Posted 8 months ago
By John Axtell
So far this spring, the Eagles have had just one outdoor meet, at Black Hills State in Spearfish on March 28.
They were slated to compete at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City last Thursday, April 11, but that meet was canceled because of the snowstorm that hit the Black Hills and western Nebraska.
With long range forecasts for the region for much of April appearing more like winter than spring, coach Ryan Baily huddled with athletic director Brad Smith back in the winter and decided it would be best for the Eagles to skip the meets in mid-America and go to California.
The trip not only avoids weather-related scheduling problems, but also makes it certain that the Eagles will have superb competition before the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Meet takes place May 5-7 at Colorado Mines in Golden.
“We can be involved in four meets this week,” Baily said. “Not everyone will enter all four meets, but everybody will compete at least a couple of times.
We’re expecting to have good weather, the athletes will be running at sea level, the facilities will be great and the competition will be some of the best in the world. Our goals are to have some sure-fire competition and give our athletes a chance to reach some national qualifying marks. That will be the most important thing.”
The first competition will be Wednesday and for the multi-events athletes…the men’s decathlon and the women’s heptathlon…at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut. While they finish up Thursday, the rest of the team will compete in the Cal State-Los Angeles Twilight Meet.
On Friday and Saturday, some of the Eagles will enter the Bryan Clay Invitational Meet hosted by Azusa Pacific University while others will be at the Long Beach Invitational.
Dozens of other teams and hundreds of other athletes will also enter these meets, and many of will have traveled much farther than the Eagles. Their goals will be basically the same—post marks that will qualify them for national meets in May.
Five Eagles had NCAA Division II provisional national qualifying marks at the Black Hills State Meet, but several of them need to improve those marks to actually receive the invitation to compete at the National Meet, May 23-25 at Colorado State-Pueblo.
Con Marshall, Information Services