Track Ready For 2014 Sun Belt Outdoor Championships

COURTESY: Arkansas State

JONESBORO, Ark. (5/6/14) – The championship outdoor season for the Arkansas State University track and field teams has arrived as the Red Wolves are set to compete this weekend (May 9-11) in the 2014 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championshipsat San Marcos, Texas.

The three-day conference meet will be conducted at the Texas State Track and Field Complex with Texas State University serving as the host.  All 10 conference-member schools will be participating in the 2014 SBC Championships.

The league meet begins this Friday (May 9) with the women’s 10,000-meter run at 8:30 a.m. (CT) followed by the men’s race at 9:15 a.m. (CT).  The women’s hammer throw opens the field events competition at 10 a.m. (CT) and the men’s hammer throw starts at 12:30 p.m. (CT).  The first half of the men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon are slated to begin at 10 a.m. (CT) and 10:30 a.m. (CT), respectively.

“The conference championships are what we plan our training around all year,” said A-State head coach Jim Patchell.  “I’m pretty happy with our progress so far and I think we are physically and mentally ready to compete well.  The Sun Belt Conference is one of the toughest track conferences in the country so we need to be up for the challenge.”

Second-day action this Saturday (May 10) will consist of the multi-events and field events finals along with running event preliminaries and finals in both the men’s and women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.  Third and final day competition on Sunday (May 11) gets underway with the field events at 10 a.m. (CT) and the running events starting at 5 p.m. (CT).

The Red Wolves enter this weekend’s action poised for success as the women’s team features top five marks in nine of the conference’s 20 events with five A-State athletes earning such distinction.  SeniorSharika Nelvis, who has claimed SBC Women’s Most Outstanding Track Performer Award recognition the last two seasons (2012-13), has registered the conference’s top outdoor times this season in the 100 meters and 100-meter hurdles.  Nelvis, a two-time (2012-13) U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-America outdoor track performer is the current conference meet record holder in the 100-meter hurdles with a 13.08 time set a season ago.  Kristina Aubert, a redshirt junior, has posted this spring’s best league times in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter running events.  She clocked a present all-time league meet-best 17:00.59 time in the 5,000 meters at the 2012 SBC Championships.

On the men’s side, A-State is presently listed seven times among the conference’s top five performances this campaign with five athletes generating the noteworthy marks.  Freshman Roelf Pienaar has turned in the top long jump distance among the SBC’s leaders while senior Kashef Daniel is tied for first place in the high jump.

Complete information and results for the upcoming 2014 SBC Outdoor Track and Field Championships are available online by visiting the conference’s official championship website at www.sunbeltsports.org.

A-State will look to improve upon its productive showing at the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships (May 10-12) in Miramar, Fla.  The men’s team placed second in last season’s conference meet with 131 points and finished only seven points behind league champion Middle Tennessee’s 138 points total.  The women’s team also accumulated 131 points to claim a runner-up finish as North Texas earned champion recognition by tallying a first-place 151.5 points.

Fans can follow Arkansas State track and field on Twitter (@ASTATETRACK) to receive the latest information and team updates.  The Red Wolves can also be found on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/AstateTrackandField.