CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte track and field team is set to compete in its final Atlantic 10 Indoor Championship as the women’s team looks to defend their title beginning on Saturday, Feb. 16 at Mackal Fieldhouse in Newport, Rhode Island. 

The two-day meet is hosted by the University of Rhode Island and concludes on Sunday, Feb. 17. The meet opens with the multi events on Saturday at 9 a.m., followed by the field events at 1 p.m. and the running events at 2 p.m.

The Charlotte women are the reigning Atlantic 10 Indoor champs and have a very good chance of bring the trophy back to the Queen City. Charlotte’s depth along with its balance was a key to last season, where the women picked up several conference titles.  Joann Blakney was named the 2012 A-10 Most Outstanding Track Performer after winning titles in the 60m and 200m dash. T'Shiela Mungo was tabbed as the Most Outstanding Rookie Performer after capturing the 500m title. The Niners were also led by Ashley Bethune (60m hurdles) Jaleah Wilder (400m), Maraya Slatter (800m), and the 4X400 meter relay team of Wilder, Mungo, and LeAnna Morrison who also won titles. 

In addition, Coach Robert Olesen was named the 2012 A-10 Women’s Coach of the Year.

The 49ers were predicted to win the 2013 A-10 Championship in the preseason and have already turned in record-breaking performances.

Mungo broke the school record in the 500m (1:11.03) at the Virginia Tech Invitational in January. Her time still remains the fastest in the nation this season.  She also was named the A-10 Women’s Performer of the Week twice this season. Katrina Wright has had a solid season for the 49ers. Wright also turned in a record-breaking performance at the JDL Hilton Invitational with a toss of 55’5.75 in the weight throw. Evelyn Putman also set a school record in the pentathlon (3162). 

Blakney has also had a terrific year on the track. She’s posted season-best times in the 60m and 200m. Additionally, Blakney began competing in the long jump a few weeks ago for the first time since high school and already leads the team in that event.  

Briauna Jones, Toby Jo Klauenberg, Morrison, and Slatter have performed well this season and are all expected to have good performances at the championship.

Rookie Alvonna Blakney has been an essential element for the Niner women in the hurdles and sprints. She’s been named the A-10 Rookie of the Week three times this season. 

The men finished second last season and were subsequently picked to finish in that same spot for the upcoming championship. 

The 49ers will look to LeRoy Rouse, Cordell Livingston, Trey McRae and the 4x400m relay team who all captured medals at the 2012 championship for direction over the weekend. 

Jake Deaton has been dominant for the Niners in the shot put and weight throw this season. He set a school record in the shot put (59’2.75) and leads the team in the weight throw (58’6) allowing him to be a two-time A-10 Male Performer of the Week. 

Khyran Shank, Anthony Bynum, along with rookies Chris Tate and Anthony Campbell have been stellar for the 49ers and are ones to watch at the championship. 

Sunday’s competition begins with the multi events at 9 a.m., followed by the running events at 11 a.m., and the awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m.