By Steve Holt, Sports Writer
Indoor action will continue for the track and field teams Saturday on the campus of the University of New Mexico at the Albuquerque Invitational.
The Invitational will feature 13 Division I and II college teams that include the host New Mexico Lobos, the eighth-ranked Arizona State women, Mountain West Conference champion Brigham Young women, Conference USA men’s and women’s champions from Houston and Big West men’s champion Cal State Northridge.
Adams State College (Colo.), the Division II national runner-up in 2005, will give ACU its first look at a challenger for the national championship.
Head coach Don Hood said the quality competition and other factors combine to make the Invitational a worthy meet.
“It’s a first-year track meet,” Hood said. “It’s a great track. The facility is as good as any in the country, plus we get the opportunity to run at altitude.”
The Wildcat track and field teams have qualified 12 athletes in 14 events, plus four relay teams, for the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships, which will take place in Boston on March 10-11. Saturday’s meet marks the next-to-last chance for ACU athletes to post new qualifying marks or times, make improvements on previous marks, or qualify automatically for the national meet. Hood said he would like every athlete who has yet to qualify to do so this weekend.
“We’re going a little easier training this week to let them have more fresh legs going into this weekend,” Hood said.
Saturday’s action will kick off with field events at 9 a.m., concluding with the men’s 4×400-meter relay at 3:15 p.m., all at UNM’s new Convention Center.