Auburn Track And Field Teams Send Athletes To Arkansas, Iowa
Feb. 12, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Auburn men's and No. 24 women's track and field teams return to action this weekend, with most of the squad heading to Fayetteville, Ark., for the Tyson Invitational. Three throwers will travel to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Classic. Competition at both meets takes place throughout the day both Friday and Saturday.
This weekend's competition is the last of the season prior to the SEC Indoor Championships Feb. 27-March 1 in Lexington, Ky., and head coach Ralph Spry views this weekend as a prime opportunity to get a large number of individuals qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships. So far this season, nine Tigers (six men, three women) and a relay team have posted marks that make them eligible for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
"It's going to be a very big weekend for us," said Spry. "Last weekend at Penn State we had a very good performance, but this weekend we're running on a track that is probably the fastest in the nation, and the competition will be the stiffest we've faced all year long. I'm looking forward to us getting a lot of national qualifiers and a lot of personal bests this weekend. I really have high expectations."
Raevan Harris is the only Tiger to have a guaranteed spot at the NCAA Championships, thanks to her No. 2-ranked mark in the high jump that met the automatic qualifying standard. The rest are provisionally qualified and will make the field if they are ranked high enough in their respective events prior to the NCAA Indoor meet.
Joanna Atkins has qualifying marks in three events, and holds the rare distinction of being the only woman in the NCAA to post qualifying marks in the 60, 200 and 400 meters. She is also part of the women's 4x400-meter relay team that owns the nation's second-fastest time. The other women who is provisionally qualified is Nivea Smith (200 meters).
For the men, Marcus Rowland owns qualifying marks in two events - the 60 and 200 meters. Four distance runners have qualifying marks in one event each (Elkanah Kibet - 3,000m; Felix Kiboiywo - Mile; Girma Mecheso - 5,000m; Jean-Pierre Weerts - 3,000m) and Eric Werskey has a qualifying mark in the shot put.
Among the nine individuals who have met the qualifying standards, only Harris is a senior. Kibet, Kiboiywo, Weerts and Werskey are juniors, Atkins is a sophomore and Rowland, Mecheso and Smith are freshmen.
More information on the Tyson Invitational and complete results will be available at www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com. The meet will also be shown on a tape-delayed basis on ESPN on Sunday from 4-6 p.m. CT. Information on the Iowa State Classic is available at www.cyclones.com.
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