class."
MEN’S EARLY SIGNEES:
Paul Arredondo Fayetteville, N.C./ Cape Fear High School DISTANCE
Coach Gibby on Paul: “Paul comes from the other side of the state, but is very under-developed and I am excited about that fact. He has some impressive performances considering he has to train solo on a daily basis. I think that Paul will also be a true distance runner at the next level."
PRs: 1600-4:22.69 3200-9:28.53 XC: 15th place at 2015 State 4A
Elijah Cole Raleigh, N.C./ Millbrook High School POLE VAULT
Coach Olesen on Elijah: "Elijah's only been vaulting for two years and is already one of the best in North Carolina and showed great consistency as a junior. With continued development through his senior year he will arrive on campus next August already as a potential C-USA scorer."
William “Matt” Conner Matthews, N.C./ Weddington High School DISTANCE
Coach Gibby on William: "Matt comes out of the high-powered Weddington program in Southeast Charlotte, but he is relatively new to the state level and I think he has a great deal of development left in him. He is another runner with big range and could help in a variety of track events as well as cross-country"
PRs: 1600-4:25.20 3200-9:22.67 XC: 4th place 2015 State 3A
Alex Cornwall Harrisburg, N.C./ Hickory Ridge High School DISTANCE
Coach Gibby on Alex: "Alex is literally from right up the road. He has run some excellent cross-country this fall and I look forward to seeing what he can do training with other focused young men. I think he has the ability to contribute from 1500m-10000m as well as the steeple."
PRs: 1600-4:20.10 3200-9:34.33 XC: 3rd place 2015 State 3A
Zach Marchinko Salisbury, N.C./ Carson High School DISTANCE
Coach Gibby on Zach: “Zach is a local product and was our first fall commit. Unfortunately, illness ended his cross-country season prematurely, but he has the opportunity this spring to build off of his excellent junior year credentials in track. I expect he will be a true distance runner at the next level."
PRs: 1600-4:23.22 3200-9:22.22 XC: 2014 State 3A Runner-Up
Jayon Woodard Raleigh, N.C./ Southeast Raleigh High School LONG SPRINTS
Coach Brewer on Jayon: "I'm excited Jayon decided to join the 49ers program. He has huge upside to him. I can't wait to work with him."
PRs: 400-48.44 200-21.85
WOMEN’S EARLY SIGNEES:
Bridget Abbatiello Fredericksburg, Va./ Stafford High School DISTANCE
Coach Gibby on Bridget: "Bridget is currently our sole out-of-stater and she comes out of a very good Stafford program. I think she has a bright future and will contribute, as she develops, to both our cross-country and track & field teams." PRs: 800-2:21.58 1600-5:17.29 XC: 24th at VA 5A State meet.
Jasmine Parquet Mebane, N.C./ Eastern Alamance High School LONG SPRINTS
Coach Brewer on Jasmine: "I'm excited about Jasmine becoming part of the 49ers program . She is going to be a great asset. I am eagerly looking forward to working with her."
Emily Pettis Raleigh, N.C./ Leesville Road High School DISTANCE
Coach Gibby on Emily: “Emily is another person that I think will come in and make an immediate impact. Despite falling in the race, she placed 13th at the State meet and is one of the top cross-country runners in the state. On the track, I believe she will develop into a true distance runner."
PRs: 1600-5:12.61 3200-11:11.49 XC: 13th at 2015 State 4A meet
Brittany Stanley Mount Pleasant, N.C./ Mount Pleasant High School DISTANCE
Coach Gibby on Brittany: "Brittany is definitely one of the top girls in North Carolina in all classifications. She is another local product that has had to do a lot of development on her own so I am excited to see what she can do in an organized environment. She will have an immediate impact both in cross and on the track."
PRs: 800-2:18.20 1600-5:05.26 3200-10:49:52
Tajah Wilson New Bern, N.C./ West Craven High School SHORT SPRINTS
Coach Kaschak on Tajah: "We are very excited to have Tajah join the 49er family. She has established herself as one of the top 100/200m returners in North Carolina and has shown the passion and determination to continue to build upon her success at the collegiate level. On her visit, I knew she had great sprint potential and showed excitement about Charlotte and her future.”
PRs: 100-11.92 200-24.44.