Track to host championships

Tech is looking to run, throw and jump over the competition to win its first Ohio Valley Conference championship meet.Tech will host the OVC championship meet for the first time May 30. In order to be a host site for the event, Tech made several improvements to its track and field facilities, adding new shot put rings and a landing area, a steeple chase pit, a pole vault box and landing mats, new hurdles, a new discus and hammer throw ring, and a javelin runway.

Tony Cox, women’s track and field head coach, said hosting the meet will have a positive impact on the program.

“This is a great opportunity to highlight our facility and our program,” Cox said. “Track and field is the most popular sport in the world, and this meet will help raise the profile of our team.”

The money raised from the meet, according to Cox, will go towards paying for the upgrades to the track and field facilities.

Nine women’s teams and five men’s teams will compete at Tucker Stadium for the championship. Eastern Illinois University and Southeast Missouri State University are the favorites this year, but Cox said he is confident in his team’s chances.

“This year we have the best team we have had in a long time, maybe ever, so I expect us to move up a few places,” Cox said. “Having the meet on our home track will help us do that.”

With the exception of the decathlon and heptathlon, all of the NCAA events will be held, including sprints, relays, steeplechase, hammer throw, javelin throw, and pole vault.

This year’s team has broken several school records, and Cox said he is expecting more.

“We have some of the best distance runners and throwers in the conference,” Cox said. “Our relay team just broke the school record last week in the 400 meter relay, so I’m sure we will take some more school records down at the conference meet.”

Admission for the meet is free for Tech students with a school ID and $5 for everyone else.