By: Molly O’Mara
Wallace Spearmon, with the help of meet director Art Huff, has assembled an all-star lineup for the invitational 4x400-meter relay event at the 2007 Tyson Invitational, Fri., Feb. 9, at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Joining the Fayetteville native in chase of the world record, 3:01.96 set at the 2006 Tyson invitational, will be Andrew Rock, former LSU standout Xavier Carter and LaShawn Merritt.
“I’m a 200/400 meter, intermediate runner,” Spearmon explained. “Xavier Carter is a stand out athlete. He has won national titles numerous times in many events. LaShawn Merritt ran a 44.9 here on this track in 2005. Andrew Rock is another stand out athlete.”
Spearmon, who continues to live and train in Fayetteville, will officially open his season at Friday’s meet. No stranger to world records in the Tyson Center, Spearmon also set the 300-meter record at the 2006 Tyson invitational (31.88) and looks to continue his Tyson Center winning streak.
“I haven’t really spoken to any of the guys yet but I will before Friday,” Spearmon said. “This season has been a little difficult. I had a late season last year so this season got started a little late for me. I’m kind of behind where I usually am (at this point in the season). It’s a mental fight but I’m ready for this race.”
Spearmon has no choice but to be ready. The professional team will have stout competition in Baylor, LSU and Florida who will also be competing in the event.
“(Baylor, Florida and LSU) have all run fast this year and this race is for bragging rights,” Spearmon said. “If they beat us, they will be more then willing to let us know about it.”
The LSU Tigers are the defending NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Champions in the event, with help from former Tiger Carter, and Baylor and Florida currently have the No. 1 and No. 7 times in the country this season.
With impressive collegiate resumes waiting for them on the track, Spearmon and his teammates are running for a record and a victory.
“We have targets on our backs but they have targets on their backs too,” Spearmon said. “We are just going out there for a win.”
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