Feb. 8, 2007
Coming off the success of the New Balance Collegiate Invite last week, the men’s and women’s track and field squads head into the Tyson Invitational hosted by the University of Arkansas on Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10. This is the last meet before the conference championship and is key in determining who will be traveling to Clemson for the chance to compete at the ACC Championships at the end of the month. Also crucial to both teams this weekend is earning qualifying marks for the nationals in March.
“This is an extremely important weekend for us,” head coach Bob Braman said. “We’re really focused on two things and that’s setting ourselves up for the national meet and to start formulating our conference team. This is one of the last meets where we can get national qualifiers on the women’s side as well as get the men in the best position possible to have a chance to win at the nationals. It’s all based on performances during the year so we’re looking to get some good marks like we have in years past.”
Among the 40 or so student-athletes traveling to Fayetteville, AK this weekend are senior leaders Barbara Parker and Alyce Williams who will be looking to qualify for nationals in the mile and triple jump, respectively. The top men aiming for qualifying marks are junior Walter Dix and sophomore Michael Ray Garvin in the 200m, junior Drew Brunson in the 60m hurdles and senior Matt Hurley in the pole vault.
Instead of following the team to Arkansas, distance runners Tom Lancashire, Andrew Lemoncello, Luke Gunn, and Sean Burris will strive to qualify in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters at the University of Washington’s Husky Classic on Saturday, Feb. 10.
This weekend is critical in terms of qualifying as it will be hard to produce qualifiers at the conference meet, which is held at Clemson this year, because the track is not known to be one of the fastest.
“We’d like to rely on the Tyson meet more than the Last Chance,” Braman said. “We can’t control if someone’s going to get sick or injured, so we would like to get the qualifying done as soon as possible. We think the bulk of our team is healthy and ready to go and we would like for them to be able to qualify now rather than at the Last Chance meet.”
The Tyson Invitational will air on ESPN2 on Sunday, Feb. 11 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST. For more information please log onto tysoninvitational.org.