By Steve Holt, Sports Writer
Two meets remain before the Wildcat track and field teams will compete for their first dual outdoor national championship since 1999. Friday and Saturday, a handful of Wildcat athletes will be in Arlington for the University of Texas at Arlington Open.
Thursday the Wildcats will showcase their speed, endurance and strength in front of a home crowd at the ACU Twilight Open at Elmer Gray Stadium.
Hood said his goal for the last two meets is simple – qualifying.
“We will try to qualify a few more people in some individual events at UTA or at our home meet,” Hood said. “The key to the rest of the season will be to stay healthy and competitive.”
The UTA open will begin Friday at Maverick Stadium with the hammer throw, section B pole vault, 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run. Saturday will feature the rest of the sprints, distance events and field events.
The ACU men are the defending outdoor national champions, but the women have not won a national title outdoors since 1999. Before winning the indoor national title in March, their last championship of any kind was indoors in 2000.
Overall, Hood seems to have the most dominant Wildcat squad in several years, judging from the number of athletes who have qualified for nationals either automatically or provisionally, as well as the performances at prior meets this season.
Entering this weekend’s meet, the Wildcat men have qualified 14 individuals in 10 events, as well as both relay teams. The women have also qualified both relay teams, along with 14 individual athletes in 16 events.
The NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships will take place May 25-27 in Emporia, Kan.