It's time for track and field's outdoor season
The temperature is rising, and it’s not just pool party season: It’s track and field’s outdoor season.
Last weekend, the Wildcats hosted the Willie Williams Classic, which opened the outdoor season and determined where the athletes were at and where to focus training.
Here is what to look out for the rest of the season:
1. The Women’s Track and Field Team
The Wildcats women’s squad was ranked No. 3 in the nation according to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) preseason ranking poll, released on Tuesday. This ranking is calculated based on data from previous seasons. The fact that the Wildcats have 11 returning athletes who, last year, ranked top 10 in their events doesn’t hurt their impressive preseason ranking, which happens to be their highest ever.
2. Lawi Lalang
Junior distance runner Lawi Lalang has had a stellar collegiate career. Not only does he have five NCAA Championships under his belt, Lalang has set a number of records. In the previous indoor season, he became the first collegiate athlete to run a sub-3:55.00 mile. On top of it all, last week, USTFCCCA named him the Division I Indoor National Men’s Track Athlete of the Year — for the second year straight.
3. Jim Click Shootout
Fortunately, the outdoor season allows the Wildcats to host meets at Roy P. Drachman Stadium. The next home meet, the Jim Click Shootout, will take place on April 4th-6th. According to head coach Fred Harvey, this is likely to be the meet where the big name athletes make their outdoor season debut. It also allows the Wildcats to take a break from traveling and gives them a chance to compete on their own turf.
4. Brigetta Barrett
In her senior season, high jumper Brigetta Barrett has, and is expected to continue to, reach new heights — literally. Since the beginning of her 2012 indoor season, Barrett has won 25 out of 26 high jump competitions on the collegiate level. She claimed a victory at the NCAA Indoor Championships and became the first woman in collegiate history to win three-straight NCAA Indoor Championships in the high jump. Barrett also made the post-indoor Bowerman Watch List, released last Thursday.