JEFFERSON CITY—Carson-Newman's indoor track and field team will hit the path running this weekend at East Tennessee State University's David E. Walker Track & Field Kickoff Classic after taking nearly a month off for the holiday season.
"It's a good meet and we wanted to make sure we got a good meet to start the year off," coach David Needs said. "It's early and we are just getting back in school. It's going to be a challenge for us because of some of the competition that will be there and the time that we have had off for the break."
Six Division I teams will join alongside Carson-Newman for the weekend festivities in Johnson City. The other schools competing in the Kickoff Classic will be Alabama State, Appalachian State, ETSU, Kennesaw State, Western Carolina and Georgia State's women's team.
"We always want to put our athletes in a position to where they can compete against the very best," Needs said. "You are competing against yourself to get the best mark that you can get, but you are also competing against everyone else in the country to make nationals. For us, some of the best high and long jumpers, as well as sprinters and hurdlers in the nation will be there and it's a great chance for us to show what we are made of."
The meet will be a two-day event and will begin at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Eight trials will take place on Friday afternoon beginning with the women's long jump and men's weight throw right at 4 p.m. Both the men and women's 200m dashes and 5000m run will immediately follow before giving way to the men's long jump and women's weight throw to conclude the day at 6:30 pm.
Saturday will showcase the bulk of the events, starting at approximately 10:30 a.m. with the men's shot put. The women's triple jump, men's high jump and women's pole vault are set to follow at 11 a.m. Other events on the day will include the men and women's 60m dash, mile run, 60m hurdles, men's triple jump and pole vault, women's shot put and high jump, 400m dash, 800m dash and men and women's 4X400m relay.
Carson-Newman will be looking to build on its hot start to the season, as the Eagles shined last month at the Appalachian Open with both Timontrez Eady (Duval County, Fla.) and T.J. Davis (Chattanooga, Tenn.) provisionally qualifying for nationals in the high jump.
"At the Appalachian Open, 90-95% of our athletes who participated in an event recorded personal bests and that's something to be proud of," Needs said. "I'm excited to see when we get the whole mix of people in there, what everyone are going to be able to do. I'm excited and I'm eager to see how they do and where they go from there."
A story recapping both days of events will be available at cneagles.com following meet.