JONESBORO, Ark. (11/30/10) — Twelve teams will be on hand this weekend when the Arkansas State Indoor Track & Field season gets underway in the ASU Convocation Center at the ASU Kickoff Klassic.
The Kickoff Klassic begins a slate of five regular-season meets for the Red Wolves, who will also participate in the Saluki Booster (Jan. 14-15) at Southern Illinois in Carbondale, the ASU Invitational (Jan. 22) in Jonesboro, the Rod McCarvy Invitational (Jan. 28-29) at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and the Iowa State Classic (Feb. 10-12) in Ames, Iowa. The Red Wolves will also host the 2010-11 Sun Belt Conference Championships at the ASU Convocation Center.
Athletes from UALR, UCA, UAPB, Memphis, SEMO, Ole Miss, Harding, Rhodes College, Nicholls State, McNeese and Mississippi Valley State University will join Arkansas State at this weekend's Kickoff Klassic.
"This first meet is to see where our freshman are and how they have progressed," said ASU head coach Lon Badeaux. "It is their first college meet, and they will be nervous. All of the returnees, we know what they can do, so we use this as a starting point to see where we are and where we need to go forward."
"Our indoor schedule overall is very good because it is basically a stair-step up in competition each time out," added Badeaux. "By the time we get to Iowa State we really expect to be doing well leading into the conference meet. We are really excited about having the conference meet at home this year, and we think we can do well. We have put an emphasis on higher-level competition because we have some quality athletes this year and we want to give them a chance to do well."
Notable returnees for the Red Wolves this season include sophomore sprinter and jumper Solomon Williams, who was named Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year last year after scoring 18 points at the SBC Indoor Championships and junior pole vaulter Stephanie Foreman, who set the league record with a jump of 13-3.5 at the SBC Indoors last year and is the two-time defending SBC champion in the event.
Sophomore distance runner Samantha Salinas, who broke an 18-year ASU record in the mile run last year with a time of 5:03.46 to finish fifth at the SBC Indoors, also returns, as do juniors Chelsea Weaver and Sydney Foreman, sophomore Reilly McAtee and freshman Kristina Aubert, who are also expected to compete strongly in the distance events. Sophomore Ethan Turpin returns for the ASU men after scoring a personal-best 4,791 points and finishing ninth last year in the men's heptathlon at the SBC Indoors.
Junior Kaneshia Hicks finished fourth at the SBC Indoors in the pentathlon, scoring 3,417 points, and junior Corwin Pace should also anchor the men's throwers. Pace finished fifth at last year's SBC Indoors in the shot put with a throw of 15.41 meters and fifth in the discus at the SBC Outdoor meet with a throw of 50.74 meters.
ASU Indoor Track & Field 2010-11 Schedule
Dec. 3-4 ASU Kickoff Klassic Jonesboro, Ark.
Jan. 14-15 Saluki Booster Carbondale, Ill.
Jan. 22 ASU Invitational Jonesboro, Ark.
Jan. 28-29 Rod McCarvy Invitational Lexington, Ky.
Feb. 10-12 Iowa State Classic Ames, Iowa
Feb. 27-28 SBC Championships Jonesboro
Mar. 4 Last Chance Meet TBA
Mar. 11-2 NCAA Championships College Station, Texas