JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn.—For the second-consecutive weekend, the Carson-Newman indoor track and field team will be competing in Johnson City, Tenn. as the squad looks toward the East Tennessee State University Track & Field Invitational in the coming days.
Though the Eagles will be competing in ETSU's Mini-Dome again this weekend, Carson-Newman will be one of 34 teams that will be present through the invitational. As last week's meet saw the Eagles being one of seven teams competing, this go around will serve as Carson-Newman's largest meet of the season thus far.
"It doesn't really affect us as much as it means we will be there longer. As far as competition and things like that, there is going to be a bigger field with a lot more athletes who will bring stronger competition," coach David Needs said. "Some of the people running in these events are very fast and can jump very far. We like going to smaller meets but often at times going to that larger meet with good competition is better."
The ETSU Track & Field Invitational will begin with day one of events starting at 10 a.m. Friday morning with the women's 60m hurdles and will conclude the following evening at 7 p.m. with the men's 5000m run. Day two and the final day of events will begin Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the women's 3000m run and will wrap things up at approximately 7 p.m. with the men's 4 X 400m relay.
In being one of the largest meets of the indoor season, meet officials declared that schools must qualify to enter certain events over the weekend. These events included both the men and women throwing competitions and a number of sprinting events.
Carson-Newman athletes competing in these events all had qualifying times/marks and the Eagles will be set to field a full unit Friday morning.
Needs believes competing again at ETSU will be good for the team as they know what to expect from the athletic facilities.
"When you run somewhere three times a year, you have that experience and that little bit of knowledge of how the curves are and the straightaways are," Needs said. "Those are all good things and if you have a place close, like ETSU for us, it's a great place for our kids to go and compete to get that experience."
Last week's David E. Walker Kickoff Classic witnessed two more Eagle athletes provisionally qualify for the indoor nationals.
Kevin Snead (Richmond, Va.), who ranks in the top-six in the nation in the 60m dash, accomplished the feat after completing the event in 6.83 seconds en route to a first place finish, and sophomore Tori Gaul (Salisbury, N.C.) also provisionally qualified for nations after lunging a school-record 3.55m in her fourth place showing in the pole vault.
This weekend's invitational will provide another opportunity for the Eagles to place more athletes in this elite range.
A full recap will be published following both days of events and can be found at cneagles.com. For live updates on the invitational throughout the weekend, follow the live scoring system here or follow us on twitter at @CN_Track and @CNathletics.