April 3, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Auburn track and field team hosts its first meet of the season when the Tiger Track Classic takes place this Friday and Saturday (April 4-5). It will be the first of two home meets for Auburn as the Tigers prepare to host the SEC Outdoor Championships May 15-18.
Competition begins Friday with the hammer throw only at 4 p.m. CT. Saturday's field events start at 10 a.m. with the men's javelin, while running events begin at 1 p.m. with the women's 4x100m relay. The meet is scheduled to conclude at approximately 6:45 p.m.
"We're looking forward to hosting our first meet of the season," said head coach Ralph Spry. "It's nice to give our fans a chance to come out and see our team compete in person after spending so many weeks on the road. And with the teams that we have coming in, there's going to be a lot of great competition. We're hoping to get some more regional qualifying marks this weekend and it should be a exciting meet for people to come out and watch."
The Tiger Track Classic will feature several nationally-ranked teams, as Auburn's No. 9-ranked men and No. 17-ranked women will be joined by the No. 3 Tennessee men, the No. 16 South Carolina women and the No. 23 Clemson men. Southeastern Conference teams from Alabama, Kentucky and Vanderbilt will also have athletes competing.
Other schools scheduled to be in attendance include Army, Bucknell, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State, Troy, Wisconsin, Rend Lake and Wallace State.
So far this season Auburn has had regional qualifying marks in seven events. Ty Akins' time of 13.66 in the 110m hurdles ranks second nationally, while Jean-Pierre Weerts' time of 3:45.80 in the 1500m is sixth-best nationally. The other male to qualify is Luke Gaines in the javelin.
For the women, Joanna Atkins has a regional qualifying time of 11.43 in the 100m, while Danielle Gilchrist ranks 14th in the 100m hurdles. Amelia Anderson has also made the cut in the long jump with a leap of 6.22m (20-5), while the 4x100m relay team owns the nation's tenth-best time of 44.79.
Auburn won six events and set two school records with the top marks in the NCAA during last year's Tiger Track Classic at Hutsell-Rosen Track. Shamar Sands broke a 30-year-old school record in the 110m hurdles with a winning time of 13.64, while Ty Akins was second with a time of 13.72. Cory Martin broke his own school record in the hammer throw with a toss of 69.92m (229-5), while Jacob Dunkleberger was right behind with a mark of 69.78m (228-11).
Martin also won the shot put with a facility-record throw of 18.50m (60-8.5). Felix Kiboiywo met the regional qualifying mark in the 1500m by winning the event in 3:47.50. Tracy Ann Rowe won the women's 100m dash with a time of 11.41 seconds, and helped the women's 4x100m relay team finish first for the third weekend in a row.
Complete information on the Tiger Track Classic can be found by visiting www.auburntigers.com.