By Jared Fields, Managing Editor
Head coach Don Hood will send his men’s and women’s teams to three different meets this weekend to qualify or better his team’s marks for the indoor national meet in Boston on March 9-10.
Hood will take people to meets at Texas Tech, Arkansas and Iowa State.
Hood now wants to get everyone he can qualified for nationals.
“The core of our team is in,” Hood said. “The next two weeks will give us a chance to shore that up a little bit.”
In the men’s long jump, Davy Manga, Vladyslav Gorbenko and David Walker have not qualified yet.
Gorbenko said his goal for the Texas Tech meet this weekend is to qualify for the long jump. He is provisionally qualified in the triple jump; just over two inches away from being automatically qualified.
“I don’t know if I’ll compete in the triple jump; it’s right after the long jump,” Gorbenko said. “I would like to qualify and then focus for nationals.”
Others who have yet to qualify individually are Mark Paige, Marvin Bien-Aime, Jessica Hunt and potentially more pole-vaulters.
Hunt, who placed 8th at last year’s indoor nationals, will go to Arkansas to run the 55- and 200-meters.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t click early. She may be training too hard,” Hood said. “She hasn’t done anything wrong that I can see.”
Hood said he hopes it clicks this weekend. He is looking forward to the group consisting mostly of distance runners and women’s sprinters going to Arkansas.
“They’re going to put on a show,” he said.
The men’s mile relay will head to the Hawkeye State to compete against top Division I teams as Texas A&M, Arizona State, Alabama and other Big XII and Big 10 schools.
While the relay is provisionally qualified, Hood thinks it needs to improve to be sure of getting in.
“The men’s mile relay has to run faster to get in – two and a half seconds faster,” Hood said. “I think they’re excited to get to run with those guys.”
The individuals in the relay will also run the 200-meters individually, with Johnny Jacob running the 400-meters.