EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon Track Club Elite has two veterans and two newcomers entered in the UW Invitational on Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor facility on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
Second-year pro Hanna Green, who was ranked 8th in the U.S. in the 800 meters last year, is scheduled to move up to the mile in her first indoor race of the 2019 season. OTC Elite teammate Harun Abda, a two-lap specialist, will drop down to the 400m.
“For Hanna, we’ll start the process this winter with an over-distance race, while Harun will use the indoor season to focus on the lower aspects of his range,” OTC Elite coach Mark Rowland said.
Rowland added that Green has two 800m races scheduled before targeting the 1,000m at the USATF Indoor Championships, Feb. 22-24, at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, N.Y. Abda hopes to compete in the 600m at the national indoor meet.
The UW Invitational will also mark the OTC Elite debuts of two athletes – Drew Piazza and Neil Gourley. The former Virginia Tech teammates are both entered in the men’s mile.
Piazza was ranked 7th in the U.S. in the 800m last year after placing 5th in that event at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Gourley, a native of the United Kingdom, finished third in the 1,500m at the London Müller Anniversary Games last July with a lifetime best of 3:35.98.
Rowland said Gourley will return to the U.K. after his race in Seattle in an effort to make the British team for the European Indoor Championships in March. Gourley placed third in the 1,500m at the British Championships last season. Piazza has two 800m races on his calendar before he targets the 1,000m at the USATF Indoor Championships.
Former Virginia Tech standout Vincent Ciattei has also officially joined the OTC Elite squad, but is currently rehabbing an injury.