The track and field team begins its outdoor season this weekend when it travels to the TCU Invitational to take on Big-12, Conference USA and Southland Conference competition.
The Wildcats are coming off an indoor season where the women finished fifth and the finished eighth at the conference championships despite being depleted by sickness, injuries and a few redshirts. First-year head coach Lance Bingham said the team has regained its health and should be near full health heading into the meet.
“Everyone should be healthy and ready to go,” Bingham said. “We did have one of our runners pull up short in practice this week so he’ll be a game time decision, but I expect a confident performance from our team.”
Bingham also said there will be nine Wildcats redshirted this spring with the future in mind. Those redshirts include throwers Annina Brandenburg, Morgan Knight, Kayle Melgar, Kai Schmidt and Lonnie Smith and Southland Indoor runner of the year Michaela Hackett. In addition to these six, long-distance runners Alexandria Hackett, Diana Garcia Munoz and Gabby Thompson will also continue redshirting.
“We are redshirting a few of our throwers and some of our long distance runners, which I hate because of the effect it has on the team as a whole, but we want to give them the best opportunity to advance to regionals and even nationals in the future,” Bingham said.
This weekend ACU will see two conference rivals in Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin. The Wildcats will also be up against tough competition in Baylor, but will return former Southland Conference champions in seniors Kimone Green and McKenzie Mascorro. Green won the 400 meter title last year and Mascorro earned the pole vault crown at the 2016 indoor championships.
Bingham said he expects a confident performance from his team this weekend, seeing this as first of seven tune ups for the Southland Outdoor Championships.
“We don’t want to peak too soon. We expect our team to perform well, but just like indoor season we want to continue to get better and peak at the conference championships.”
The meet begins Friday morning with the hammer throw and discus competitions.