JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn.—The Carson-Newman track team will kick off its 2015-2016 indoor slate this weekend, as the team heads eastbound on I-40 to Appalachian State for an eleven-team meet in the Holmes Convocation Center.
The Eagles will be looking to pick up right where they left off a year ago. Carson-Newman concluded its 2014-2015 indoor schedule by taking home a women's second and men's first-place finish at the Tiger Indoor, as well as sweeping the Sewanee Indoor meet with two first-place tallies.
The season-opening meet will feature eleven schools all ranging across the Tennessee, North and South Carolina realm, and the schools come in a wide variety of competition. Appalachian State, Winthrop, Western Carolina, Gardner-Webb and Wofford represent the Division I talent that will be present over the weekend, while Carson-Newman, Queens, Lees-McRae, King and Livingstone will be competing from Division II. The lone NAIA team that will join the rest of the field for the Appalachian Open will be Milligan.
"This is a great way to see how far the fall training has come," Needs said. "The competition is great because you have some Division I people and some good Division II people. You don't go to a meet like this looking for a big team score. You look for good results so that you can build on that for the rest of the season."
Friday's events will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. and will include the weight throw, triple jump and 5000m run. The Appalachian Open will reconvene on Saturday around 11 a.m. and will initiate the rest of the events, which include the remaining four field events and eight running events.
Needs will be looking to a number of his players to shine in their first action of the season, and for many, their first action of their careers.
"As a coach, you really have a couple of different standards you are looking for. You have some of your athletes who have qualified for nationals in the very first meet of last year, like Tanner Stepp (Jefferson City, Tenn.), so your expectations for them are to go out there and compete and to try and qualify again," Needs said." You also have some other people that you are hoping to see take the next step and some new people, which this will be their first step and they are just now getting their feet wet. You hope that some of those will cross over and you will get some good results."
Results and recaps from both days of action will follow up on cneagles.com as Carson-Newman looks to sprint their way onto the national stage once again.