Track prepares for upcoming season

SMSU is preparing to host its first-ever track meet this weekend at the new Marshall Regional Track and Field Complex. Mustang athletes began practicing at the new facility in October of 2014, but have not had a meet at home until now.  High school meets have taken place already, but coordinating a meet at the college level involves substantially more planning and finesse.

For one, the outdoor track season is naturally significantly shorter in college. Most universities end their Spring semester in May in contrast to high school’s tendency of lasting into the early summer. That leaves usually only five weekends to fit in a contest before the end of the year conference meet.

Dan Allen, head coach of men’s and women’s track, said that the planning process started in February. He went on to say,

“The biggest thing is to get all your officials and workers in place, as well as setting things up for the visiting teams/fans,” Allen said, “The true test will be meet day to see if everything runs smoothly.”

The coaching staff has spent most of their time with equipment and prepping the track.

“We must make sure we have everything from our steeple barriers put together, to finding cross bars for the HJ (high jump) and PV (pole vault), to making sure we have enough sand in the pits. It is the small details, and easily forgotten things that take up the most time.” Allen said.

Coach Allen looks forward to hosting a great meet in the future.

“I want all the teams to want to come back, and more teams to want to come,” Allen said. “My goal is to host 2 meets a year and have them both be high quality, competitive meets. Once we have the process down, hosting conference would be the next step for us.”

Completion begins on Friday, with half of the field events starting at 3 p.m. The distance running events begin at 4 p.m. The rest of the events take place on Saturday. Field events start at 11 a.m. and running events start at 11:30 with the 4×100 meter relay.