The ACU track and field teams have spent this entire outdoor season traveling across the state, but finally they’ll be in Abilene for the third annual Wes Kittley Invitational.
Both teams are coming off of strong showings from the two different meets they went to. Some of the team went to compete at the Texas Relays in Austin and the other half went just 45 miles south to San Marcos to compete in the Bobcat Invitational. Junior, Allie Hackett made her presence known in the 5k as she claimed gold with a school-record of 16:19.
This is just yet another bullet point on Hackett’s already dominating collegiate career. She won by more than 20 seconds in a field of 23 women. This showing gave Hackett yet another Southland Conference Athlete of the week, which puts her at a total of eight for the 2015-16 season. This weekend, Hackett will be taking a rest week and won’t be competing as she prepares for the Mt. SAC Relays, but her twin Michaela is entered in the 1500 and 5k in which she is ranked fifth and second respectively.
Multi-event athlete, Taylor Yantis also claimed the honor of athlete of the week thanks to her victory in the heptathlon last weekend in San Marcos. Yantis had a final total of 4,632 points.
This weekend’s meet welcomes former ACU runner and current Texas Tech head coach, Wes Kittley and the Red Raiders as well as conference opponents Sam Houston State.
“We hope this meet gives them encouragement,” said Ray Walker, assistant head coach, “They are headed in the right direction to do something big at conference again.”
NCAA DII program Central Oklahoma and nationally ranked NJCAA institutions South Plains and Western Texas also will be part of the six-team field.
The field events will be heavily stacked for the Wildcats with Morgan Knight, Kai Schmidt and Jelani Rainey all competing. Schmidt and Knight are both ranked as the Southland’s top throwers.
The invitational won’t just be all business though. Additional meet highlights include a recognition ceremony for ACU’s senior class and team captains, which will take place prior to the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. There also will be a pair of fun runs during the 2 o’clock hour. A social club 4x100m relay is scheduled for 2:15 p.m., and later a 100m dash for elementary school-level girls and boys.
Throwing events are set to start at 11 a.m. with a rolling running schedule set for 12:20. Tickets are $8 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.