Gaeta, Carlstrom, Johnson, Bowens, and Hower headed to Deep South

MOBILE, AL -- The Mobile Meet of Champions in Alabama has always provided an excellent early season meet for many of the nation\'s best to come and compete in. For this year\'s meet, some of Virginia\'s best have also decided to make the trip down to the Deep South and compete against some very stiff competition.

Oakton coach Terry Weir is bringing his distance stars down to Mobile to compete in the 800 meter run with Phil Gaeta and Keira Carlstrom both entered. Gaeta, who has a personal best of 1:53 in the 800, comes into the meet with high hopes of bettering his personal best after a stellar indoor track season where he ran a 2:29 1000 and a 4:14 mile. He\'ll have plenty of competition to push him as there are 14 runners in the field that have gone 1:58 or better, including 1:51 runner Paul Cross of Florida and Foot Locker All-American Lauren Jesperson of Oregon (1:52 PR). It will be a close race for sure.

Carlstrom comes into the race with the fastest time of 2:11 as she looks to start off her season with a win. Carlstrom showed great strength in indoors as she sat out three weeks due to a hip injury, but then with just two weeks of training, won the state title in 1600 meter run in a time of 5:02. Far from her personal best of 4:51, but she looks to be close to her old form after a solid month of training under her belt.

Heritage of Newport News is also bringing a talented duo with them in Michael Johnson and Quentin Bowens. Johnson was a state champion in the 55 meter dash in indoors and earned All-American honors in the 60 meter dash at the Nike Indoor Classic. Coming into the contest with a personal best of 10.7 in the 100 meter dash, he will face off with four other sprinters who have ran around or faster times than him.

Bowens, who was a state champion and national leader in the 500 meter dash in indoors as well as an All-American in the 400 meter dash, will compete in what looks to be a simply smoking 400. With a 47.32 personal best, Bowens will definitely be in contention for the race, which includes Xavier Carter of Florida who has went sub 47 before.

Fleet Hower is entered in the two mile run, which is probably one of the deepest races at the meet. Hower, who was a Foot Locker All-American in the fall and ran a personal best 2 mile time of 9:20 at the Nike Indoor Classic, will have some stiff competition in the deuce. Some of the nation\'s best distance runners such as Scott Fuqua of Alabama, Milos Mitric of North Carolina, and Rolf Steier of Florida, are entered in the race.